How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

Learn how to insert special characters and symbols into your WordPress posts and pages …

For a whitelabel version of this tutorial visit

Adding Custom Characters To Your WP Pages & Posts

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

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to insert custom symbols and characters into your content.

Important Info

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

How To Add Special Symbols And Characters To Your WP Posts & Pages

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 Insert Character button …

Insert Character button - WordPress Content Editor

(WordPress Content Editor – Special Character button)

Click on a character inside the Special character table to add it to your text …

Special character table

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations in the page that web browsers then convert into 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 custom 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 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 smileys. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Inserting Special Characters Into WordPress – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Special Characters Helper”) to install it directly from your WordPress dashboard …

Adding HTML Special Characters Helper plugin for WordPress

(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, an HTML Special Characters section will appear inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

HTML Special Characters section

(HTML Special Characters section)

To view more characters, click on the See more link at the bottom of the widget …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

HTML Special Characters - Full list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Complete list of characters)

Hovering over any symbol displays the HTML entity encoding for the special character and its name …

Hover your mouse over any symbol to display HTML entity encoding

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

If you’re using the Text editor, this plugin is handy because it lets you add special characters without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol from the table and the encoded character will be added to the post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor)

Note that if you’re working inside the visual editor tab the special character itself is added to your text …

Character added to post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, note that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters tool, 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 consider installing if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom symbols without switching to the Visual editor …

HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Adding HTML Entities Button - WordPress plugin

(Install HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)

After the plugin is installed and activated, you will see new buttons displaying in your Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Items

(HTML Entities Button Menu 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 functionality)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality

(Convert HTML entities to special characters button)

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

Insert HTML entities

(HTML entities feature)

Insert emoticons into your content …

Add Emoticons functionality

(Emoticons button)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

EP Emojis

(WP Emoji functionality)

This plugin includes lets you select images from an extensive library …


(Emoticons – HTML Entities Button plugin)


If you need more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you add more than 1,100 emoticons to your content …

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts item

(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 - plugin for WordPress

(Keep Emoticons As Text)

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 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.

Useful Information:

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

Adding Custom Characters And Symbols To WP Posts And Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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For a whitelabel version of this tutorial visit
Originally published as How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages.