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How to Reference a Specific Paragraph or Sentence in WordPress Posts

Do you want to reference a specific paragraph or sentence in a WordPress post?

When linking to information online, sometimes linking to a web page is not enough. It’s often better to take your readers to the exact paragraph or sentence.

In this article, we’ll show you how to reference a specific paragraph or sentence in your WordPress posts.

How to Reference a Specific Paragraph or Sentence in WordPress Posts

Why Reference Specific Parts of a Post?

When you create a new post on your WordPress blog, you may wish to link to a specific paragraph or sentence.

For example, a journalist may need to reference the exact source of a quote. Or a blogger can make it easy for their readers to jump to a specific section of the blog post.

If you simply link to a long web page, then your readers may find it difficult to locate the information. Taking them to the right paragraph or sentence and highlighting the relevant text offers a better user experience.

Let’s look at how to link to a specific paragraph or sentence in your WordPress posts. We’ll cover two methods. The first will often work better for posts on your own blog, while the second method is better for external links.

Method 1: Linking to a Specific Part of a Post Using Anchor Links

The best way to link to a specific section of the posts on your own WordPress website is to use anchor links. This method won’t highlight the sentence or paragraph, but unlike Method 2, it will work with all web browsers.

Anchor links will immediately jump your readers to a specific place on the same page that is marked with an ID attribute. They are often used when building a table of contents. However, anchor links can also link to specific sections of other posts.

You will need to be able to edit the post to add an ID attribute to the sections you wish to link to. However, if you notice that an external website has used ID attributes, such as in a table of contents, then you can use them in links as well.

Anchor Links Rely on HTML Anchor ID Attributes

Once you know the ID of a specific section of the post, then you can use it to build a link. It will look something like this:

<a href="#linkedsection">

Or, if you wish to link to an ID attribute on a different web page, then the link will look like:

<a href="https://urltowebpage/#linkedsection">

To learn the right way to create anchor links, see our step-by-step guide on how to easily add anchor links in WordPress.

Method 2: Linking to Highlighted Text Using Google Chrome

Google Chrome can create links to specific paragraphs and sentences found on web pages. Introduced to the browser in version 90, this feature was first available in a Chrome extension called Link to Text Fragment, however, that extension is no longer needed.

This method works for linking to other websites because it doesn’t rely on ID attributes or the page’s formatting. It also automatically highlights the text that you are linking to. However, the link it creates will not work with all web browsers.

You should start by highlighting the text you wish to reference. After that, you need to right-click the text and choose ‘Copy Link to Highlight’ from the menu.

Choose 'Copy Link to Highlight' From the Menu

Here is an example of a link to highlight. As you can see, it includes a link to the URL of the web page followed by the characters #:~: and then the highlighted text.

These links will work with any compatible browser, including Chrome and Edge, and version 80 and above of all Chromium-based browsers.

This is how it will look when your Chrome users click on a link to a highlight:

Link to a Text Fragment Preview in Chrome

However, links to highlights are not supported by all browsers.

For example, they are currently not supported by Firefox or Safari. The links will take you to the correct web page, but not to the quoted section, and they won’t display a highlight.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to reference specific paragraphs and sentences in WordPress posts. You may also want to learn how to increase your blog traffic, or check out our list of tips to speed up WordPress performance.

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