Abstract: A method and apparatus for traversing a hypertext system is provided. A set of descriptive document index terms is provided for documents in the database. Means are provided for the user to specify both the set of relevant index term values and the weighted relative ranking of the set of index terms. Means are provided for comparing the set of index terms specified by the user with sets of document index terms. The comparisons result in a ranked list of the selectively linked electronic documents. In one aspect, the electronic documents are ranked in accordance with the relevancy of each document with respect to the user. In another aspect, each electronic document in that database is indirectly linked with the user's present position through intermediate, dynamically generated tree links. The intermediate tree links are generated in accordance with the relevancy of each document with respect to the user and the efficiency of each index term to differentiate between relevant documents.