How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

Adding Custom Characters And Symbols To Your WP Pages And Posts

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

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

Useful Information

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

How To Insert Custom Characters And Symbols Into WordPress 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 …

Insert Custom Character button - WP Content Editor

(WordPress Content Editor – Insert Character button)

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

Special character popup window

(Special character table)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding a combination of characters inside your website page that the web browser then converts into special symbols.

Some 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 the end of this article for links to useful resources useful 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 smilies 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 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 smilie ;))

How to create smileys

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

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

Plugins For Inserting Special Characters Into Your Content

HTML Special Characters Helper

This is a free WordPress plugin that can be very useful  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and would like to add special characters to your pages and posts …

HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

Install HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that a new HTML Special Characters section has been added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters tool

(HTML Special Characters)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire list of special characters is displayed with characters organized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Full list

(HTML Special Characters – Full list of characters)

Hover over any item to reveal the code for the special character as well as its name …

Hover your mouse over a character to bring up codes

(Hover your mouse over an item to display codes)

If you are working inside the Text editor, this plugin can be very useful because it lets you add special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any symbol or character from the list and the character encoding will be added to your post text  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor)

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

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 plan to work in Text mode and want to avoid switching to the Visual Editor when adding custom characters.

HTML Entities Button

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

HTML Entities Button

(HTML Entities Button plugin)

You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name to install it directly from inside the Plugin admin area …

Add HTML Entities Button - plugin

(Installing HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

After the plugin is installed, you will see that a row of new buttons have been inserted into the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Menu Items

(HTML Entities Button Items – Text Editor)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities functionality

(Convert special characters to HTML entities feature)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

Insert HTML entities button

(HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your content …

Add Emoticons

(Emoticons feature)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

WP Emoji feature

(Add An Emoji feature)

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



Useful Info

Note: For even more emoticons, look at installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One lets you insert 1,000+ emojis into your content …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One)

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

Insert links to recent posts functionality

(Insert links to recent posts)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in link tool here:

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 unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available in those settings.

Useful Info:

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

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To Your WordPress Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)