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 Add Special Symbols And Characters To Your WP Pages & Posts

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

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


For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To Your 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 Special Character button …

Insert Custom Character button - WordPress Content Editor

(WP Editor – Insert Custom Character button)

Click on the character you want to use from the Special character table to add it to your post or page …

Special characters

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding a combination of characters into your web page that browsers then interpret 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 useful resources about special 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 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 smilies

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

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

Plugins For Inserting Symbols And Characters Into Your Content

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper - WordPress plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

Install HTML Special Characters Helper plugin

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters section)

To see more symbols, 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

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

Hover over any character to show the HTML entity encoding for the character as well as its name …

Hover your mouse over any character to see HTML entity encoding

(Hover over a character to bring up HTML codes)

If you are working with 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 table and the encoded character will be inserted into your text  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

When used in the visual editor tab the special character itself is added to your text …

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character added to post in Visual mode)

Also, note that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters tool, 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 you may want to look at installing on your website or blog if you work in Text mode and want to be able to add special characters without having to keep switching over to Visual editor tab …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Add HTML Entities Button plugin

(Installing HTML Entities Button plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that new buttons have been added to the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality – Text Editor)

This plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities functionality

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

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

Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while you work in the Text editor mode …

Insert HTML entities

(Insert HTML entities feature)

Insert emoticons into your content …

Add Emoticons button

(Insert Emoticons)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Insert A WP Emoji functionality

(Choose An Emoji)

This plugin includes an extensive icon library …

Emoticon Library

(Emoticons – HTML Entities plugin for WordPress)

Useful Info

For even more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One allows you to insert more than 1,100 emoticons into your posts and pages …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One plugin)

Another thing you can use the HTML Entities Button plugin for is adding links to your most recent posts …

Insert recent posts link

(Insert links to recent posts functionality)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the default internal linking tool here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - plugin for WordPress

(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 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 was available in those settings.

Special Characters – Additional Resources:

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

How To Insert Custom Characters Into Your WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya