1 A technique for ensuring that when one object is embedded in another, the latest version of the embedded object is always seen (see embedding). This is achieved by using a reference to the embedded object rather than a copy of it. For instance if part of a spreadsheet were embedded in a word-processor document, a hot link would ensure that if the spreadsheet were updated, the changes would also appear in the document. See also object linking and embedding.
2 A word or phrase in a hypertext document that when selected using a mouse or cursor keys causes information relevant to the word or phrase to be displayed. If this were a hypertext dictionary, selecting “hypertext” above would cause the appropriate definition to be displayed. The hot link is usually highlighted in some way.