How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

Inserting Custom Characters And Symbols Into Your WP Pages & Posts

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

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to insert special symbols and characters into your pages and posts.

Useful Information

We have created a detailed tutorial that explains how to use the WordPress editor here:

How To Insert Custom Characters Into Your 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 Insert Character button …

WP Editor - Insert Character button

(WordPress Content Editor – Insert Character button)

Click on an item inside the Special character chart to insert it into your text …

Special characters

(Special character pop-up window)

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 your web browser then converts into symbols.

Here are some examples of popular HTML character entities:

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 additional information about HTML 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 smileys 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 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 smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Inserting Symbols And Characters Into Your Content – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper - WordPress plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

Add HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper tool

(HTML Special Characters widget)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full list of special characters is displayed with characters organized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire list

(HTML Special Characters – Complete character list)

Hover over any of the items to reveal the HTML code for the character and its name …

Hover over an item to view HTML codes

(Hover your mouse over a symbol to see HTML entity encoding)

If you’re using the Text editor, 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 character or symbol in the list and the character encoding will be added to the post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

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

Character inserted into post in Visual editor

(Character added to 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 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 look at installing if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom characters without switching to Visual editor tab …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)

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

Install HTML Entities Button - plugin

(Add HTML Entities Button)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that new buttons have been inserted into the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Menu Items – Text Editor)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities button

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa (i.e. convert HTML entities to special characters) …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

Add HTML entities while working in the Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities

(Add HTML entities)

Insert emoticons into your posts and pages …

Emoticons button

(Add Emoticons button)

You can also add WP Emojis …

Emoji item

(Choose WP Emojis functionality)

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

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library)


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

WP Emoji One - WordPress plugin

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts functionality

(Insert links to recent posts button)

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 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 deselecting 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 and information about using special characters and symbols:

Inserting Custom Symbols And Characters Into Your WP Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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

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