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How To Insert Special Characters Into WordPress Posts And Pages

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

This tutorial explains how to insert custom symbols and characters into your content.

For more information about using the WordPress editor go here:

How To Add Custom Characters To WP Posts And Pages

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 …

(Special Character button – WP Content Editor)

Click on a character inside the Special character chart to insert it into your text …

(Special characters)

These symbols are called HTML character entities or extended characters. They are created by typing or adding a combination of characters in the web page that browsers then convert into special symbols.

Some commonly-used HTML characters 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 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 smiley ;))

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

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

Adding Special Characters To WordPress – Useful Plugins

HTML Special Characters Helper

This 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 and pages …

(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 the plugin directly from within the Plugin admin area …

(Add HTML Special Characters Helper – plugin for WordPress)

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

(HTML Special Characters Helper)

To view more symbols, click on the See more link …

(HTML Special Characters – See more link)

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

(HTML Special Characters – Entire character list)

Hovering over a symbol reveals the HTML code for the special character as well as its name …

(Hover over a symbol to view HTML entity encoding)

If you are working with Text editor mode, this plugin can be very handy because it lets you insert a special character without having to switch back to Visual Editor mode. Just click on any character from the table and the encoded character will be inserted into your text at the current cursor location  …

(Character encoding inserted into post in Text mode)

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

(Character inserted into post in Visual mode)

Also, note that the Visual Editor has its own special characters tool, which is accessible via the editor menu. If you only use the Visual Editor, then this plugin is unnecessary. 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 special characters without having to switch to Visual editor tab …

(HTML Entities Button – plugin)

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

(Add HTML Entities Button plugin)

After the plugin is installed and activated, 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 Items)

This plugin allows you to convert special characters to HTML entities …

(Convert special characters to HTML entities functionality)

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

(Convert HTML entities to special characters)

Add HTML entities while working in Text editor mode …

(Add HTML entities)

Add emoticons to your post content …


Add WP Emojis to your content …

(Insert A WP Emoji button)

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

(Emoticons – HTML Entities plugin for WordPress)

If you need more emoticons, consider installing a plugin like WP Emoji One.  WP Emoji One allows you to insert 1,000+ emoticons into your pages and posts …

(WP Emoji One – WordPress plugin)

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

(Insert links to your most recent posts)

Learn how to add internal links to your content using the default internal linking tool here:

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

Special Characters – Additional Information:

The sites below provide additional information about special characters and symbols:

(Source: Pixabay)

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


"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)