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 Custom Symbols And Characters To WP Posts & Pages

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

This tutorial explains how to add HTML symbols and characters to your content.


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

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To Your WP Posts And Pages

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 Insert Custom Character button …

Insert Character button - WP Content Editor

(WordPress Content Editor – Insert Character button)

Click on the character you would like to use from the Special character pop-up window to insert it into your post (or page) …

Special characters

(Special character pop-up window)

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 the 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 further below for references additional information about custom 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 smilies

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

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

Plugins For Inserting Special Characters Into Your Content

HTML Special Characters Helper

This plugin is free that can be very handy  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 plugin for WordPress

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

Install HTML Special Characters Helper

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters widget)

To view 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 labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire character list

(HTML Special Characters – Full list)

Hovering over any of the items displays the HTML code for the character as well as its name …

Hover over an item to display HTML codes

(Hover over an item to see codes)

If you are using Text editor mode, this plugin is handy because it lets you insert special characters without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any symbol or character inside the widget and the character encoding will be added to your post text  …

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

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

Character added to post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Editor has its own special characters tool, which is accessible via the default menu. We recommend installing this plugin only if you plan to work in Text mode and want to avoid switching to the Visual Editor in order to add custom characters.

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin you may want to look at installing on your site if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom symbols without switching to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - WordPress plugin

(HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)

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

Install HTML Entities Button - plugin

(Adding HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)

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

HTML Entities Button Menu Items

(HTML Entities Button Items – Text Editor)

This 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 …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while working in the Text editor …

Add HTML entities feature

(Add HTML entities functionality)

Add emoticons to your page content …

Emoticons button


You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

EP Emojis

(Choose WP Emojis functionality)

This plugin includes lets you select icons from an extensive library …




If you need more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One allows you to insert more than 1,100 emoticons into your content …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts button

(Insert links to recent posts feature)

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 - WordPress plugin

(Keep Emoticons As Text – plugin for WordPress)

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 its Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.

Useful Info:

Click on the links below for useful information about HTML characters and symbols:

Inserting Special Symbols And Characters Into WordPress Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"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