Skip to main content

Creating Accessible and Inclusive Links

This is a guide for creating accessible and inclusive links for your Word documents, presentations, PDF files, e-mail messages, social media posts and webpage content.  

Why Your Links Should Never Say "Click Here"  (or "here" or 'read more" or "learn more")

Using the word “click” on your links takes the user’s attention away from the interface and on to their mouse. Remember not all users are clicking links, some are tapping on a phone or tablet or using assistive technologies. Focusing attention to the action of clicking a mouse is not accurate and is not your intended purpose of a link. 

Linking the Word "Here" Conceals What Users Are Clicking

Some links use the word “here instead of “click.” Using“here” in a link conceals what the user is 'clicking'. The text around the link might explain what they are clicking, but when the user reads the link itself will not understand link destination. This means that the user has to read the text all around the link to understand the context of the link.  If there’s a lot of text around your 'click here", this could be time consuming for the user.  

Link to the name / title of the destination of the URL.  If possible, put the link at the end of a sentence. 
Example: Visit the College of Humanities and Social Sciences web site

Why You Should Not Use "Here" or "Learn More" or "Read More" or Use These More Than Once on the Same Page

Using the word “here” to make a link noticeable is unnecessary because that is what the distinct styling of a link is supposed to do.  Typically linked text is a different color and underlined. 

Using multiple "click here" and "learn more" on the same page or same document forces the user to use context clues to understand the link destination.  It is frustrating to users with screen readers to keep hearing 'read more', 'learn more' or 'click here',  'click to visit', etc... over and over again on the same web page or document or presentation

 Accessible link text is text that makes sense without any context.

Linked text should explain clearly where the link is taking the reader. "Click here", "Read More", "Learn More" text to not explain the link's destination. 

Tips for Writing Link Text


  • Avoid using a full URL as your link text; especially if it is long or complicated - URLS  are not easily read by humans and assistive technologies such as screen readers. Screen readers will read out loud every character of the URL, this could become frustrating. 
  • Keep linked phrases as short as possible, while still being meaningful out of context. This will save screen reader users time, as less text will need to be spoken by the screen reader software
    Example: Linking the three words "make a gift" is preferable to "to make a gift online please click here"
    Linking the two words "contact us" is preferable to "you can contact us by clicking here"
  • Link at least one full word but two words are better. Do not link to a single letter or character or number.
  • Put actions links at the end of your sentence such as contact information, "Contact Us"
  • You can have links on a page or in a document that have the same destination but your linking text must be different
  • Never leave empty links "href="" 

Do not instruct readers to click an image, photo, image of a button or logo to go to a web site, to register, etc... This creates unnecessary steps for everyone. 

To Link Text in Microsoft Office Applications:

  • Copy the URL destination
  • Select/highlight the text you want linked
  • With your text selected, hit 'cntrl + K' keys together
  • Paste your URL

QR Codes in Emails, Social Media, Websites

There is no need to include a QR code in an email message, webpage, or social media post.  If you are reading an email or a social media post, you are already online and can simply click linked text in your email message or social media post to reach your destination.  Providing only a QR code adds and extra unnecessary step for those on mobile devices and desktop computers. QR codes are for printed media to provide a convince to the viewer so they do not need to type or copy a hyperlink. 

Inclusive Link Text

 (Content from LinkedIn Learning Course,  "Creating Inclusive Content")

"Click here" is not inclusive language for users navigating with assistive technologies. Not everyone is 'clicking' a mouse.

Good Inclusive Link Text:

  • Avoids vague terms such as 'read more', 'click here', 'learn more'
  • Includes specific information, that is, you can determine the purpose of the link by the link text alone
  • Should be No longer than one sentence
  • Should be No shorter than three characters
  • Should add details when possible (Example for a download link: Download the School Calendar (.pdf, 20kb)