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 Special Symbols And Characters To WordPress Pages And Posts

Symbols like © ® ™ and special characters often need to be inserted into content.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add HTML symbols and characters to your WP posts.

Important Info

For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

Inserting Special Characters And Symbols Into Your WordPress Posts And 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 Custom Character button …

Insert Character button - WP Content Editor

(Insert Character button – WP Editor)

Click on the character you want to use from the Special character table to add it to your post (or page) …

Special characters

(Special character popup window)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding a combination of characters in the web page that web browsers then interpret as symbols.

Some examples of commonly-used HTML characters are shown below:

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 links to useful resources useful information 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 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 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:

Useful Plugins For Inserting Symbols And Characters Into WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install it directly from within your WordPress dashboard …

Install HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper)

After installing the plugin, you will see that an HTML Special Characters tool has been added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters widget

(HTML Special Characters)

To see more symbols, click on the See more link …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Full list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

Hover over any of the items to reveal the code for the character and its name …

Hover your mouse over any character to see HTML entity encoding

(Hover over an item to view HTML entity encoding)

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

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that if you are working inside the visual editor tab the character itself is added to your post body …

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character inserted into post in Visual editor)

Also, note that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters tool, 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

The HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing if you do any work in Text mode and want to be able to add custom characters without having to keep switching over to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button

(HTML Entities Button plugin)

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

Add HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress

(Installing HTML Entities Button)

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

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality

(HTML Entities Button Items – Text Mode)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities feature

(Convert special characters to HTML entities feature)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters button

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities functionality

(Insert HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your page content …

Insert Emoticons item

(Emoticons feature)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

Insert WP Emojis button

(Choose WP Emojis)

This useful plugin includes a wide selection of images …

Emoticon Library - HTML Entities Button

(Emoticon Library)

Important Info

If you need more emoticons, consider installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin allows you to insert 1,000+ emojis into your content …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

One more thing you can add with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to your most recent posts …

Insert links to recent posts

(Insert links to recent posts functionality)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the default 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 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 unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.

Additional Information:

The links below provide additional resources about custom characters and symbols:

How To Insert Custom Characters Into WordPress Pages & Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

Congratulations! Now you know how to insert HTML 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

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

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