I have a <div> block with some fancy visual content that I don't want to change. I want to make it a clickable link.

I'm looking for something like <a href="…"><div> … </div></a>, but that is valid XHTML 1.1.

Solution 1

Came here in the hope of finding a better solution that mine, but I don't like any of the ones on offer here. I think some of you have misunderstood the question. The OP wants to make a div full of content behave like a link. One example of this would be facebook ads - if you look, they're actually proper markup.

For me the no-nos are: javascript (shouldn't be needed just for a link, and very bad SEO/accessibility); invalid HTML.

In essence it's this:

  • Build your panel using normal CSS techniques and valid HTML.
  • Somewhere in there put a link that you want to be the default link if the user clicks on the panel (you can have other links too).
  • Inside that link, put an empty span tag (<span></span>, not <span /> - thanks @Campey)
  • give the panel position:relative
  • apply the following CSS to the empty span:

      left: 0;
      z-index: 1;
      /* fixes overlap error in IE7/8, 
         make sure you have an empty gif */
      background-image: url('empty.gif');

    It will now cover the panel, and as it's inside an <A> tag, it's a clickable link

  • give any other links inside the panel position:relative and a suitable z-index (>1) to bring them in front of the default span link

Solution 2

You can't make the div a link itself, but you can make an <a> tag act as a block, the same behaviour a <div> has.

a {
    display: block;

You can then set the width and height on it.

Solution 3

This is an ancient question, but I thought I'd answer it since everyone here has some crazy solutions. It's actually very very simple...

An anchor tag works like this -

<a href="whatever you want"> EVERYTHING IN HERE TURNS INTO A LINK </a>


<a href="whatever you want"> <div id="thediv" /> </a>

Although I'm not sure if this is valid. If that's the reasoning behind spoken solutions, then I apologise...

Solution 4

Requires a little javascript. But, your div would be clickable.

<div onclick="location.href='';" style="cursor:pointer;"></div>

Solution 5

This option doesnt require an empty.gif as in the most upvoted answer:


 <div class="feature">
       <a href=""></a>


 div.feature {
        position: relative;

    div.feature a {
        position: absolute;
        width: 100%;
        height: 100%;
        top: 0;
        left: 0;
        text-decoration: none; /* No underlines on the link */
        z-index: 10; /* Places the link above everything else in the div */
        background-color: #FFF; /* Fix to make div clickable in IE */
        opacity: 0; /* Fix to make div clickable in IE */
        filter: alpha(opacity=1); /* Fix to make div clickable in IE */

As proposed at

Solution 6

This is a "valid" solution to achieving what you want.

<style type="text/css">
.myspan {
    display: block;
<a href="#"><span class="myspan">text</span></a>

But most-likely what you really want is to have an <a> tag displayed as a block level element.

I would not advise using JavaScript to simulate a hyperlink as that defeats the purpose of markup validation, which is ultimately to promote accessibility (publishing well-formed documents following proper semantic rules minimizes the possibility the same document will be interpreted differently by different browsers).

It would be preferable to publish a web page that does not validate, but renders and functions properly on all browsers, including ones with JavaScript disabled. Furthermore, using onclick does not provide the semantic information for a screen reader to determine that the div is functioning as a link.

Solution 7

The cleanest way would be to use jQuery with the data-tags introduced in HTML. With this solution you can create a link on every tag you want. First define the tag (e.g. div) with a data-link tag:

<div data-link="">Some content in the div which is arbitrary</div>

Now you can style the div however you want. And you have to create also the style for the "link"-alike behavior:

[data-link] {
  cursor: pointer;

And at last put this jQuery call to the page:

$(document).ready(function() {
  $("[data-link]").click(function() {
    window.location.href = $(this).attr("data-link");
    return false;

With this code jQuery applys a click listener to every tag on the page which has a "data-link" attribute and redirects to the URL which is in the data-link attribute.

Solution 8

Not sure if this is valid but it worked for me.

The code :

<div style='position:relative;background-color:#000000;width:600px;height:30px;border:solid;'>
  <p style='display:inline;color:#ffffff;float:left;'> Whatever </p>     
  <a style='position:absolute;top:0px;left:0px;width:100%;height:100%;display:inline;' href ='#'></a>

Solution 9

To make thepeer's answer work in IE 7 and forward, it needs a few tweaks.

  1. IE will not honour z-index if the element is has no background-color, so the link will not overlap parts of the containig div that has content, only the blank parts. To fix this a background is added with opacity 0.

  2. For some reason IE7 and various compatibility modes completely fail when using the span in a link approach. However if the link itself is given the style it works just fine.

    left: 0;  
    z-index: 1;  
    filter: alpha(opacity=0);  
<div style="position:relative">  
    <some content>  
    <a href="somepage" class="blockLink" />  

Solution 10

you could also try by wrapping an anchor, then turning its height and width to be the same with its parent. This works for me perfectly.

<div id="css_ID">
    <a href="" style="display:block; height:100%; width:100%;"></a>

Solution 11

An option that hasn't been mentioned is using flex. By applying flex: 1 to the a tag, it expands to fit the container.

div {
  height: 100px;
  width: 100px;
  display: flex;
  border: 1px solid;

a {
  flex: 1;
  <a href="">Link</a>

Solution 12

why not? use <a href="bla"> <div></div> </a> works fine in HTML5

Solution 13

This worked for me:




  <a href="YOUR LINK HERE">
    <span class="span-link"></span>



.span-link {
  left: 0;
  z-index: 9999;

This adds an invisible element (the span), which covers your entire div, and is above your whole div on the z-index, so when someone clicks on that div, the click is essentially intercepted by your invisible "span" layer, which is linked.

