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 And Symbols Into WordPress Pages And Posts

When creating content, you may need to insert custom characters and symbols into your pages and posts.

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


If you need help using the WordPress Content editor go here: Using The WordPress Visual Editor

How To Add Custom Characters And Symbols To Your WordPress Pages And Posts

If you would like 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 Character button - WP Content Editor

(Insert Custom Character button – WP Editor)

Click on a symbol inside the Special character chart to insert it into your post (or page) …

Special characters

(Special character chart)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations into your page that web browsers then convert into 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 the end of this tutorial for references additional information 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 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 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 smilies

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

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

redarrow Wikipedia – Emoticons

Useful Plugins For Inserting Special Characters Into WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper - WordPress plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin repository, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Special Characters Helper”) to install the plugin directly from inside the Plugin admin area …

Add HTML Special Characters Helper

(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper)

After installing and activating the plugin, an HTML Special Characters tool will be added to your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters Helper tool)

To see 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 organized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Complete character list

(HTML Special Characters – Full list)

Hover over any of the items to display the HTML code for the special character and its name …

Hover over any symbol to see codes

(Hover over a character to see HTML codes)

If you’re working within the 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 symbol or character inside the table and the encoded character will be added to your text  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text editor)

If you are working inside the visual editor mode the character itself is added to your post body …

Character added to post in Visual mode

(Character inserted into post in Visual mode)

Also, note that the Visual Editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the editor menu. We recommend installing this plugin only if you work in Text mode and want to avoid switching to the Visual Editor in order to add custom characters.

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin that you may want to consider installing if you do any work in Text mode and would like the ability to add special characters without having to keep switching over to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button)

You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Entities Button”) to install it directly from inside the Plugin admin area …

Add HTML Entities Button - WordPress plugin

(Installing HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

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

HTML Entities Button Items

(HTML Entities Button Items – Text Editor)

This plugin lets you convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities

(Convert special characters to HTML entities button)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters

(Convert HTML entities to special characters button)

Add HTML entities while you work in the Text editor …

HTML entities feature

(Add HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your content …

Add Emoticons

(Add Emoticons)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Insert An Emoji

(Add An Emoji)

This plugin includes a range of icons …

Emoticon Library

(Emoticon Library)


Note: For even more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you add 1,000+ emojis to your pages and posts …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts button

(Insert links to recent posts item)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the default link tool here: Inserting Internal Hyperlinks Into WordPress Posts & Pages

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text

(Keep Emoticons As Text – WordPress plugin)

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

Useful Info:

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

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

Congratulations! Now you know how to insert special characters and symbols into your pages and 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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