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How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

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

For a tutorial about using the WordPress editor go here:

Inserting Custom Symbols And Characters Into WP Pages And Posts

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 …

(Insert Character button – WP Editor)

Select the symbol you would like to use from the Special character popup window to add it to your text …

(Special character popup window)

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.

Some examples of popular HTML character entities are shown below:


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 smilie ;))

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

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

Inserting Symbols And Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages – Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

(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 within your dashboard …

(Adding 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 screen columns …

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

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

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

(HTML Special Characters – Entire list of characters)

Hover over any of the characters to display the code for the character as well as its name …

(Hover over an item to display HTML codes)

If you’re using the Text editor, this plugin is useful because it allows you to add a special character without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any special character inside the table and the encoded character will be added to your post body  …

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

If you are working inside the visual editor tab the character itself is added to your post text …

(Character added to post in Visual editor)

Also, keep in mind that the Visual Content editor has its own special characters tool, which is accessible via the menu. If you only use the Visual Editor, then this plugin is redundant. as it would be redundant.

HTML Entities Button

The HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin 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 the Visual editor …

(HTML Entities Button)

You can download the plugin here, or search for the plugin by name (i.e. “HTML Entities Button”) to install it directly from the WP dashboard …

(Add HTML Entities Button plugin)

After the plugin has been installed, you will see a row of new buttons displaying in the Text editor toolbar menu in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

(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)

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

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

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

(HTML entities functionality)

Insert emoticons into your page content …


You can also add WP Emojis to your content …

(Choose WP Emojis)

This useful plugin includes an extensive emoji selection …

(Emoticon Library – HTML Entities plugin for WordPress)

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

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

Another thing you can insert with the HTML Entities Button plugin are links to your most recent posts …

(Insert links to recent posts item)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the built-in link, see this tutorial:

Keep Emoticons As Text

(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 the Writing Settings. This plugin does the same thing as deselecting the “convert to smilies” option that was available in those settings.

Additional Resources:

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

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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