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 WordPress Posts And Pages

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

This tutorial shows you how to insert HTML characters and symbols into your posts.

Important Info

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

How To Insert Custom Characters Into WordPress Pages & Posts

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 Special Character button …

WP Editor - Special Character button

(Insert Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Select an item inside the Special character popup window to insert it into your text …

Special character chart

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations inside your page that your web browser then interprets as symbols.

Here are some examples of popular HTML characters:

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 additional information about HTML characters and symbols.

Using Smileys 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 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 smileys. 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

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

HTML Special Characters Helper plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

Install HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see a new HTML Special Characters tool displayed inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters)

To display more characters, click on the See more link at the foot of the tool …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Complete character list

(HTML Special Characters – Complete list)

Hovering over any special character brings up the code for the special character as well as its name …

Hover over a character to display HTML entity encoding

(Hover over a character to view HTML codes)

If you are working in Text editor mode, this plugin is useful because it lets you add a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol inside the list and the encoded character will be added to your text at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

If you are working inside the visual editor mode the character itself is added to your post 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 tool, which is accessible via the built-in menu. If you only plan to stick to using the Visual Editor, then this plugin is redundant. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin you may want to consider installing on your website if you do any work in Text mode and would like the ability to add special symbols without having to switch to Visual editor tab …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Installing HTML Entities Button

(Adding HTML Entities Button – plugin)

After installing the plugin, you will see a row of new buttons displayed in the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Items)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa (i.e. convert HTML entities to special characters) …

Convert HTML entities to special characters button

(Convert HTML entities to special characters feature)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

Insert HTML entities button

(HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your text …

Emoticons feature


Add WP Emojis …

WP Emojis button


This plugin includes lets you select emojis from an extensive choice …


(Emoticon Library)


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

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One)

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

Insert links to recent posts button

(Insert recent posts link)

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

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text

(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 deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available via the settings.

Special Characters – Additional Information:

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

Adding Special Characters To WordPress Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now