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Link Notations


This page is part of the California Department of Education (CDE) Web Design Standards, which only applies to specific CDE Web sites. Visit the CDE Web Standards to determine if these standards apply to a specific Web product (Web site, Web page, Web document, or Web application) that has been developed by or for the CDE.

Most Web pages (not including Web applications) on all CDE Web sites are created using Adobe's Contribute software templates. WebNETS, which is a custom software application that was created by CDE staff, is also necessary in order to create and process most Web pages on the CDE's public Internet site. Portions of these standards, where noted, apply only to CDE users of Contribute or WebNETS software; or to Web application developers.

Return to Design Standards

Background

In order to assist site visitors as they navigate the CDE Web site, we provide additional information (link notations) about some hyperlinks in parenthesis immediately after the hyperlink.

This section of the Design Standards explains when link notations are required or are optional and describes how they must appear when used. Visit the Hyperlinks Section of these Design Standards for highly related information, including when to use hyperlinked descriptive text and when to use hyperlinked URLs. This section on link notations avoids duplication by only covering link notations.

There are three possible elements in a CDE link notation.

The three elements and the order that they always must appear are:

There is also a "Coming Soon" notation that is covered in this section even though it is not an actual link notation.

The Hyperlinks Section of these standards explains when to use a hyperlinked URL and when to use hyperlinked descriptive text among other hyperlink-related issues. This section on link notations avoids duplication by only covering link notations.

Location Information

Internal vs. External

When a hyperlink points to a target on the same Web site, it is considered an internal link. For internal links, link notations are not used and the link is always set to open in the same browser tab or window.

Whenever a hyperlink points to a target location that is on a different Web site, the hyperlink is considered an external link. This type of link is always set to open in a new windows or tab, and the target must be indicated by the file extension or by using a link notation.

The concept of internal versus external must take into account both the Web site with the Web page or document containing the link (the source) and also the Web site with the destination (the target).

The following table indicates source and target Web sites for links that are considered internal:

Internal Links

Source

Target

Main CDE Web site (WWW)

Main CDE Web site (WWW)

Main CDE Web site (WWW)

Other CDE Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • www2.cde.ca.gov
  • www3.cde.ca.gov
  • api.cde.ca.gov
  • chavez.cde.ca.gov
  • dq.cde.ca.gov
  • pubs.cde.ca.gov
  • star.cde.ca.gov

Other CDE Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • www2.cde.ca.gov
  • www3.cde.ca.gov
  • api.cde.ca.gov
  • chavez.cde.ca.gov
  • dq.cde.ca.gov
  • pubs.cde.ca.gov
  • star.cde.ca.gov

Other CDE Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • www2.cde.ca.gov
  • www3.cde.ca.gov
  • api.cde.ca.gov
  • chavez.cde.ca.gov
  • dq.cde.ca.gov
  • pubs.cde.ca.gov
  • star.cde.ca.gov

Other CDE Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • www2.cde.ca.gov
  • www3.cde.ca.gov
  • api.cde.ca.gov
  • chavez.cde.ca.gov
  • dq.cde.ca.gov
  • pubs.cde.ca.gov
  • star.cde.ca.gov

Main CDE Web site (WWW)

Main Intranet Web site

Main Intranet Web site

Main Intranet Web site

Intranet Web application site
(iapro.cde.ca.gov).

Intranet Web application site
(iapro.cde.ca.gov).

Intranet Web application site
(iapro.cde.ca.gov).

Intranet Web application site
(iapro.cde.ca.gov).

Main Intranet Web site

External Links

The simple definition of a link that is considered external to a CDE Web site is any link that does not fit one of the patterns in the Internal Links table above. However, there are some “notable for CDE” link source and target combinations that are worth specifically noting as external:

Source

Target

Intranet Web Site

Any publicly available CDE Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • www.cde.ca.gov
  • www2.cde.ca.gov
  • www3.cde.ca.gov
  • api.cde.ca.gov
  • chavez.cde.ca.gov
  • dq.cde.ca.gov
  • pubs.cde.ca.gov
  • star.cde.ca.gov

Note that when these sites are the target of Intranet links, “CDE Internet” is included in the link notation. This applies to links to both Web documents and to Web pages. The External Link Icon is not used, but the link does open in a new window.

