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Pelican plugin to set anchor tag's class attribute to differentiate between internal and external links

Project description

Link Class: A Plugin for Pelican

Build Status PyPI Version License

This Pelican plugin allows you to set the class attribute of <a> elements (generated in Markdown by [ext](link)) according to whether the link is external (i.e., starts with http:// or https://) or internal to the Pelican-generated site.

For now, this plugin only works with Markdown. It has been tested with version 3.0+ of the Python-Markdown module and may not work with previous versions.


This plugin is available as a package at PyPI and can be installed via:

python -m pip install pelican-linkclass


In order to avoid clashes with already-defined classes in the user CSS style sheets, it is possible to specify the name of the classes that will be used. They can be specified in the Pelican setting file with the LINKCLASS variable, which must be defined as a list of tuples, like this:

'LINKCLASS' = (('EXTERNAL_CLASS', 'name-of-the-class-for-external-links')
                'INTERNAL_CLASS', 'name-of-the-class-for-internal-links'))

The default values for EXTERNAL_CLASS and INTERNAL_CLASS are, respectively, 'external' and 'internal'.

Styling Hyperlinks

One of the possible uses of this plugins is for styling. Suppose that we have the following Markdown content in your article:

This is an [internal](internal) link and this is an
[external]( link.

If the default configuration variable values are used, then one possible CSS setting could be:

a.external:before {
    content: url('../images/external-link.png');
    margin-right: 0.2em;

(The file external-link.png is also distributed with this plugin. To use it, copy it to the appropriate place in your web site source tree, for instance in theme/static/images/.)

Then, the result will look like the following:


Note that this plugin also works with reference-style links, as in the following example:

This is an [internal][internal] link and this is an
[external][external] link.

 [internal]: internal


Contributions are welcome and much appreciated. Every little bit helps. You can contribute by improving the documentation, adding missing features, and fixing bugs. You can also help out by reviewing and commenting on existing issues.

To start contributing to this plugin, review the Contributing to Pelican documentation, beginning with the Contributing Code section.


Many thanks to Yuliya Bagriy for setting up the package for PyPI, to Lucas Cimon for fixing the issues with pytest, and to Justin Mayer for helping with migration of this plugin under the Pelican Plugins organization.


Copyright (C) 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 Rafael Laboissière (

Released under the GNU Affero Public License, version 3 or later. No warranties.

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