In Writing Space, Jay David Bolter states that hypertext is the "remediation of print" (p. 46). He means that hypertext builds on its predecessor just as the book built upon the format of the scroll, movies built upon the format of stage productions, etc.
Bolter's "remediation of print" notion specifically points to the specifics of print such as use of a table of contents, footnotes and the organization of print (libraries).
While there are traditional tables of context found on websites (menus), hypertext replaces some of those functions normally performed by the menu. Hypertext lets the user accurately move ahead or behind to specifically desired information rather than moving straight through a text as the author may have written it or intended. In the same sense, as a reader reads written text, they may highlight portions deemed especially useful. Hypertext makes an assumption that the user will find the linked information especially useful.
Hypertext is a clear refashion of the traditional footnote. As Bolter points out on page 27, "it would be intolerably pedantic to write footnotes" to achieve the same layers of writing offered by hypertext. Whereas, traditional printed footnotes referenced a bibliography found in the same book, the bibliography referenced text found elsewhere - perhaps not readily available to the reader unless the reader was in a space holding all of those texts. Which brings us to libraries:
The librarian or library system was traditionally used to efficiently obtain complementary information. When coining the term "hypertext" in 1963, sociologist and philosopher Ted Nelson suggested "literature is an ongoing system of interconnecting documents" - like a library. Hypertext allows a user to automatically find suggested, complementary information to what they're currently reading such as a librarian does. While Nelson offers very useful information and has pioneered multiple areas of communication, it should be noted that he claimed "most people are fools, most authority is malignant, God does not exist, and everything is wrong." I bring this up because we as technical communicators construct our work in large part based on our idea of the user. Nelson considered his user as quoted.
Hypertext refashions print just as symbols refashion concepts, books refashioned scrolls, scrolls refashioned wall writings and so on. Each new format attempts to simplify its predecessor making it more efficient, more usable.