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How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

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

If you need help using the WordPress Content editor go here:

Adding Special Characters To 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 Character button …

(WP Content Editor – Insert Custom Character button)

Select a character inside the Special character table to insert it into your post (or page) …

(Special character table)

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

Some commonly-used HTML character entities are shown below:


Using Smileys 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:

Useful Plugins For Adding Symbols And Characters To WordPress

HTML Special Characters Helper

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

(HTML Special Characters Helper plugin)

You can download the plugin here, or search for “HTML Special Characters Helper” to install it directly from inside your Plugin admin area …

(Install HTML Special Characters Helper – WordPress plugin)

After the plugin has been installed, a new HTML Special Characters widget will show up in your Add/Edit Post and Add/Edit Page screen columns …

(HTML Special Characters Helper widget)

To see more symbols, click on the See more link at the bottom of the widget …

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

The full table of HTML Special Characters is displayed with characters organized into different sections …

(HTML Special Characters – Complete character list)

Hovering over any of the symbols displays the code for the character as well as its name …

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

If you are using Text editor mode, this plugin can be very useful because it allows you to insert a special character without having to keep switching back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any symbol inside the widget and the character encoding will be added to your post text  …

(Character encoding added to post in Text mode)

Note that when used inside the visual editor tab the character itself is added to the post body …

(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 default menu. If you only plan to stick to using 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 consider installing on your website or blog if you work in Text mode and would like the ability to add special symbols without having to keep switching over to the Visual editor …

(HTML Entities Button)

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

(Add HTML Entities Button – plugin for WordPress)

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see new buttons displaying in the Text editor menu …

(HTML Entities Button Menu Functionality)

This plugin lets you convert special characters to HTML entities …

(Convert special characters to HTML entities)

Or vice-versa …

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while you work in the Text editor …

(HTML entities button)

Add emoticons to your content …

(Insert Emoticons)

Add WP Emojis …

(WP Emoji feature)

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

(Emoticons – HTML Entities Button plugin)

Note: If you need more emoticons, you could install a plugin like WP Emoji One.  This plugin lets you add 1,000+ emoticons to your posts and pages …

(WP Emoji One)

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

(Insert links to recent posts feature)

To learn more about adding internal links to your content using the WordPress default link, see this tutorial:

Keep Emoticons As Text

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

Additional Resources:

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

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)


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