So why are the hyperlinks blue, anyway?

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You may have noticed by now that while some links are gold and / or bold, most links are blue, especially on old web pages. But why? TL; DR’s answer is that the Mosaic browser, released in early 1993, used blue links, and as the browser was widely distributed, blue became the norm. Alright, good. But why they or they to choose blue? It’s a question that requires a deep dive into technology through the ages as the web and personal computing have developed in tandem.

It’s important to remember that the idea of ​​hyperlinks predates the invention of color monitors, which thickens the plot a bit. But the focal point seems to be Windows 3.1, released on April 6, 1992, when the hyperlink blue becomes a navigation and interactive color. A year later, the April 12, 1993 release notes for Mosaic include a bullet that becomes the point of origin for the blue hyperlinks:

Changed default anchor representations: solid blue and single underline for unvisited visitors, dark purple, and single dotted underline for visitors.Mosaic release notes

Around the same time, the Cello browser was developed at Cornell Law, which also used blue hyperlinks. Thus, the concept of blue hyperlink was probably browser independent even before the arrival of Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.

The writer assumes that blue was chosen to stand out from black and white once color monitors took over, and that sounds legitimate to us. Can you imagine any blue hyperlinks on Hackaday, however? Ouch.

Speaking of important questions in the history of computing: who invented the mouse?


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