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 Your WP Posts And Pages

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

This tutorial explains how to insert custom symbols and characters into your posts.


If you need help using the WordPress editor go here:

Adding Special Characters To WP Pages And 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 Character button …

Insert Character button - WordPress Editor

(Special Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Click on the symbol you want to use from the Special character pop-up window to insert it into 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 a combination of characters in the website page that your browser then interprets as 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 further below for links to useful resources additional 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 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 smiley ;))

How to create smileys

(How to create smileys. 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

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(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 Plugin admin area …

Adding HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper tool

(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 full table of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters categorized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Full list of characters)

Hovering over a symbol brings up the HTML entity encoding for the character as well as its name …

Hover over any symbol to display codes

(Hover your mouse over an item to bring up codes)

If you’re working with the Text editor, this plugin is handy because it allows you to insert a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any special character from the widget and the character encoding will be inserted into the text  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

Note that when used in the visual editor tab the special character itself is added to your text …

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the default menu. If you only plan to stick to using the Visual Editor, then this plugin is unnecessary. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing on your website if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add special characters without switching over to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)

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

Install HTML Entities Button plugin

(Install HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that new buttons have been inserted into the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Menu Items - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Items)

This 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 you work in Text editor mode …

HTML entities item

(Add HTML entities feature)

Add emoticons to your page content …


(Add Emoticons feature)

You can also add WP Emojis …

Insert A WP Emoji

(Choose An Emoji feature)

This useful plugin includes a wide selection of images …

Emoticons - HTML Entities Button plugin

(Emoticons – HTML Entities Button)


If you need more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One allows you to insert 1,000+ emoticons into your post content …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One – plugin for WordPress)

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

Insert recent posts link

(Insert links to recent posts feature)

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

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text plugin

(Keep Emoticons As Text)

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:

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

Adding Special Characters To Your WP Pages & Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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