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 Insert Custom Characters And Symbols Into Your WP Posts And Pages

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

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


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

How To Add Custom Characters To WordPress 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 Insert Character button …

WordPress Content Editor - Insert Custom Character button

(Insert Character button – WP Content Editor)

Click on the character you want to use from the Special character table to insert it into your post (or page) …

Special character chart

(Special character table)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations inside your web page that your browser then interprets as 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 further below for links to useful resources useful information about custom 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 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 smiley ;))

How to create smilies

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

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

Plugins For Inserting Symbols And Characters Into Content In WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin)

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

Add HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin)

After the plugin has been installed, you will see an HTML Special Characters functionality appear in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters section

(HTML Special Characters Helper tool)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full table of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters organized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire character list

(HTML Special Characters – Entire character list)

Hovering over an item reveals the code for the character as well as its name …

Hover over any character to display HTML entity encoding

(Hover over a symbol to bring up HTML codes)

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

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

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

Character added to post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual mode)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Editor has its own special characters tool, which is accessible via the built-in menu. If you only plan to stick to using the Visual Editor, then this plugin is unnecessary. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin you may want to look at installing on your site if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom symbols without switching over to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin

(HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name to install it directly from your WordPress dashboard …

Add HTML Entities Button

(Add HTML Entities Button)

After installing the plugin, you will see a row of new buttons displayed in your Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Menu Items - Text Mode

(HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality – Text Editor)

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 functionality)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while working in the Text editor mode …

HTML entities functionality

(Add HTML entities button)

Insert emoticons into your post content …

Insert Emoticons


Add WP Emojis …

Insert An Emoji functionality

(Insert A WP Emoji)

This useful plugin includes lets you choose images from an extensive selection …


(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 post content …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One plugin)

Another thing you can insert with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to recent posts …

Insert links to recent posts item

(Insert links to recent posts feature)

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

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text

(Keep Emoticons As Text plugin)

Prior to WordPress version 4.3, WordPress included an option in the “Formatting” section of its 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 used to be available via the settings.

Special Characters – Useful Resources:

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

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To Your WP Pages & Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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