Meaning of Hypertext

What is Hypertext:

Hypertext is a concept associated with computing. It refers to the system that allows text fragments to be linked together, allowing the user to access information through related items instead of doing it sequentially.

The concept of hypertext was created in the 1960s by the American philosopher and sociologist Theodor Holm Nelson to designate the new non-linear and interactive reading that emerged with computers and the appearance of the Internet.

To carry out the hypertext process, the World Wide Web (www) used the HTTP protocol, an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol which in Spanish means Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which consists of a communication protocol between information systems that allows the transfer of data between computer networks to link HTML pages or web pages and multimedia files.


Hypertext example. Each link leads to another page, which breaks the linearity of reading.

In this sense, we can observe a great difference in reading with respect to printed books, since in them the reading is done sequentially from the beginning to the end, and in the case of hypertexts, users can do it in non-linear way, that is, they can visualize the information without a sequence but following their interests in their search or concept.

From the appearance of computers, the texts acquired a new interactive dynamic in accordance with the speed of the information that is currently received, being advantageous for the area of ​​education by facilitating comprehension and presenting a type of dynamic and interactive narrative.

A notorious example of hypertext are Internet articles, which in the body of the text present various links or hypertext links in the words or in the topics that are related to the main topic or in development, which allows the reader to have a reading more active and choosing the information you prefer to access. We can also mention dictionaries, encyclopedias, among others.

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In the field of literature, there are claims by literary theorists that the use of hypertexts are not only used in digital media but can go further, since it was used in the development of some works, given that the author It offers a non-sequential reading, with links to other stories, excerpts from other authors, etc. For example: Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar.

See also:

  • Word Wide Web or WWW.
  • HTML.

hypertext and hypermedia

The concept of hypermedia was also created by Theodor Holm Nelson and is related to the definition of hypertext, since it corresponds to the fusion of non-sequential and interactive elements. For some scholars, hypertext is a type of hypermedia with the difference that the former only contemplates texts while the latter presents images, videos, audio, graphics, for example: social networks, blogs, computer products such as power point or flash, etc. and it is worth noting the first system related to the hypermedia Aspen Movie Map.