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 Symbols And Characters To WordPress Pages And Posts

When creating content, you may need to insert HTML symbols and characters into your posts.

This tutorial will show you how to insert custom characters and symbols into your WP posts and pages.


For a tutorial about using the WordPress editor go here:

How To Add Special Characters And Symbols To Your WP Pages And 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 …

WordPress Editor - Insert Custom Character button

(WP Editor – Insert Custom Character button)

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

Special characters

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations inside your page that browsers then interpret as symbols.

Here are some examples of popular HTML character entities:

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 custom characters and symbols.

Using Smilies 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 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:

Plugins For Inserting Special Characters Into WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

This is a free WordPress plugin that can be very useful  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and would like to add special characters and symbols to your posts and pages …

HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin here, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install it directly from inside the dashboard …

Installing HTML Special Characters Helper - WordPress plugin

(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper tool

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full list of symbols is displayed with characters categorized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Full list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

Hover over any of the symbols to reveal the HTML entity encoding for the character and its name …

Hover your mouse over any symbol to see HTML entity encoding

(Hover your mouse over an item to view codes)

If you’re using Text editor mode, this plugin is useful because it allows you to insert special characters without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any special character in the list and the character encoding will be added to your text at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

When used inside the visual editor tab the character itself is added to the text …

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character inserted into 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. If you only plan to 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 if you do any work in Text mode and would like to be able to add special symbols without switching to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Entities Button”) to install the plugin directly from the Plugin admin area …

Installing HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress

(Installing HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

After installing the plugin, you will see that a row of new buttons have been inserted into the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality

(HTML Entities Button Functionality)

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 …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities functionality

(Insert HTML entities functionality)

Insert emoticons into your post content …

Insert Emoticons

(Add Emoticons)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

EP Emojis

(Choose An Emoji item)

This useful plugin includes lets you select images from an extensive library …

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library – HTML Entities Button plugin)

Important Info

Note: For even more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin allows you to add more than 1,100 emojis to your post content …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

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

Insert recent posts link

(Insert links to recent posts functionality)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress link tool here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - WordPress plugin

(Keep Emoticons As Text)

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 used to be available via the settings.

Additional Info:

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

Inserting Special Characters Into WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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