WordPress Character Map and Unicode Encoder

April 7, 2007 by aaron

WordPress Character Map and Unicode Encoder is a simple to use plugin that adds a character map underneath of your edit post box which provides easy access to all unicode entities. It also allows you to convert all special Unicode characters (anything you wouldn’t see on the average American keyboard) to their respective entities and back again. (This feature can also be downloaded as a separate plugin.) The character map supports all Unicode characters (a few sets have been disabled because of their size) and allows you to set your “favorite” characters which will automatically be displayed underneath the edit box.

The most powerful part of this plugin is the Unicode converter. I was able to go back to one of my older posts that had many Japanese and Chinese characters and convert the entire post to valid Unicode in one click. Go view the post and try switching Character encodings in your browser. Nothing changes if you do. ☺☻ before I converted it if it was viewed in anything other than UTF-8 it was all gobbledy-gook.


Character Map (with Unicode Encoder) Plugin Version 0.1 or you can download the Unicode Encoder as a separate plugin.


  1. Save the plugin with the extension .php
  2. Upload it to your ‘wp-content/plugins’ directory
  3. Activate the plugin named “Character Map” or if you downloaded just the Character Encoder activate it.

Character Map Usage:

  • The character map appears directly under content box on your new/edit post page.
  • On the right side is a list of the character groups (and the options panel) clicking one of these will update the character map shown.
  • It is best to save your posts with entities rather than characters because of the way Unicode and character encodings work. For example, let’s say I have the word Areté if I use an entity it will display correctly on all browsers and web servers (unless they are unable to display the character itself); however, if I were to use the actual character ‘é’ and saved it using my websites default character encoding, it would “lock in” the character to that one encoding. If a user from another country, whose browser used a different encoding, visited they would just see some random characters–specifically: é. However, if I had saved the ‘é’ as an entity it would always display the same way.
  • Checking the Safe Mode option will make it so you automatically add the entities to the posts rather than characters. You can easily switch the entities to characters by clicking “Char- > Ent” button. When you are done editing you can switch them back by clicking “Ent -> Chars”
  • Under the options panel you can add special characters that will always show by default when you load the edit post/page panel. You can add characters to this as either the actual character σ, as Unicode entities σ or as an HTML entity σ, or as just its name (sigma) or number (963). The plugin will automatically convert them to the correct format.
  • Sometimes the special characters &, >, and < will not display like entities or characters like the rest of custom charecters in the options panel. You may ignore this because this is done intentionally. No matter the form, the characters will work correctly.

Character Encoder Usage:

  • If you use the non-rich text editor you will see two new buttons in your toolbar. These buttons are pretty self explanatory. (“ent” means entity and “char” means character)
  • Normal characters (a,%,8,”) will not be converted to entities, and HTML special charecters (>,<,&, >,<,&) will never be converted from one form to another.
Categorized as:
comments powered by Disqus