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 Add Custom Symbols And Characters To Your WordPress Pages & Posts

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

This tutorial explains how to add special symbols and characters to your WordPress pages and posts.


For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

How To Insert Custom Characters And Symbols Into 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 Special Character button …

Insert Character button - WP Content Editor

(Insert Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Select the character you want to use from the Special character pop-up window to add it to your post or page …

Special characters

(Special character popup window)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding character combinations into your website page that browsers then convert into special symbols.

Here are some commonly-used 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 references additional resources about special characters and symbols.

Using Smileys 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

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

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

Plugins For Inserting Special Characters Into WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

This is a free WordPress plugin that can be very handy  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and need 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 free plugin directory, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install the plugin directly from inside your Plugin admin area …

Add HTML Special Characters Helper plugin

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see an HTML Special Characters widget displayed in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire list of characters is displayed with characters organized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Full list

(HTML Special Characters – Complete character list)

Hover over a character to reveal the code for the character as well as its name …

Hover over an item to display HTML codes

(Hover your mouse over an item to display HTML entity encoding)

If you’re using Text editor mode, this plugin is handy because it lets you insert a special character without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol in the table and the encoded character will be inserted into your post text at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding added to post in Text mode

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

If you’re working in the visual editor tab the special character itself is added to the post text …

Character added to post in Visual editor

(Character added to post in Visual mode)

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

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing if you work in Text mode and want the ability to add custom symbols without having to switch to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button

(HTML Entities Button)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin repository, or search for “HTML Entities Button” to install it directly from your WordPress dashboard …

Adding HTML Entities Button - plugin for WordPress

(Add HTML Entities Button – WordPress plugin)

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

HTML Entities Button Functionality

(HTML Entities Button Functionality)

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

Convert special characters to HTML entities feature

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa (i.e. convert HTML entities to special characters) …

Convert HTML entities to special characters feature

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while working in the Text editor mode …

Add HTML entities button

(HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your posts and pages …

Add Emoticons

(Insert Emoticons button)

You can also add WP Emojis …

Insert WP Emojis feature

(Emoji functionality)

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

Emoticon Library - HTML Entities plugin for WordPress



For even more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One lets you add 1,000+ emojis to your pages and posts …

WP Emoji One - WordPress plugin

(WP Emoji One – plugin for WordPress)

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

Insert links to recent posts item

(Insert links to recent posts button)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the default internal linking, see this tutorial:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - plugin for WordPress

(Keep Emoticons As Text – WordPress 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 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 used to be available in those settings.

Useful Information:

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

How To Add Custom Characters To Your WP Posts & Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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Originally published as How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages.