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The HTML Target Attribute for Anchors

The Anchor tag attribute for target tells the web browser where to open the link. There are 4 defined target presets which come in handy for many web designers of all levels. They are _blank, _self, _parent, and _top. You can also specify a descriptive name with the underscore( _ ).

  • _blank will open a new browser window with no name.
  • _self will replace the current html page, so if it is in a frame or frameset it will load within that frame. If it is the full browser, it will open to replace the page in the full browser.
  • _parent will replace the html page it came from.
  • _top will load in the current browser by replacing anything within the browser such as a frameset.

A descriptive name is used when

  • you want to use a named frame as your target, setting the frame name in the frameset you want it to load into.
  • you want for example say all your outside links to open in the same window, name the target as one.
  • you have popup windows that are for example larger images from a thumbnail and you want them to always open in the same window, name the target all the same.
Examples of targets are here.


The target tag appears in the Anchor reference as shown in the example below:

<a target="_blank" href="mypage.html">your link text here</a>


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