How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

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Inserting Special Characters And Symbols Into Your WP Pages And Posts

When creating content, you may need to insert custom symbols and characters into your posts and pages.

This tutorial explains how to insert HTML characters and symbols into your posts and pages.

Useful Info

If you need help using the WordPress Content editor go here:

Adding Custom Characters And Symbols To WordPress Posts & Pages

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 Character button …

Insert Character button - WordPress Content Editor

(Insert Custom Character button – WP Content Editor)

Click on the symbol you want to use from the Special character pop-up window to insert it into your post or page …

Special characters

(Special character chart)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations into your website page that the browser then interprets as special symbols.

Some commonly-used 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 article for links to useful resources additional information about special 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 smilie ;))

How to create smileys

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

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

Adding Symbols And Characters To Your Content – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

This is a free WordPress plugin that can be very useful  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and would like to add special characters and symbols to your posts and pages …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Special Characters Helper”) to install the plugin directly from within the WP dashboard …

Installing HTML Special Characters Helper

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin)

After installing the plugin, a new HTML Special Characters widget will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters Helper widget

(HTML Special Characters)

To view more characters, click on the See more link …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Full character list

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list)

Hover over any of the items to show the code for the special character as well as its name …

Hover over a character to see HTML entity encoding

(Hover over an item to display codes)

If you are using the Text editor, this plugin is useful because it allows you to add a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any special character in the table and the character encoding will be added to the post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

Note that if you’re working in the visual editor tab the special character itself is added to your post body …

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 tool, which is accessible via the menu. We recommend installing this plugin only if you plan to work in Text mode and want to avoid switching to the Visual Editor when adding special symbols.

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin that you may want to consider installing on your website or blog if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add special characters without having to switch to Visual editor tab …

HTML Entities Button

(HTML Entities Button plugin)

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

Adding HTML Entities Button plugin

(Install HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that new buttons have been added to the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality)

This plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while working in the Text editor …

HTML entities

(Insert HTML entities)

Insert emoticons into your posts and pages …

Add Emoticons button

(Emoticons functionality)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

Add WP Emojis functionality

(Insert A WP Emoji functionality)

This plugin includes lets you choose emoticons from an extensive range …

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library)


Note: For even more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you add 1,000+ emojis to your pages and posts …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One plugin)

One more thing you can use the HTML Entities Button plugin for is to add links to recent posts …

Insert recent posts link

(Insert links to recent posts functionality)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the default internal linking, go here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text

(Keep Emoticons As Text – WordPress plugin)

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 the Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available in those settings.

Special Characters – Additional Information:

Visit the sites below for useful resources about HTML characters and symbols:

Adding Special Symbols And Characters To WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie


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