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 Special Symbols And Characters To Your WP Pages And Posts

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

This tutorial will show you how to insert special symbols and characters into your WordPress pages and posts.


We have created a tutorial that explains how to use the WordPress Content editor here: Using The WP Editor

Adding Custom 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 Custom Character button …

Insert Custom Character button - WP Content Editor

(Insert Character button – WP Editor)

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

Special character chart

(Special character chart)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are generated by typing or adding character combinations in the page that web browsers then convert into symbols.

Some examples of commonly-used HTML character entities are shown below:

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 article for references useful resources about HTML 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 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 smileys. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

redarrow Wikipedia – Emoticons

Useful Plugins For Adding Symbols And Characters To Your Content

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

HTML Special Characters Helper - plugin

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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 the plugin directly from the WordPress dashboard …

Adding HTML Special Characters Helper - WordPress plugin

(Installing HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

After installing and activating the plugin, an HTML Special Characters widget will appear inside your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

HTML Special Characters

(HTML Special Characters widget)

To access more symbols, click on the See more link at the foot of the widget …

HTML Special Characters - See more link

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The entire table of special characters is displayed with characters organized into labeled sections …

HTML Special Characters - Complete list of characters

(HTML Special Characters – Full list)

Hover over any of the characters to reveal the HTML entity encoding for the special character as well as its name …

Hover over an item to see HTML codes

(Hover over an item to display HTML entity encoding)

If you are using Text editor mode, this plugin can be very handy because it lets you insert a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character or symbol inside the table and the encoded character will be added to your post body at the current cursor location  …

Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that if you are working in the visual editor the character itself is added to the post 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 built-in editor menu. If you only use the Visual Editor, then this plugin is redundant. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

HTML Entities Button is another free plugin you may want to look at installing if you do any work in Text mode and want to be able to add custom characters without having to switch to Visual mode …

HTML Entities Button plugin

(HTML Entities Button plugin)

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)

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

HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality - Text Editor

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality)

This plugin lets you convert special characters to HTML entities …

Convert special characters to HTML entities button

(Convert special characters to HTML entities button)

Or vice-versa …

Convert HTML entities to special characters button

(Convert HTML entities to special characters button)

Add HTML entities while you work in Text editor mode …

Insert HTML entities button

(Insert HTML entities)

Insert emoticons into your posts and pages …

Insert Emoticons functionality

(Insert Emoticons)

You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

Add WP Emojis

(Choose WP Emojis)

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




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

WP Emoji One

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

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

Insert links to recent posts item

(Insert links to recent posts item)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in internal linking, go here: Adding HTML Hyperlinks In WordPress Posts

Keep Emoticons As Text

Keep Emoticons As Text - plugin for WordPress

(Keep Emoticons As Text 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 the Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as unchecking the “convert to smilies” option that used to be available in those settings.

Useful Info:

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

Inserting Special Characters And Symbols Into Your WP Posts And Pages

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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