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 Characters To Your WordPress Posts And Pages

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

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to insert special characters and symbols into your pages and posts.


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

How To Insert Custom Characters And Symbols Into WP 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 …

Special Character button - WordPress Content Editor

(Insert Custom Character button – WP Editor)

Click on a character inside the Special character pop-up window to add it to your text …

Special character chart

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding a combination of characters in the website page that browsers then convert into special symbols.

Here are some examples of commonly-used 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 further below for links to useful resources additional 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 smileys

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

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

Useful Plugins For Inserting Symbols And Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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 would like to add special symbols and characters to your content …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin)

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

Add HTML Special Characters Helper

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper)

After the plugin is installed and activated, a new HTML Special Characters tool will appear inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters section

(HTML Special Characters tool)

To display more characters, click on the See more link …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Full list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Full list of characters)

Hover over any of the symbols to bring up the HTML entity encoding for the special character as well as its name …

Hover over a character to display codes

(Hover over an item to see codes)

If you’re using Text editor mode, this plugin can be very useful because it lets you insert special characters without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character in the list and the character encoding will be added to the post body  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

When used in the visual editor the symbol itself is added to your post body …

Character added to post in Visual mode

(Character inserted into post in Visual editor)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Editor has its own special characters tool, 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 when adding custom characters.

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing if you do any work in Text mode and would like to be able to add special characters without switching over to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Installing HTML Entities Button - plugin

(Adding HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress)

After installing and activating the plugin, 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 Items

(HTML Entities Button Functionality)

The HTML Entities Button plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities button

(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 working inside the Text editor …

HTML entities item

(Add HTML entities item)

Insert emoticons into your post content …

Insert Emoticons button

(Emoticons item)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Emoji button

(Insert A WP Emoji button)

This plugin includes lets you select emojis from an extensive range …


(Emoticon Library)


For even more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin allows you to add 1,000+ emoticons to your pages and posts …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

Another thing you can insert with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to your most recent posts …

Insert links to recent posts feature

(Insert recent posts link)

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

(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 the Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available via the settings.

Useful Information:

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

How To Insert Special Characters Into Your WP Pages And Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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Originally published as How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages.