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How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

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

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

Adding Special Characters To WP Posts And 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 …

(Special Character button – WordPress Content Editor)

Click on the symbol you would like to use from the Special character table to add it to your post or page …

(Special character popup window)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding a combination of characters inside your website page that the web browser then interprets as special symbols.

Some examples of commonly-used HTML characters are shown below:


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 smilies 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 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. Source: WordPress Codex: Using Smileys)

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

Useful Plugins For Inserting Symbols And Characters Into Your Content

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

(HTML Special Characters Helper WordPress plugin)

You can download the plugin from the WordPress free plugin repository, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install it directly from your WP dashboard …

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin)

After installing the plugin, a new HTML Special Characters functionality will display in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screens …

(HTML Special Characters section)

To display more characters, click on the See more link at the bottom of the tool …

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

(HTML Special Characters – Full list)

Hovering over an item reveals the HTML code for the special character and its name …

(Hover over an item to display HTML codes)

If you’re working with the Text editor, this plugin is useful because it allows you to insert a special character without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character from the widget and the character encoding will be added to your post body  …

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text editor)

Note that when used inside the visual editor the special character itself is added to your post text …

(Character inserted into post in Visual editor)

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

HTML Entities Button

This is another free plugin that you may want to look at installing on your website if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add custom characters without having to keep switching over to Visual editor tab …

(HTML Entities Button plugin for WordPress)

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

(Adding HTML Entities Button WordPress plugin)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that new buttons will be displayed in your Text editor menu …

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality – Text Editor)

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

(Convert special characters to HTML entities button)

Or vice-versa …

(Convert HTML entities to special characters functionality)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

(Add HTML entities item)

Add emoticons to your text …


Add WP Emojis to your content …

(Add An Emoji feature)

This plugin includes lets you choose items from an extensive selection …

(Emoticon Library)

Note: For even more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One lets you add more than 1,100 emojis to your pages and posts …

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

One more thing you can use the HTML Entities Button plugin for is to add links to your most recent posts …

(Insert links to recent posts item)

To learn how to add internal links to your content using the WordPress 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 graphical 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.

Special Characters – Useful Resources:

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

(Source: Pixabay)

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


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