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 Your WP Pages And Posts

Special characters and symbols like © ® ™ and others often need to be inserted into content.

This tutorial will show you how to insert special characters and symbols into your content.

Important Info

For more information about using the WordPress Content editor go here:

Inserting Special Characters Into WP Pages And Posts

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 …

Insert Character button - WordPress Content Editor

(Insert Character button – WordPress Editor)

Select the symbol you want to use from the Special character table to add it to your text …

Special character pop-up window

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding a combination of characters inside your website page that browsers then interpret as special 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 additional information about HTML 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 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 smiley ;))

How to create smilies

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

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

Adding Symbols And Characters To Content In WordPress – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

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

Install HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin

(Adding HTML Special Characters Helper)

After installing and activating the plugin, a new HTML Special Characters widget will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters tool)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Full list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list)

Hovering over a special character reveals the HTML code for the character and its name …

Hover your mouse over an item to bring up codes

(Hover your mouse over an item to display HTML codes)

If you’re working in the Text editor, this plugin can be very useful because it allows you to 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 inserted into the text at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

Note that when used inside the visual editor the special character itself is added to the post text …

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, note that the Visual Editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the menu. If you only plan to stick to using 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 work in Text mode and want the ability to add special symbols without switching over to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - plugin

(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 within your dashboard …

Installing HTML Entities Button plugin

(Install HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

After the plugin has been installed, you will see that new buttons have been added to your Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Items

(HTML Entities Button Functionality – Text Editor)

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 functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters feature)

Add HTML entities while working inside the Text editor mode …

Insert HTML entities

(HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your post content …



Add WP Emojis to your content …

WP Emoji

(Add A WP Emoji)

This useful plugin includes lets you choose emojis from an extensive range …

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library – HTML Entities plugin for WordPress)


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

WP Emoji One - WordPress plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert recent posts link

(Insert recent posts link)

To learn how to add 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 its Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that was available via the settings.

Special Characters – Useful Resources:

Visit the sites below for useful resources about HTML characters and symbols:

Adding Special Characters To Your WordPress Pages & Posts

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"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 founder of and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.