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 Custom Characters And Symbols To Your WP Posts & Pages

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

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add custom symbols and characters to your posts.

Important Info

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

How To Add Special Characters To WP Posts And Pages

If you want 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 Content Editor - Insert Character button

(Insert Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Select the item you would like to use from the Special character table to add it to your text …

Special characters

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding a combination of characters inside your page that web browsers then interpret as special symbols.

Here are some popular HTML characters:

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 additional resources about custom characters and symbols.

Using Smilies 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 smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Plugins For Inserting Symbols And Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

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 it directly from within your WP dashboard …

Install HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

After the plugin has been installed, an HTML Special Characters functionality will show up inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters section)

To see more characters, click on the See more link at the foot of the widget …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full table of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters categorized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire character list

(HTML Special Characters – Full list)

Hovering over any special character shows the code for the character as well as its name …

Hover over a symbol to bring up HTML entity encoding

(Hover your mouse over an item to display codes)

If you’re using the Text editor, this plugin can be very handy because it lets you add a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character from the list and the encoded character will be added to your post body  …

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

Note that if you’re working inside the visual editor mode the character itself is added to the post text …

Character inserted into post in Visual editor

(Character inserted into post in Visual mode)

Also, note that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters popup helper, 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

The HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing on your website or blog if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add custom symbols without having to switch to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button – plugin)

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

Add HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin

(Installing HTML Entities Button)

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

HTML Entities Button Items

(HTML Entities Button Items)

The HTML Entities Button plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities functionality

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters feature)

Add HTML entities while you work in Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities

(Add HTML entities functionality)

Insert emoticons into your page content …


(Insert Emoticons)

Add WP Emojis …

Add A WP Emoji

(Add WP Emojis)

This plugin includes lets you choose items from an extensive selection …



Useful Info

If you need more emoticons, consider installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin allows you to add more than 1,100 emojis to your post content …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One)

Another thing you can use the HTML Entities Button plugin for is adding links to recent posts …

Insert recent posts link

(Insert recent posts link)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress internal linking tool 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 its Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available via the settings.

Special Characters – Useful Information:

The sites below provide additional resources about special characters and symbols:

Adding Custom Characters To Your WP Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum