How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

Adding Special Symbols And Characters To WP Posts And Pages

Special characters like © ® ™ and others often need to be inserted into content.

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


If you need help using the WordPress editor go here:

Adding Custom Symbols And Characters To Your 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 Special Character button …

WordPress Editor - Insert Custom Character button

(WordPress Content Editor – Insert Character button)

Select an item inside the Special character chart to insert it into your post (or page) …

Special character chart

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations inside your website page that browsers then interpret as symbols.

Here are some examples of popular 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 links to useful resources additional resources 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 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 smiley ;))

How to create smileys

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

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

Inserting Symbols And Characters Into Your Content – Useful Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

HTML Special Characters Helper is a free plugin for WordPress that can be very useful  if you frequently use the WordPress Text editor and would like to add special characters to your pages and posts …

HTML Special Characters Helper

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin)

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

Adding HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

HTML Special Characters Helper widget

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full list of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters categorized into different sections …

HTML Special Characters - Entire character list

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list)

Hovering over an item shows the code for the character and its name …

Hover your mouse over any character to display HTML entity encoding

(Hover your mouse over a character to bring up HTML entity encoding)

If you are 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 widget and the encoded character will be added to the post body  …

Character encoding added to post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that when used in the visual editor the special character itself is added to the text …

Character inserted into post in Visual mode

(Character added to post in Visual mode)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Editor has its own special characters popup helper, which is accessible via the 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 special symbols.

HTML Entities Button

The HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin is another free plugin you may want to look at installing on your website or blog if you work in Text mode and would like to be able to add custom symbols without switching to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button - plugin for WordPress

(HTML Entities Button)

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

Installing HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress

(Install HTML Entities Button)

After installing the plugin, you will see new buttons displayed in the Text editor menu …

HTML Entities Button Toolbar Functionality - Text Mode

(HTML Entities Button Functionality)

This plugin lets you convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities functionality

(Convert special characters to HTML entities feature)

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

Convert HTML entities to special characters button

(Convert HTML entities to special characters button)

Add HTML entities while working inside the Text editor mode …

HTML entities

(HTML entities button)

Add emoticons to your post content …

Emoticons button

(Add Emoticons)

Add WP Emojis to your content …

Add An Emoji

(Add WP Emojis)

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

Emoticon Library

(Emoticons – HTML Entities Button)


If you need more emoticons, consider installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One allows you to add more than 1,100 emojis to your post content …

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 functionality

(Insert links to your most recent posts)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in internal linking tool here:

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text

(Keep Emoticons As Text 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 unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available via the settings.

Special Characters – Useful Resources:

Click on the links below for useful information about special characters and symbols:

How To Insert Special Characters And Symbols Into WP Posts And Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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