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 Custom Characters Into WP Pages And Posts

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

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


For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To WordPress 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 - WP Content Editor

(Insert Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Click on the symbol you would like to use from the Special character table to insert it into your text …

Special character popup window

(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 web browsers then convert into 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 further below for links to useful resources additional resources about HTML 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 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 smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Inserting Symbols And Characters Into WordPress – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

This 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 posts …

HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

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

Adding HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, a new HTML Special Characters widget will appear inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters Helper functionality

(HTML Special Characters section)

To display more symbols, click on the See more link at the bottom of the tool …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire table of symbols is displayed with characters categorized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Complete list

(HTML Special Characters – Complete character list)

Hovering over any of the items brings up the code for the special character as well as its name …

Hover your mouse over a character to see HTML codes

(Hover over an item to view HTML entity encoding)

If you are working in Text editor mode, this plugin can be very handy because it allows you to add special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character in the table and the encoded character will be inserted into your post text  …

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that if you are working in the visual editor the character itself is added to the post text …

Character added to post in Visual mode

(Character inserted into 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 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 consider installing on your website if you do any work in Text mode and want the ability to add special symbols without having to switch to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - plugin

(HTML Entities Button)

You can download the plugin here, or search for “HTML Entities Button” to install it directly from inside your Plugin admin area …

Install HTML Entities Button - WordPress plugin

(Install HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

After the plugin is installed, you will see that new buttons have been added to the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while you work in Text editor mode …

HTML entities functionality

(Add HTML entities feature)

Insert emoticons into your posts and pages …

Insert Emoticons feature

(Emoticons button)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Add An Emoji

(Emoji item)

This plugin includes an extensive library of images …


(Emoticon Library)

Important Info

Note: For even more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One lets you add more than 1,100 emoticons to your pages and posts …

WP Emoji One plugin

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts

(Insert links to recent posts button)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in link, go here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - plugin for WordPress

(Keep Emoticons As Text plugin)

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

Special Characters – Useful Resources:

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

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)


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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.