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 Special Symbols And Characters Into WP Pages & Posts

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

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


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

Inserting Special Symbols And Characters Into Your WordPress Pages & Posts

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 Custom Character button …

WP Editor - Insert Custom Character button

(WordPress Content Editor – Insert Custom Character button)

Select the character you want to use from the Special character table to add it to your post (or page) …

Special characters

(Special character chart)

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

Some examples of commonly-used HTML characters 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 article for links to useful resources additional resources about custom characters and symbols.

Using Smilies In WordPress

Smileys, 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 smiley ;))

How to create smilies

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

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

Adding Special Characters To Your Content – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(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 inside the WordPress dashboard …

Add HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin for WordPress

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin)

After the plugin is installed and activated, a new HTML Special Characters functionality will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire list of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters categorized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Full list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

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

Hover over a character to display HTML codes

(Hover your mouse over a character to view HTML codes)

If you’re using the Text editor, this plugin is handy because it lets you insert special characters without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol inside the table and the character encoding will be added to your text at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

When used inside the visual editor mode the special character itself is added to your text …

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character inserted into 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. If you only use the Visual Editor, then this plugin is redundant. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin that you may want to consider installing if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom characters without having to switch to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Installing HTML Entities Button

(Install HTML Entities Button)

After the plugin has been installed, you will see a row of new buttons added to the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Items)

The HTML Entities Button plugin lets you 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 feature)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

HTML entities

(HTML entities button)

Add emoticons to your text …

Insert Emoticons feature

(Insert Emoticons)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

Insert An Emoji

(Insert An Emoji)

This plugin includes an extensive emoticon library …

Emoticon Library - HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin


Important Info

If you need more emoticons, consider installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you add 1,000+ emoticons to your posts and pages …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One)

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

Insert links to recent posts item

(Insert links to your most recent posts)

To learn more about adding internal links to your content using the WordPress default internal linking, see this tutorial:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - WordPress plugin

(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 used to be available via the settings.

Special Characters – Useful Information:

Visit the sites below for additional information about special characters and symbols:

Adding Special Characters To WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

Congratulations! Now you know how to add custom characters and symbols to your content.


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