How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

Learn how to insert special characters and symbols into your WordPress posts and pages …

How To Add Custom Symbols And Characters To WP Pages & Posts

When creating content, you may need to add custom characters and symbols to your WordPress posts.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to insert HTML symbols and characters into your posts and pages.


For a tutorial about using the WordPress Content editor go here:

How To Add Special Characters To WP Pages & Posts

If you need to add special characters and symbols to your content (like  © ® ™ etc), open up a new or existing Post or Page, then make sure you are using the WordPress Visual Editor and click on the Insert Custom Character button …

WP Content Editor - Insert Custom Character button

(WordPress Editor – Special Character button)

Select a character inside the Special character table to add it to your text …

Special characters

(Special character chart)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding a combination of characters inside your web page that your web browser then converts into special symbols.

Some examples of popular HTML character entities are shown below:

Add Custom Character Into WordPress


  • When you click on the Select custom character symbol in the Visual Editor, WordPress places the character entity code for you into your content. If you’re working in Text Editor mode, you can also add a character entity by just typing in the code directly (or using the plugin shown in the tutorial below).
  • See the end of this tutorial for references useful resources about HTML characters and symbols.

Using Smileys In WordPress

Smilies, also known as “emoticons,” are used to convey emotions in your writing. They can be used to brighten up your posts, express disapproval, confusion, sadness, anger, etc… 🙂

Text smilies are created by typing two or more punctuation marks. For example:



By default, WordPress automatically converts text smilies to graphic images. Thus, when you type 😉 in your post you see 😉 when you preview or publish your post.

You can turn off this feature using plugins (see below), so that when you type 😉 in your post, you will see 😉 instead of ;-).

The screenshot below shows a number of smilie images you can use in your content and the characters used to produce these (note: in some instances, you can use multiple text options to display the same smiley ;))

How to create smileys

(How to create smileys. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

For more information about using Smileys in WordPress, go here:

Adding Special Characters To WordPress – Useful Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

HTML Special Characters Helper is a free plugin that can be very useful  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and need to add special characters to your pages and posts …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin here, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install it directly from inside your Plugin admin area …

Adding HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper)

After the plugin has been installed, an HTML Special Characters tool will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters Helper tool

(HTML Special Characters)

To view more characters, click on the See more link at the bottom of the tool …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire list of characters is displayed with characters categorized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Complete list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Complete list)

Hovering over any of the symbols displays the code for the character and its name …

Hover your mouse over an item to bring up HTML codes

(Hover your mouse over an item to see HTML codes)

If you’re using the Text editor, this plugin is useful because it lets you insert special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any symbol inside the widget and the character encoding will be inserted into your post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that when used in the visual editor mode the special character itself is added to the post text …

Character inserted into post in Visual editor

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, note that the Visual Editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the default editor menu. We recommend installing this plugin only if you work in Text mode and want to avoid switching to the Visual Editor when adding special symbols.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing if you work in Text mode and want to be able to add special characters without having to keep switching over to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Entities Button”) to install the plugin directly from within your Plugin admin area …

Install HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin

(Installing HTML Entities Button – plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that a row of new buttons have been inserted into the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality)

This plugin lets you convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities button

(Convert special characters to HTML entities feature)

Or vice-versa (i.e. convert HTML entities to special characters) …

Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

Add HTML entities while you work inside the Text editor mode …

HTML entities

(Add HTML entities)

Insert emoticons into your text …

Insert Emoticons

(Emoticons functionality)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

WP Emoji button

(Choose An Emoji item)

This plugin includes lets you select emoticons from an extensive library …


(Emoticon Library)


Note: For even more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you add 1,000+ emojis to your content …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One)

Another thing you can add with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to your latest posts …

Insert recent posts link

(Insert links to recent posts item)

To learn more about adding internal links to your content using the default internal linking, go here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text plugin

(Keep Emoticons As Text – plugin for WordPress)

Prior to WordPress version 4.3, WordPress included an option in the “Formatting” section of the Writing Settings (Convert emoticons like 🙂 and 😛 to graphics on display) which instructed WordPress to convert all of the emoticons in your posts into image smileys. This checkbox was enabled by default and allowed users to turn off the feature by unticking the box.

After the release of version 4.3, WordPress removed the “Formatting” section from its Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.

Useful Resources:

The links below provide additional information about special characters and symbols:

Adding Special Characters To WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

Congratulations! Now you know how to add special characters and symbols to your posts and pages.


"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill,


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Originally published as How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages.