How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

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Inserting Special Characters Into WP Posts And Pages

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

This tutorial will show you how to insert custom characters and symbols into your pages and posts.


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

How To Add Special Characters To WP Pages And Posts

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 …

WordPress Editor - Special Character button

(Special Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Select the item you would like to use from the Special character popup window to add it to your text …

Special character chart

(Special character chart)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding a combination of characters in the web page that the web browser then interprets as special symbols.

Some examples of popular 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 further below for references useful resources about special 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 smilies 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 smileys

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

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

Plugins For Adding Symbols And Characters To Content In WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Special Characters Helper”) to install the plugin directly from inside the Plugin admin area …

Install HTML Special Characters Helper

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper)

After the plugin has been installed, you will see that an HTML Special Characters functionality has been added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper widget)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Complete list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

Hovering over a symbol brings up the HTML code for the special character as well as its name …

Hover your mouse over an item to display HTML codes

(Hover over a symbol to view HTML codes)

If you’re using Text editor mode, this plugin is useful because it lets you insert special characters without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any special character from the table and the character encoding will be inserted into the text  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

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

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character inserted into post in Visual mode)

Also, note 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 unnecessary. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin that you may want to consider installing if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add special characters without switching over to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin repository, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Entities Button”) to install the plugin directly from inside the Plugin admin area …

Install HTML Entities Button

(Installing HTML Entities Button)

After installing the plugin, you will see a row of new buttons displayed in the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Functionality - Text Mode

(HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities feature

(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)

Add HTML entities while you work in Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities

(Add HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your content …

Add Emoticons

(Insert Emoticons)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

WP Emoji

(Choose An Emoji button)

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

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library)

Useful Info

Note: For even more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you insert 1,000+ emoticons into your post content …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert links to your most recent posts

(Insert links to recent posts button)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress default 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 its 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 the Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available via the settings.

Useful Info:

The links below provide useful information about special characters and symbols:

Adding Special Characters And Symbols To Your WordPress Posts And Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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