WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

Symbols and special characters like © ® ™ and others often need to be inserted into content.

This tutorial shows you how to add HTML symbols and characters to your pages and posts.

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

Adding Special Symbols And Characters To WP Posts And 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 Special Character button …

(WordPress Editor – Insert Custom Character button)

Select a character inside the Special character pop-up window to add it to your post (or page) …

(Special character table)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations inside your website page that your browser then converts into special symbols.

Some examples of commonly-used HTML character entities are shown below:


Using Smileys In WordPress

Smileys, 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 smiley 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 smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Adding Symbols And Characters To WordPress Posts And Pages – Useful Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

(HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin directory, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install the plugin directly from within the dashboard …

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper)

After the plugin is installed and activated, a new HTML Special Characters section will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

(HTML Special Characters section)

To access more characters, click on the See more link at the bottom of the widget …

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

(HTML Special Characters – Entire character list)

Hovering over a character brings up the HTML code for the character as well as its name …

(Hover over any character to see HTML entity encoding)

If you’re using the Text editor, this plugin can be very useful because it allows you to insert special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character from the widget and the encoded character will be added to your text at the current cursor location  …

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that if you are working in the visual editor mode the character itself is added to your post body …

(Character inserted into post in Visual editor)

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

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin you may want to consider installing on your site if you do any work in Text mode and want to be able to add custom symbols without having to switch to Visual mode …

(HTML Entities Button)

You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name to install the plugin directly from your WP dashboard …

(Install HTML Entities Button – plugin)

After installing the plugin, you will see new buttons added to the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality)

This plugin lets you convert special characters to HTML entities …

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa …

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while you work inside the Text editor …

(Add HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your page content …

(Add Emoticons)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

(Choose WP Emojis)

This useful plugin includes lets you select emojis from an extensive library …

(Emoticon Library)

Note: If you need more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One allows you to add more than 1,100 emojis to your content …

(WP Emoji One)

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

(Insert links to recent posts)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in internal linking tool here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

(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 graphical 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 unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.

Useful Resources:

Click on the links below for useful information about special characters and symbols:

(Source: Pixabay)

Congratulations! Now you know how to insert HTML characters and symbols into your posts and pages.


"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group