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 Into Your WP Pages & Posts

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

This tutorial explains how to add HTML symbols and characters to your posts.


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

Inserting Special Symbols And Characters Into 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 …

Insert Character button - WordPress Content Editor

(WP Editor – Insert Custom Character button)

Click on the character you would like to use from the Special character table to add it to your post or page …

Special character table

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations inside your page that web browsers then interpret as symbols.

Some examples of commonly-used 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 references useful resources 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 smileys 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 smilies

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

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

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

This plugin 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 posts …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install the plugin directly from the Plugin admin area …

Installing HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper plugin)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

To see more symbols, click on the See more link at the foot of the tool …

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 list

(HTML Special Characters – Full character list)

Hover over a special character to bring up the HTML code for the special character and its name …

Hover your mouse over any character to display codes

(Hover over an item to view codes)

If you are using Text editor mode, this plugin is handy because it allows you to add special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol inside the widget and the encoded character will be added to the text  …

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

When used inside the visual editor the symbol itself is added to your post body …

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character inserted into post in Visual mode)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Editor has its own special characters tool, which is accessible via the toolbar 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 custom characters.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin you may want to look at installing on your website or blog if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add special symbols without having to keep switching over to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - plugin

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Add HTML Entities Button

(Installing HTML Entities Button – plugin)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that a row of new buttons have been added to your Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Items - Text Mode

(HTML Entities Button Items)

This plugin allows you to 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 button)

Add HTML entities while you work inside the Text editor …

Insert HTML entities

(Add HTML entities)

Insert emoticons into your text …

Emoticons functionality

(Insert Emoticons)

You can also add WP Emojis …

EP Emojis

(Insert An Emoji button)

This plugin includes lets you choose emojis from an extensive range …

Emoticons - HTML Entities plugin for WordPress

(Emoticons – HTML Entities plugin for WordPress)


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

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts feature

(Insert links to recent posts functionality)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the default link 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 used to be available via the settings.

Special Characters – Additional Resources:

Click on the links below for more resources and information about using custom characters and symbols:

Inserting Special Characters And Symbols Into Your WP Posts And Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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