Adding smart links to articles

The quicktags “link” button will let you add links if you know the URL. But you can also add automatic, [smart links->Smart link plugin] that grab the URL from the links that the web site already knows about: pages, articles, links, and categories, in that order.

For example, a link to the [conference information->] section of the PCCBS web site does not require that you know the link. It requires only that you look over to the category listing on the right and type the name. If the category’s URL ever changes, all articles that reference it as a smart link will update automatically. This is especially useful for e-mail addresses or other links that change regularly.

Easy smart links

The easiest smart links are those whose link text should be the same as the name of the place it is going to. For example, the link to conference information above was made by typing:

`[conference information->]`

The category is called “conference information”, so putting those words in brackets and ending with a -> is all you need to do to make a smart link to that category. The same is true with link names, article names, and page names.

Changing the link text

If you want the link text to be different from the name of the item you’re linking to, place the link text in front of the -> and the name of the item you’re linking to after the ->. For example, the link to the smart link plugin but with the text “smart links” above was made with:

`[smart links->Smart link plugin]`

Non-existent links

If a page, article, link, or category matching the smart link does not exist, the smart link will display just the link text, without making an invalid link. Once a page, article, link, or category is created that matches the smart link, the smart link will be updated. So you can add smart links to your articles and then later add links (or other articles, etc.) without worrying about having invalid links on your pages.

Linking to searches

You can also use smart links to link to search engines without having to figure out the often complex search engine syntax. The smart link plugin understands several different search engines. You make a smart search link with `[link text->search text@searchname]`. A simple search for [Oscar Wilde->@google] can be made with:

`[Oscar Wilde->@google]`

Just as with other smart links, you can change the link text. To link to the [definition of counterculture->counterculture@dictionary] use:

`[definition of counterculture->counterculture@dictionary]`

Among the searches that the smart link plugin understands are dictionary, google, amazon, wikipedia, and me. “Me” is a special search that searches this PCCBS site.

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