Intranet Web Site

Any CDE development Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • staging.cde.ca.gov
  • dev.cde.ca.gov
  • istaging.cde.ca.gov
  • iadev.ca.gov
  • webapptest.cde.ca.gov
  • webapptest2.cde.ca.gov

Note that when these sites are the target of Intranet links, the site name is included in the link notation. This applies to links to both Web documents and to Web pages. The External Link Icon is not used, but the link does open in a new window.

Any publicly available CDE Web site with cde.ca.gov domain, such as:

  • www.cde.ca.gov
  • www2.cde.ca.gov
  • www3.cde.ca.gov
  • api.cde.ca.gov
  • chavez.cde.ca.gov
  • dq.cde.ca.gov
  • pubs.cde.ca.gov
  • star.cde.ca.gov

Intranet Web Site.

Note that links from a publicly available CDE Web site to the CDE Intranet are very rare. While these links are considered external links, they are indicated with “ (CDE Intranet) “ in the link notation and they also require other special handling. Contact the Web Services Office whenever this type of link is being considered. The External Link Icon is not used, but the link does open in a new window.

Hyperlinked URLs vs. Hyperlinked Descriptive Text

When a URL is hyperlinked and it is an external link, the location is already indicated because it is part of the URL (the domain). In the following example, the location is indicated because the domain is “usc.edu”:

When descriptive text is hyperlinked and it is an external link, the location is not always evident, so the External Link icon ( External link opens in new window or tab. ) must be appended immediately behind the link. For example:

Document Information

The document type is never indicated for links to Web pages, but is required for all other Web documents and files whether the link is internal or external.

A document size notation is required whenever the Web document file size is equal to or greater than 1 megabyte or when the type of file is a sort of multimedia (a sound or video file).

Just like for location information, document information in hyperlinked URLs is already indicated because it is part of the URL (the file name). In the following examples, the location is indicated because the file name ends in “.pdf” and the file that is equal to or larger than 1MB is so noted:

When descriptive link text is hyperlinked, the document type must be included in the link notation. For example:

While all of the examples above illustrate links to either Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents or Windows Media Video (WMV) files, the same standard applies to all Web documents or other non-Web page files. The following table shows the abbreviations that are to be used for other documents/file types:

Document Type/Abbreviation

Document Type

Abbreviation

Microsoft Word Document

DOC

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

XLS

Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations

PPT

Adobe Portable Document Format

PDF

Macromedia Flash; Captivate

Flash

Audio

MP3, WMA

Video

WMV, MOV

Programming

EXE

Text

TXT

Zip Archive

ZIP

iCalendar

ICS

Date Information

Date information is optional as part of any link notation. When used, it is always the last item within a link notation. Date information consists of a calendar date preceded by a modifying term.

The calendar date is always formatted dd-Mmm-yyyy (01-Jan-2007). If a single day is not known, the Mmm-yyy format (Jan-2007) may be used.

A modifying term must precede the calendar date. Modifying terms always have their first letter capitalized with their remaining letters in lowercase. The following modifying terms are allowed:

One and only one of the above modifying terms must be used if date information is to be included as part of a link notation. The modifying term and only the modifying term may be changed to the color red, to bold, or to both the color red and bold. For example:

The modifying term "New" may only be used for 60 days. If the 60-day limitation presents problems, consider adding content that explains the recentness of the link in the link description instead of using "New" as a modifying term in the link notation. Contribute users must set the WebNETS review date for any Web page or Web document that includes "New" to be no more than 60 days from the action date. The following is an example of an alternative for new:

First Class: A Guide for Early Primary Education (Posted 05-Jul-2012)

Coming Soon

While not actually a link notation, "Coming Soon" is a very similar notation that is used with hyperlinked descriptive text to indicate that a link will be added in the near future. It would never be added to a hyperlinked URL, because the presence of the URL indicates that the link has arrived and is not coming (soon or not).

The "Coming Soon" notation must be included in parenthesis immediately following descriptive link text and it can only be used for a maximum of 60 days.

If a link is not expected to be added within 60 days, descriptive text formatted to be an upcoming hyperlink is not appropriate. A solution for these cases is to write a sentence or two that explains the type of content that will soon be added to the site without formatting this information to be like a hyperlink. Text formatting changes, such as red text or bold may not be added to this notation. Contribute users must set the page review date for any Web page or Web document that includes "Coming Soon" to be no more than 60 days from the action date.

Putting it All Together

According to the standards outlined above, link notations can include location, document, and date information. Location and document information may each be required in some cases, while date information is always optional and may be included whether or not other link notations is present.

Whenever the multiple elements of link notations are used, they are separated by a semicolon (;) and they are always noted in the following order: location information, document information, and date information.

