How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

Adding Special Symbols And Characters To Your WP Pages & Posts

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

This tutorial shows you how to insert HTML symbols and characters into your WP posts and pages.


For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

Adding Special Characters And Symbols To WordPress 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 Special Character button …

WordPress Editor - Insert Character button

(Special Character button – WordPress Editor)

Select an item inside the Special character pop-up window to insert it into your post or page …

Special characters

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations in the website page that web browsers then convert into symbols.

Some commonly-used HTML characters 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 links to useful resources 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 smileys 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 smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Plugins For Adding Special Characters To Content In WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

This plugin for WordPress is free that can be very handy  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and need to add special characters and symbols to your content …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin)

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

Installing HTML Special Characters Helper

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin)

After installing the plugin, an HTML Special Characters widget will display inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters functionality)

To view more symbols, 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

(HTML Special Characters – Complete character list)

Hovering over a symbol brings up the HTML code for the special character and its name …

Hover over a character to display HTML entity encoding

(Hover over any symbol to see HTML codes)

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

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

When used in the visual editor tab the symbol itself is added to the text …

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character added to post in Visual mode)

Also, keep in mind 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 that you may want to consider installing if you do any work in Text mode and would like to be able to add special symbols without having to keep switching over to Visual editor tab …

HTML Entities Button

(HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin here, or search for “HTML Entities Button” to install the plugin directly from your dashboard …

Install HTML Entities Button

(Installing HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

After the plugin has been installed, you will see new buttons displaying in the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality – Text Editor)

This plugin lets you 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 you work in the Text editor …

Insert HTML entities

(Insert HTML entities functionality)

Add emoticons to your post content …

Add Emoticons feature

(Add Emoticons button)

You can also add WP Emojis …

Emoji button

(Add A WP Emoji)

This useful plugin includes an extensive library of emojis …

Emoticons - HTML Entities Button plugin


Important Info

Note: If you need more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you insert 1,000+ emoticons into your content …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

One more thing you can insert with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to your latest posts …

Insert links to your most recent posts

(Insert links to recent posts feature)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress link, see this tutorial:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - WordPress plugin

(Keep Emoticons As Text)

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

Additional Info:

Click on the links below for additional resources about special characters and symbols:

Inserting Custom Characters And Symbols Into Your WP Pages & Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum