When creating content, you may need to insert special characters and symbols into your posts.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to insert HTML characters and symbols into your posts.
We have created a step-by-step tutorial that explains how to use the WordPress editor here:
Adding Special Characters To Your WordPress Posts And Pages
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 Insert Character button …
(WordPress Editor – Special Character button)
Select the character you would like to use from the Special character chart to insert it into your post (or page) …
(Special character table)
These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations into your web page that web browsers then convert into special symbols.
Some examples of commonly-used HTML character entities are shown below:
- 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 additional information about special 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 smiley ;))
(How to create smilies. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)
For more information about using Smileys in WordPress, go here:
Adding Special Characters To Content In WordPress – Plugins
The HTML Special Characters Helper plugin is free that can be very handy if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and would like to add special characters and symbols to your posts …
(HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)
You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Special Characters Helper”) to install it directly from within your dashboard …
(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin)
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 screen columns …
(HTML Special Characters)
To display more symbols, click on the See more link at the bottom of the tool …
(HTML Special Characters – See more link)
The full table of special characters is displayed with characters categorized into different sections …
(HTML Special Characters – Complete list of characters)
Hover over a character to display the HTML code for the character and its name …
(Hover your mouse over an item to bring up codes)
If you’re using Text editor mode, this plugin is handy because it lets you add a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character from the list and the encoded character will be added to your text …
(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)
Note that when used in the visual editor mode the special character itself is added to the post text …
(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. If you only plan to use the Visual Editor, then this plugin is unnecessary. as it would be redundant.
This is another free plugin you may want to look at installing on your website if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add special characters without switching to Visual mode …
(HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)
You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin directory, or search for the plugin by name to install the plugin directly from your WP dashboard …
(Install HTML Entities Button)
After installing the plugin, you will see that new buttons will show in the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …
(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality)
This plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …
(Convert special characters to HTML entities button)
Or vice-versa (i.e. convert HTML entities to special characters) …
(Convert HTML entities to special characters)
Add HTML entities while working inside the Text editor …
(Insert HTML entities)
Insert emoticons into your content …
Add WP Emojis …
(WP Emoji functionality)
This useful plugin includes lets you select items from an extensive range …
If you need more emoticons, try installing a plugin like WP Emoji One. WP Emoji One lets you insert more than 1,100 emoticons into your posts and pages …
(WP Emoji One plugin)
One more thing you can use the HTML Entities Button plugin for is adding links to your most recent posts …
(Insert links to recent posts item)
Learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in link tool here:
(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 deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.
Click on the links below for additional resources and information about special characters and symbols:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add special characters and symbols to your posts.
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