There are more ways of styling links than just "line underline", dashed underline and dotted underline. You can style links in any way defined in the W3C's Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) specification. For example:
- Using the
text-decoration-style property, you can apply a normal underline, a double underline, a dotted underline, a dashed underline or a wavy underline.
- Using properties for borders, you can set a border at the top, right, bottom, or left of the link, or any combination of these (and choose different colours and thickness for each border, should you be so inclined),
- Using background-related properties, you can change the background colour or even set a background image.
- You can of course also set a different text colour from the surrounding text.
- You can vary the above based on the link state (using CSS pseudo-classes), e.g. one style for unvisited links, another style for visited links, a third style for when the mouse pointer hovers over the link, a fourth style for when the link receives keyboard focus and a fifth style when the link is being activated (someone clicked on the link but the page has not yet disappeared).
That's a lot of options and freedom, and not all combinations and possibililties make sense if you want to make a website usable and accessible. In the "old days", when browser support for CSS was still limited, links were usually underlined. When CSS support improved and the use of navigation menus (to the left or right of the main content) increased, designers increasingly used colour instead of underlines to identify links.
button element) and "fake" buttons (