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technique for organizing computer databases or documents to facilitate the nonsequential retrieval of information. Related pieces of information are connected by preestablished or user-created links that allow a user to follow associative trails across the database. The linked data may be in a text, graphic, audio, or video format, allowing for multimediamultimedia,
in personal computing, software and applications that combine text, high-quality sound, two- and three-dimensional graphics, animation, photo images, and full-motion video.
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 presentations; when more formats than text are linked together, the technique is often referred to as hypermedia. Hypertext applications offer a variety of tools for very rapid searches for specific information; they are particularly useful for working with voluminous amounts of text, as are found in an encyclopedia or a repair and maintenance manual. See also information storage and retrievalinformation storage and retrieval,
the systematic process of collecting and cataloging data so that they can be located and displayed on request. Computers and data processing techniques have made possible the high-speed, selective retrieval of large amounts of information for
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; World Wide WebWorld Wide Web
(WWW or W3), collection of globally distributed text and multimedia documents and files and other network services linked in such a way as to create an immense electronic library from which information can be retrieved quickly by intuitive searches.
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See G. P. Landow, ed., Hyper/Text/Theory (1994); J. A. Lennon, Hypermedia Systems and Applications: World Wide Web and Beyond (1997); D. Lowe and W. Hall, Hypermedia and the Web: An Engineering Approach (1999).

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(computer science)
A data structure in which there are links between words, phrases, graphics, or other elements and associated information so that selection of a key object can activate a linkage and reveal the information.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


computer software and hardware that allows users to create, store, and view text and move between related items easily and in a nonsequential way; a word or phrase can be selected to link users to another part of the same document or to a different document
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A term coined by Ted Nelson around 1965 for a collection of documents (or "nodes") containing cross-references or "links" which, with the aid of an interactive browser program, allow the reader to move easily from one document to another.

The extension of hypertext to include other media - sound, graphics, and video - has been termed "hypermedia", but is usually just called "hypertext", especially since the advent of the World-Wide Web and HTML.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


A linkage between related information. Hypertext is the major feature of the Web, enabling users to click or tap a link in order to switch to another part of the same page, another page on the same site or to a website anywhere in the world. Hypertext is the umbrella term for all links, whether appearing as text (word, phrase or sentence) or as an icon or other graphical element, the latter technically called a "hypergraphic." The terms "hypertext," "hyperlink" and "link" are synonymous. See hypermedia, live link and virtual hypertext.

The term was coined by Ted Nelson in 1963, but his vision was more expansive than the one-way links of today's Web. Nelson proposed two-way linking and support for non-hierarchical organization (for more information, visit www.xanadu.com).

Three Decades Later
In 1991, the Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at the CERN European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland. Although the Web did not embody hypertext as Nelson envisioned it, the Web's hypertext created the largest information explosion the world has ever witnessed. See World Wide Web.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The secondary orality of hypertext fiction discussed above adds complexity to our view of media development.
Another point of departure from oral narrative is the hypertext reader's narrative reshuffling--as well as the author's--which finds new dimensions in the text any time it is dis/re/assembled.
Becker and Dwyer (1994) examined the impact of students' intrinsic motivation for a learning task and found that learners who used the hypertext program were more self-determined and their motivation was higher than those who used paper-based texts.
Relationships among online metacognitive strategies, hypermedia annotations, motivation, and hypertext comprehension
Using schema theory, hypertext fiction can be seen to "tune" (Rumelhart and Norman) a reader's existing hypertext narrative schema.
While schema theory can be used to explain how readers might respond to links in literary hypertext, without indicative examples of how individual links operate within specific texts, any conclusions about the way in which readers process links rely on generalization or are
They must think of the spatial component, site planning, the use of hypermedia, hypertext and ultimately, the audience.
Effects of overviews and computer experience on learning from hypertext. Journal of Computing Research, 25(4), 427-440.
However, the subtitles were preserved because they provided essential features for the texts due to the fact that (a) in the hypertexts, they should be converted into nodes, and (b) the linear versions and the hypertext versions needed to have similar characteristics.
Moreover, hypertext inherently lends itself to inter-textual linking.
The kinds of interactions that hypertext fictions present may therefore be reflective of wider changes in communicative practices, while also posing a radical challenge to the prevailing "idea of dialogue" we have from the print novel.