n. A document with a nonlinear, multidimensional structure with links between parts, allowing the document to be read in many different sequences.


The term was coined by Ted H. Nelson in 1965.


Levy 2001, 110Vannevar Bush is generally credited with coming up with the idea of hypertext (but not its name); his Memex system – envisioned in a paper published in 1945 but never implemented – stored text fragments on microfiche. Yet the notion of non-linear Webs of text is an ancient one – surely as old as annotation – and other hypertext-like designs precede Bush's in the twentieth century. Levy 2001, 110All the current talk about hypertext as a medium that will liberate the reader from the tyranny of the author is pure hype. Levy 2001, 149It was Ted Nelson who first coined the term 'hypertext.' Nelson and Douglas Englebart are considered to be the fathers of computer-based hypertext, the ability to link fragments of text together via computer, allowing the reader to follow a link from one piece of text to another. (The more recent term 'hypermedia' is a further generalization of hypertext, in which not only text but other media types, such as static graphics, animation, and sound, are linked together.)