How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

Inserting Custom Characters Into Your WordPress Posts And Pages

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

This tutorial will show you how to add special symbols and characters to your content.

Important Info

For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

Inserting Special Characters And Symbols Into Your WordPress Posts & Pages

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 …

Insert Character button - WP Editor

(Special Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Select the item you want to use from the Special character chart to add it to your text …

Special characters

(Special characters)

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

Here are some 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 further below for references useful resources 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 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 smiley 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 smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Inserting Symbols And Characters Into WordPress – Useful Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name to install the plugin directly from the Plugin admin area …

Install HTML Special Characters Helper

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see an HTML Special Characters tool appear in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters Helper widget

(HTML Special Characters tool)

To see more symbols, click on the See more link at the foot of the widget …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Full list

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

Hover over any of the characters to display the code for the character as well as its name …

Hover your mouse over a character to see HTML codes

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

If you’re working inside the Text editor, this plugin is useful because it lets you insert a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol inside the widget and the character encoding will be inserted into the post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor)

If you’re working inside the visual editor tab the character itself is added to the post body …

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character inserted into post in Visual editor)

Also, note that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the editor 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 work in Text mode and want to be able to add custom symbols without switching to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button)

You can download the plugin here, or search for “HTML Entities Button” to install it directly from the dashboard …

Adding HTML Entities Button

(Install HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress)

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

HTML Entities Button Items - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Functionality – Text Mode)

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 feature)

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

Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

Add HTML entities while working inside the Text editor …

HTML entities feature

(Add HTML entities)

Insert emoticons into your page content …

Add Emoticons button

(Add Emoticons feature)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Add A WP Emoji functionality

(Insert A WP Emoji feature)

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

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library)


Note: If you need more emoticons, look at installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin allows you to insert more than 1,100 emoticons into your pages and posts …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts functionality

(Insert links to recent posts item)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress default link, see this tutorial:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - WordPress plugin

(Keep Emoticons As Text – WordPress 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 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 deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available via the settings.

Useful Info:

The sites below provide additional resources about special characters and symbols:

How To Add Special Characters To WP Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

Congratulations! Now you know how to insert custom characters and symbols into your pages and 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)