Examples of Hyperlinks on CDE Web Pages

Example

Source Web Site

Same or New Tab or Window?

Explanation

Web page name

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to another Web page on the same Web site.

Web document name (DOC)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to a Word document that is less than 1MB on the same Web site.

Web document name (PDF; 2MB)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to an Adobe PDF document that is equal to or greater than 1MB on the same Web site.

Presentation name (PPT; 4MB)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to PowerPoint presentation that is equal to or greater than 1MB on the same Web site.

Multimedia name (WMV; 10:27)

Internet or Intranet

N/A

Link to a multimedia file that is less than an hour long on the same Web site.

Executable program name (EXE; 2MB)

Internet or Intranet

N/A

Link to a executable program that is equal to or greater than 1MB on the same Web site.

Captivate file name (Flash)

Internet or Intranet

N/A

Link to a Captivate file on the same Web site.

Text file name (TXT)

Internet or Intranet

N/A

Link to a text file that is less than 1MB on the on the same Web site.

Web page name | DOC

Internet or Intranet

Same

Links to a Web page and to a Word document that is less than 1MB on the same Web site.

Web document name (DOC) | PDF

Internet or Intranet

Same

Links to a Word document and an Adobe PDF document that are both less than 1MB on the same Web site.

Web page name | PDF (1MB)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Links to a Web page and an Adobe PDF document that is equal to or greater than 1MB on the same Web site.

Web document name (DOC; 2MB) | PDF (3MB)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Links to a Word document and an Adobe PDF document that are both equal to or greater than 1MB.

Web page name External link opens in new window or tab.

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to a Web page on a different Web site.

Web document name External link opens in new window or tab.  (PDF)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to an Adobe PDF document that is less than 1MB on a different Web site.

Web document name External link opens in new window or tab.  (PDF; 1MB)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to an Adobe PDF document that is equal to or more than 1MB on a different Web site.

Web document name (CDE Internet; DOC)

Intranet Only

New

Link to a Word document that is less than 1MB on the CDE Intranet Web site.

Presentation name External link opens in new window or tab.  (PPT)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to a PowerPoint presentation that is less than 1MB on a different Web site.

Multimedia name External link opens in new window or tab.  (MP3; 03:54)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to a multimedia file on a on a different Web site.

Web page name External link opens in new window or tab.  | DOC External link opens in new window or tab.

Internet or Intranet

New

Links to a Web page and a Word document that are both less than 1MB both on a different Web site.

Web document name External link opens in new window or tab.  (DOC) | PDF External link opens in new window or tab.

Internet or Intranet

New

Links to a Word document and an Adobe PDF documents that are both less than 1MB on a different Web site.

Web page name (Updated 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to a Web page on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Web document name (PDF; 2MB; New 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to an Adobe PDF document that is equal to or greater than 1MB on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Web document name (DOC; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to a Word document that is less than 1MB on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Presentation name (PPT; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to a PowerPoint document that is less than 1MB on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Multimedia name (WMV; 10:27; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Link to a multimedia file on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Web page name (Posted 01-Jan-2007) | DOC (Posted 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Links to a Web page and to a Word document that is less than 1MB on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Web document name (DOC; Corrected 01-Jan-2007) | PDF (Corrected 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

Same

Links to a Word document and an Adobe PDF document that are both less than 1MB on the same Web site using the optional date notation.

Web page name External link opens in new window or tab.  (Posted 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to a Web page on a different Web site using the optional date notation.

Web document name External link opens in new window or tab.  (PDF; 1MB; New Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to an Adobe PDF document that is equal to or greater than 1MB on a different Web site using the optional date notation.

Presentation name External link opens in new window or tab.  (PPT; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to PowerPoint presentation that is equal to or greater than 1MB on a different Web site using the optional date notation.

Multimedia name External link opens in new window or tab.  (MP3; 01:30; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

New

Link to a multimedia file on a on a different Web site using the optional date notation.

Web document name (CDE Internet; DOC; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Intranet Only

New

Link to a Word document that is less than 1MB on the CDE Intranet Web site using the optional date notation.

Calendar event title (iCal)

Internet or Intranet

N/A

Link to an iCalendar event/appointment that is on the same Web site.

Calendar event title External link opens in new window or tab.  (iCal; Revised 01-Jan-2007)

Internet or Intranet

N/A

Link to an iCalendar event/appointment that is on a different site using the optional date notation.

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