HTML Symbols: How They Work [+ Reference Guide]

Jamie Juviler
Jamie Juviler


When writing HTML, there might be times when you want to insert a character that you can’t simply type. Many common symbols, including currency symbols, mathematical operators, and legal symbols (like © and ®) aren’t included on a standard keyboard.

person using HTML symbols on a computer in an office

To avoid issues when inserting characters in HTML, such as angle brackets, you can use HTML entities. These entities allow you to insert special characters on your page without causing problems. We will also provide a list of common symbols and their entities for easy reference.

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How to Write HTML Symbols

Incorporating symbols into HTML can be done using HTML entities, which are special strings of characters starting with an ampersand (&) and ending with a semicolon (;). These entities represent specific symbols and can be identified by their entity name or number. It's worth noting that certain symbols have reserved HTML entities.

For example, to insert the copyright symbol (©) in HTML, we can use the entity © (the entity name) or © (the entity number). Notice how an additional hash symbol (#) is placed before the entity number.

Using either one of these entities causes the symbol to render correctly on the page:

See the Pen HTML symbols: copyright by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Characters that have a double use as both a display character and a functional HTML character also have their own entities — for example, angle brackets, ampersand, and quotation marks:

See the Pen HTML symbols: more examples by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

To incorporate entities, you have the option to manually input them or simply copy and paste them from a comprehensive list provided below. While it is convenient to use entity names for easy remembrance and typing, it is important to note that older browsers may not recognize these names. To ensure that your entities are displayed correctly across all browsers, it is recommended to use the entity numbers.

HTML Symbols List

Sometimes, you can remember an HTML entity from its name. Other times, you’ll have to look it up. To help you out, here’s a list of common symbols along with their HTML entities in name and number formats:

Punctuation and Grammatical Symbols

Symbol Entity Name Entity Number Known As
      non-breaking space
& & & ampersand
' ' ' apostrophe/single quotation mark
" " " double quotation mark
“ “ left double quotation mark
” ” right double quotation mark
‘ ‘ left single quotation mark
;‘ ’ right single quotation mark
– – en dash
— — em dash
~ ˜ ~ tilde
¿ ¿ ¿ inverted question mark
¡ ¡ ¡ inverted exclamation mark


Currency Symbols

Symbol Entity Name Entity Number Known As
€ € euro
£ £ £ pund sterling (British pound)
¥ ¥ ¥ yen
¢ ¢ ¢ cent
  ₤ lira
  ₣ franc


Mathematical Symbols

Symbol Entity Name Entity Number Known As
× × × multiplication
÷ ÷ ÷ division
± ± ± plus or minus
< &lt; &#60; less than
> &gt; &#62; greater than
&le; &#8804; less than or equal to
&ge; &#8805; greater than or equal to
&radic; &#8730; square root
&sum; &#8721; sum
&infin; &#8734; infinity
ƒ &fnof; &#131; function
&int; &#8747; integral
  &#8710; increment
&part; &#8706; partial differential
&prod; &#8719; n-ary product
  &#8729; bullet operator
&forall; &#8704; for all
&exist; &#8707; there exists
&isin; &#8712; is an element of the set
&notin; &#8713; is not an element of the set
&empty; &#8709; empty set
&ni; &#8715; under the condition that


Other Common Symbols

Symbol Entity Name Entity Number Known As
® &reg; &#174; registered trademark
© &copy; &#169; copyright
&trade; &#153; trademark
&dagger; &#8224; dagger
&Dagger; &#8225; double dagger
  &#8592; left arrow
  &#8594; right arrow
  &#8593; up arrow
  &#8595; down arrow
  &#9733; black star
  &#9734; white star
  &#9873; black flag
  &#9872; white flag

&spades; &#9824; black spade
&clubs; &#9827; black club
&hearts; &#9829; black heart
&diams; &#9830; black diamond
  &#9831; white club
  &#9828; white spade
  &#9825; white heart
  &#9825; white diamond
  &#9744; empty ballot box
  &#9745; ballot box with a checkmark
  &#9746; ballot box with an X
  &#9787; black smiling face
  &#9786; white smiling face
  &#9785; frowning face
  &#9774; peace symbol
  &#9842; recycling symbol

Add symbols to your HTML.

While writing HTML, you'll mostly be able to write code without problems. However, there are times when understanding and incorporating HTML entities into your pages can be beneficial. It's a valuable tool for web developers and content creators that will bring you closer to mastering HTML.

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