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 Insert Custom Characters And Symbols Into WP Posts & Pages

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

This tutorial shows you how to insert HTML symbols and characters into your WordPress posts.


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

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To Your WordPress 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 …

WordPress Editor - Insert Custom Character button

(WP Editor – Insert Character button)

Select a symbol inside the Special character table to insert it into your post or page …

Special character table

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding a combination of characters into your page that the browser then interprets as symbols.

Some examples of popular 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 references useful resources 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 smileys 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:

Inserting Symbols And Characters Into Your Content – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

This is a free plugin for WordPress that can be very handy  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and need to add special characters and symbols to your content …

HTML Special Characters Helper plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

Add HTML Special Characters Helper plugin

(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, an HTML Special Characters tool will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters widget)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full list of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters organized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Full list of characters)

Hover over any of the symbols to reveal the code for the character as well as its name …

Hover your mouse over a symbol to bring up codes

(Hover your mouse over any character to see HTML codes)

If you are using the Text editor, this plugin is handy because it lets you add a special character without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any special character in the list and the encoded character will be inserted into your post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

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

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual mode)

Also, note that the Visual Editor has its own special characters popup helper, 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 special symbols.

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 want the ability to add special symbols without having to switch to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button - plugin

(HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

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

Add HTML Entities Button plugin

(Install HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see a row of new buttons added to your Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Items - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Menu Items)

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 functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

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

HTML entities

(Add HTML entities button)

Insert emoticons into your post content …

Insert Emoticons feature

(Add Emoticons item)

You can also add WP Emojis …


(WP Emoji)

This useful plugin includes an extensive library of icons …

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library)


If you need more emoticons, look at installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One lets you add more than 1,100 emoticons to your page content …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One – plugin for WordPress)

One more thing you can insert with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to your latest posts …

Insert recent posts link

(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 – plugin for WordPress)

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 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 unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.

Special Characters – Additional Information:

Visit the sites below for additional resources about special characters and symbols:

Adding Custom Characters To WP Posts And Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum


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