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Accessible Guides Project

Starting with an example

Our Alumni Travel page for the Danube has 9 "here" links.

Screen readers are often set to summarize a page by jumping through the list of links.

Below: This is what the patron hears on our Danube page. "Here" links are highlighted.

All links on the Danube page with here links highlighted


Linking text, or Linked text is text you click to go somewhere.

  • It's coded inside an a-tag
  • After you click linking text, the browser always generates a back button.

Meaningful Linking Text: Who uses it?

Not just "Click here, Click here, Click here."

Screen readers can be set to read the list of links on a page. If the linking text is meaningful, the links provide highlights and a networked context.

For even more efficiency, a patron can jump to one of the links because they want that resource fast!

  • Write more than "Click here" or "Here." ("Click here" and "Here" occur as lonely linking text 470 times in our Guides!)
  • Write more than "more..." or "more about this..." 
  • Write more than "More on this page" or "More on this website." 
  • Write more than "If you need help, ask the Web Unit" (help with what?)
  • Do provide full information about the link inside the a-tag. A quick solution is to move the beginning of the a-tag back so it includes the rest of the sentence.
  • You don't have to show your sighted users the info you add for screen readers. Email the Web Unit for help hiding text from sighted users.

Our Alumni Travel page for the Danube has 9 "here" links.
This image shows a partial list of links for the page. "Here" links are highlighted.

Use the WYSIWYG to make linking text accessible

  1. You'll need a place to save your linke URLs while you're editing the text. Open a new file in a text editor, or in notepad (hereafter your "saver file").
  2. Log into the guide.
  3. For the box with inadequate linking text, click the edit icon at bottom right (under the content).
  4. Safety first: In the WYSIWYG (it calls itself “rich text editor”), right click on the inadequate linking text. Select "Edit link." Copy the link and paste it in your saver file.
  5. Right click on the linking text again. This time, select "Unlink."
  6. Select as much of the text as is needed to make the linking text meaningful.
  7. With the text selected, click on the link icon in the WYSIWYG.
    wysiwyg link icon
  8. Paste the URL in the URL field and click OK
  9. You can click "Save and close," any time - but there may be more linking problems in that same box!

Do you feel as though I wasted your time with the saver file? Ha! One of these days someone will interrupt you by spilling coffee all over your desk and you'll thank me.

>>>Advanced: Working outside the WYSIWYG<<<

To fix database and book links, you must deal with the HTML

Springshare's asset functionality makes well-formatted lists. Do use it!

But the description field is not a WYSIWYG. To correct meaningless linking text in the description field, you will have to understand the HTML.

The HTML example:

Purchase the book <a href="">here</a>.

The breakdown:

  • "Purchase the book is not linked; it comes before the link.
  • <a href="> is the opening link tag (aka a-tag).
  • here is the inadequate linking text
  • </a> is the closing a-tag

Cut Purchase the book and paste it after the opening link tag. The linking text will be Purchase the book here. And that's meaningful!

3 steps

  1. Click the edit icon for the asset and select edit.
    Edit icon and inadequate linking text are circled.
  2. Scroll down to the description field to find the inadequate text.
  3. Do not touch the link. Instead, select as much additional text as you need. Cut it and paste it inside the link.

    (To cut and paste, use the right-click menu or use the shortcuts: Control + X (cut) and Control + V (paste).

    Arrow shows where to cut and where to paste meaningful text.
  4. Click "Save."

How to search the code of an entire page for the worst culprits

Open a tab with the underlying HTML:

  • MacOS – Command + U
  • Windows – Control + U

Open a search box.

  • MacOS – Command + Option + F
  • Windows – Control + Shift + F.

Paste in each of these in turn:



>Click here</a>

>click here</a>


You are looking for places where "Here" or Click here" is the only text in the link.

  • Of course "Click here for more information" is just as bad.
  • But this is perfect: >Click here for more information about government documents in Franklin</a>

In the underlying HTML, the actual page content starts near the bottom. About 7/8 of the code is taken up by the header and scripts.

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