Note: If you're already using z-indexes for other elements, just make sure the value of this z-index is higher than anything you want it to rest "on top" of.

Solution 14

This example worked for me:

<div style="position: relative; width:191px; height:83px;">
    <a href="link.php" style="display:block; width:100%; height:100%;"></a>

Solution 15

This post is Old I know but I just had to fix the same issue because simply writing a normal link tag with the display set to block does not make the whole div clickable in IE. so to fix this issue far simpler than having to use JQuery.

Firstly let us understand why this happens: IE wont make an empty div clickable it only make the text/image within that div/a tag clickable.

Solution: Fill the div with a bakground image and hide it from the viewer.

How? You ask good questions, now listen up. add this backround style to the a tag

> "background:url('some_small_image_path')
> -2000px -2000px no-repeat;"

And there you have it the whole div is now clickable. This was the best way for me cause Im using it for my Photo Gallery to let the user clik on one half of the image to move left/right and then place a small image as well just for visual effects. so for me I used the left and right images as background images anyway!

Solution 16

Just have the link in the block and enhance it with jquery. It degrades 100% gracefully for anyone without javascript. Doing this with html isn't really the best solution imho. For example:

<div id="div_link">
<h2><a href="mylink.htm">The Link and Headline</a></h2>
<p>Some more stuff and maybe another <a href="mylink.htm">link</a>.</p>

Then use jquery to make the block clickable (via web designer wall):


      window.location=$(this).find("a").attr("href"); return false;


Then all you have to do is add cursor styles to the div

    #div_link:hover {cursor: pointer;}

For bonus points only apply these styles if javascript is enabled by adding a 'js_enabled' class to the div, or the body, or whatever.

Solution 17

This is the best way to do it as used on the BBC website and the Guardian:

I found the technique here:

heres the html

<div class="highlight block-link">
      <h2>I am an example header</h2>
      <p><a href="pageone" class="block-link__overlay-link">This entire box</a> links somewhere, thanks to faux block links. I am some example text with a <a href="pagetwo">custom link</a> that sits within the block</p>


heres the CSS

 * Block Link
 * A Faux block-level link. Used for when you need a block-level link with
 * clickable areas within it as directly nesting a tags breaks things.

.block-link {
    position: relative;

.block-link a {
  position: relative;
  z-index: 1;

.block-link .block-link__overlay-link {
    position: static;
    &:before {
      bottom: 0;
      content: "";
      left: 0;
      overflow: hidden;
      position: absolute;
      right: 0;
      top: 0;
      white-space: nowrap;
      z-index: 0;
    &:focus {
      &:before {
        background: rgba(255,255,0, .2);

Solution 18

<a href="" style="cursor: pointer;"><div>  </div></a>

Solution 19

Actually you need to include the JavaScript code at the moment, check this tutorial to do so.

but there is a tricky way to achieve this using a CSS code you must nest an anchor tag inside your div tag and you must apply this property to it,


when you've done that,it will make the whole width area clickable (but within the height of the anchor tag),if you want to cover the whole div area you must set the height of the anchor tag exactly to the height of the div tag,for example:


this is gonna make the whole area clickable,then you can apply text-indent:-9999px to anchor tag to achieve the goal.

this is really tricky and simple and it's just created using CSS code.

here is an example:

Solution 20

This work for me:

<div onclick="location.href='page.html';"  style="cursor:pointer;">...</div>

Solution 21

You can give a link to your div by following method:

<div class="boxdiv" onClick="window.location.href=''">google</div>
<style type="text/css">
.boxdiv {
    font:13px/17px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

Solution 22

You can make surround the element with a href tags or you can use jquery and use


Solution 23

This is the simplest way.

Say, this is the div block I want to make clickable:

<div class="inner_headL"></div>

So put a href as follows:

<a href="#">
 <div class="inner_headL"></div>

Just consider the div block as a normal html element and enable the usual a href tag.
It works on FF at least.

Solution 24

I pulled in a variable because some values in my link will change depending on what record the user is coming from. This worked for testing :

   <div onclick="location.href='page.html';"  style="cursor:pointer;">...</div> 

and this works too :

   <div onclick="location.href='<%=Webpage%>';"  style="cursor:pointer;">...</div> 

Solution 25

While I don't recommend doing this under any circumstance, here is some code that makes a DIV into a link (note: this example uses jQuery and certain markup is removed for simplicity):

<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery-1.3.2.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">

$(document).ready(function() {
    $("div[href]").click(function () {
        window.location = $(this).attr("href");

<div href="">
     My Div Link

Solution 26

Enclosing your div inside an anchor tag <a href></a> works like charm:

    <a href="">
      <div>anything goes here will turn into a link</div>

Solution 27

My smarty pants answer:

"Evasive answer to: "How to make block level element a hyperlink and validate in XHTML 1.1"


Didn't actually hold true for ie7


Works IE7-9, Chrome, Safari, Firefox,

Solution 28

if just everything could be this simple...

#logo {background:url(../global_images/csg-4b15a4b83d966.png) no-repeat top left;background-position:0 -825px;float:left;height:48px;position:relative;width:112px}

#logo a {padding-top:48px; display:block;}

<div id="logo"><a href="../../index.html"></a></div>

just think a little outside the box ;-)