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 Special Characters Into WP Posts And Pages

When creating content, you may need to add HTML characters and symbols to your WordPress posts.

This tutorial will show you how to add HTML symbols and characters to your WordPress posts and pages.


For a tutorial about using the WordPress Content editor go here:

How To Insert Custom Symbols And Characters Into WP Pages And Posts

If you want 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 …

Insert Custom Character button - WordPress Editor

(Special Character button – WordPress Editor)

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

Special characters

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations inside your page that browsers then convert into special symbols.

Here are some commonly-used 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 links to useful resources useful information about custom characters and symbols.

Using Smileys 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 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 smilie ;))

How to create smileys

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

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

Inserting Special Characters Into WordPress – Useful Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

The HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin is free that can be very handy  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and would like to add special characters to your pages and posts …

HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name to install it directly from inside the dashboard …

Install HTML Special Characters Helper

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters Helper widget)

To access more characters, 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 full list of symbols is displayed with characters organized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Complete list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Full character list)

Hovering over any item shows the code for the special character and its name …

Hover over any symbol to bring up codes

(Hover over an item to view codes)

If you’re using Text editor mode, this plugin can be very useful because it lets you insert special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character from the table and the encoded character will be inserted into your post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor)

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

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the toolbar menu. If you only plan to stick to using the Visual Editor, then this plugin is unnecessary. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin you may want to consider installing on your website or blog if you do any work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom symbols without having to keep switching over to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button - WordPress plugin

(HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress)

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

Add HTML Entities Button

(Adding HTML Entities Button)

After the plugin is installed, you will see that new buttons have been inserted into your Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Menu Items - Text Mode

(HTML Entities Button Menu Items)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

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

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while you work inside the Text editor mode …

HTML entities feature

(Insert HTML entities functionality)

Insert emoticons into your page content …

Add Emoticons feature

(Add Emoticons item)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Insert An Emoji

(Insert A WP Emoji)

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




Note: If you need more emoticons, consider installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One lets you insert 1,000+ emojis into your posts and pages …

WP Emoji One - plugin for WordPress

(WP Emoji One)

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

Insert links to your most recent posts

(Insert links to your most recent posts)

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

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text 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 the Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available via the settings.

Special Characters – Additional Information:

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

Inserting Special Characters Into Your WordPress Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"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)


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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of and the author of The WordPress User Manual. provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

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