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 WordPress Pages And Posts

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

This tutorial shows you how to add HTML symbols and characters to your WP posts.


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

How To Insert Special Characters Into Your WP Posts & Pages

If you would like 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 Editor - Special Character button

(WordPress Content Editor – Special Character button)

Select a character inside 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 the browser then interprets as 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 the end of this tutorial for references useful information 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 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 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 smilie ;))

How to create smileys

(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 WordPress Posts And Pages

HTML Special Characters Helper

The HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin is free 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 - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

Installing HTML Special Characters Helper

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

HTML Special Characters tool

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

To display more characters, click on the See more link at the bottom of the widget …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire list of special characters is displayed with characters categorized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Complete list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Complete character list)

Hovering over any of the symbols displays the code for the character and its name …

Hover over any character to bring up HTML entity encoding

(Hover over any symbol to view codes)

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

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

If you are working inside the visual editor mode the symbol itself is added to your post text …

Character inserted into 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 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

This is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing if you do any work in Text mode and want the ability to add special symbols without having to switch to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Installing HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin

(Add HTML Entities Button)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see new buttons displayed in the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality - Text Mode

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality – Text Mode)

This plugin lets you 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 feature)

Add HTML entities while you work in Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities functionality

(Insert HTML entities item)

Insert emoticons into your page content …



You can also add WP Emojis …

Insert WP Emojis button

(Insert A WP Emoji)

This useful plugin includes lets you select icons from an extensive choice …


(Emoticon Library)


Note: For even more emoticons, look at installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you insert more than 1,100 emoticons into your posts and pages …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert recent posts link

(Insert links to recent posts)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the default link, go here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - plugin for WordPress

(Keep Emoticons As Text 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 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 was available in those settings.

Special Characters – Useful Resources:

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

Inserting Special Characters Into Your WP Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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