Symbols like © ® ™ and special characters often need to be inserted into content.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add custom characters and symbols to your WP pages and posts.
We have created a detailed step-by-step tutorial that explains how to use the WordPress editor here:
Inserting Special Symbols And Characters Into WP Pages & 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 Custom Character button …
(WordPress Editor – Insert Custom Character button)
Select the item you would like to use from the Special character table to add it to your post or page …
(Special character chart)
These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations into your web page that the web browser then interprets as special symbols.
Here are some commonly-used HTML characters:
- 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 information about custom characters and symbols.
Using Smilies 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 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 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 smilie ;))
(How to create smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)
For more information about using Smileys in WordPress, go here:
Plugins For Adding Special Characters To Your Content
This is a free plugin 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)
You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository, or search for the plugin by name to install it directly from within the Plugin admin area …
(Install HTML Special Characters Helper)
After installing and activating the plugin, you will see an HTML Special Characters section appear in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …
(HTML Special Characters Helper)
To display more characters, click on the See more link …
(HTML Special Characters – See more link)
The entire list of symbols is displayed with characters organized into labeled sections …
(HTML Special Characters – Full list)
Hovering over any of the items brings up the code for the special character and its name …
(Hover your mouse over any symbol to view HTML entity encoding)
If you are using Text editor mode, this plugin can be very useful because it lets you add a special character without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character inside the list and the encoded character will be inserted into your post text at the current cursor location …
(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)
If you are working in the visual editor tab the character itself is added to your text …
(Character added to post in Visual mode)
Also, keep in mind that the Visual Editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the menu. We recommend installing this plugin only if you work in Text mode and want to avoid switching to the Visual Editor in order to add custom characters.
The HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin is another free plugin you may want to look at installing if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add custom characters without switching to Visual editor tab …
(HTML Entities Button)
You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name to install the plugin directly from the dashboard …
(Installing HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)
After the plugin is installed, you will see that new buttons have been added to your Text editor menu …
(HTML Entities Button Items – Text Editor)
This plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …
(Convert special characters to HTML entities functionality)
Or vice-versa (i.e. convert HTML entities to special characters) …
(Convert HTML entities to special characters)
Add HTML entities while working in the Text editor …
(Insert HTML entities)
Add emoticons to your posts and pages …
(Insert Emoticons item)
Add WP Emojis …
(Choose An Emoji)
This useful plugin includes a library of emojis …
(Emoticons – HTML Entities Button plugin)
Note: If you need more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One. This plugin allows you to add 1,000+ emoticons to your pages and posts …
(WP Emoji One – plugin for WordPress)
Another thing you can use the HTML Entities Button plugin for is to add links to your recent posts …
(Insert links to recent posts)
Learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress default link tool here:
(Keep Emoticons As Text)
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 its Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.
Click on the links below for more resources and information about using custom characters and symbols:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add custom characters and symbols to your posts.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)