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PHP : Function Reference : String Functions : htmlentities


Convert all applicable characters to HTML entities (PHP 4, PHP 5)
string htmlentities ( string string [, int quote_style [, string charset [, bool double_encode]]] )

Example 2413. A htmlentities() example

= "A 'quote' is <b>bold</b>";

// Outputs: A 'quote' is &lt;b&gt;bold&lt;/b&gt;
echo htmlentities($str);

// Outputs: A &#039;quote&#039; is &lt;b&gt;bold&lt;/b&gt;
echo htmlentities($str, ENT_QUOTES);

Related Examples ( Source code ) » phpentities

Code Examples / Notes » phpentities

roland dot swingler

You don't need these custom conversion functions.
This function will only work for the first 128 ascii characters if no character set is specified.  If you specify the character set in an http header:
header('Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8');
htmlentities('string to be encoded', ENT_QUOTES, 'utf-8');
then it will work for all html entities.  It outputs the named rather than the numerical entities, but html_entity_decode() will decode both numerical and textual entities (it will treat &#8364; and &euro; as the same).
BTW, if you are dealing with form submitted data, it is a good idea to add the accept-charset="character set" attribute
to the form as well.


without heavy scientific analysis, this seems to work as a quick fix to making text originating from a Microsoft Word document display as HTML:
function DoHTMLEntities ($string)
$trans_tbl = get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES);

// MS Word strangeness..
// smart single/ double quotes:
$trans_tbl[chr(145)] = '\'';
$trans_tbl[chr(146)] = '\'';
$trans_tbl[chr(147)] = '&quot;';
$trans_tbl[chr(148)] = '&quot;';
// é :
$trans_tbl[chr(142)] = '&eacute;';

return strtr ($string, $trans_tbl);

d. gasser

When using UTF-8 as charset, you'll have to set UTF-8 in braces, otherwise the varaible is not recognized.

daviscabral arroba gmail ponto com

unhtmlentities for all entities:
function unhtmlentities ($string) {
  $trans_tbl1 = get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES);
  foreach ( $trans_tbl1 as $ascii => $htmlentitie ) {
       $trans_tbl2[$ascii] = '&#'.ord($ascii).';';
  $trans_tbl1 = array_flip ($trans_tbl1);
  $trans_tbl2 = array_flip ($trans_tbl2);
  return strtr (strtr ($string, $trans_tbl1), $trans_tbl2);


Unfortunately, there are differences between what is shown in the preview window and what is shown on the web site; thus, the extreme number of backslashes in my former note.
The corrected note:
The data returned by a text input field is ready to be used in a data base query when enclosed in single quotes, e.g.
  mysql_query ("SELECT * FROM Article WHERE id = '$data'");
But you will get problems when writing back this data into the input field's value,
  echo "<input name='data' type='text' value='$data'>";
because hmtl codes would be interpreted and escape sequences would cause strange output.
The following function may help:
function deescape ($s, $charset='UTF-8')
  //  don't interpret html codes and don't convert quotes
  $s  =  htmlentities ($s, ENT_NOQUOTES, $charset);
  //  delete the inserted backslashes except those for protecting single quotes
  $s  =  preg_replace ("/\\\\([^'])/e", '"&#" . ord("$1") . ";"', $s);
  //  delete the backslashes inserted for protecting single quotes
  $s  =  str_replace ("\\'", "&#" . ord ("'") . ";", $s);
  return  $s;
Try some input like:  a'b"c\d\'e\"f\\g&x#27;h  to test ...


To replace any characters in a string that could be 'dangerous' to put in an HTML/XML file with their numeric entities (e.g. &#233 for é [e acute]), you can use the following function:
function htmlnumericentities($str){
 return preg_replace('/[^!-%\x27-;=?-~ ]/e', '"&#".ord("$0").chr(59)', $str);
};//EoFn htmlnumericentities
To change any normal entities (e.g. &euro;) to numerical entities call:
$str = htmlnumericalentities(html_entity_decode($str));


Thx for that function, pinkpanther at swissonline dot ch, though the number of digits after the '#' can be 4, not 3.
I bumped into this when struggeling with the euro sign (&#8364;).
function htmlentities2( $myHTML)
$translation_table = get_html_translation_table( HTML_ENTITIES, ENT_QUOTES);
$translation_table[chr( 38)] = '&';
return preg_replace( "/&(?![A-Za-z]{0,4}\w{2,3};|#[0-9]{2,4};)/", "&amp;" , strtr( $myHTML, $translation_table));


This version of macRomanToIso (originally posted by: marcus at synchromedia dot co dot uk) offers a couple of improvements. First, it removes the extra slashes '\' that broke the original function. Second, it adds four quote characters not supported in ISO 8859-1. These are the left double quote, right double quote, left single quote and right single quote.
Be sure to remove the line breaks from the two strings going into strtr or this function will not work properly.
Be careful what text you apply this to. If you apply it to ISO 8859-1 encoded text it will likely wreak havoc. I'll save you some trouble with this bit of advice: don't bother trying to detect what charset a certain text file is using, it can't be done reliably. Instead, consider making assumptions based upon the HTTP_USER_AGENT, or prompting the user to specify the character encoding used (perhaps both).
* Converts MAC OS ROMAN encoded strings to the ISO 8859-1 charset.
* @param string the string to convert.
* @return string the converted string.
function macRomanToIso($string)
return strtr($string,


This should basically protect the mail addresses on webpages:
function InsertMail($mail)
if ($mail=='') return '';
$mail = str_replace(array('@',':','.'), array('&#064;','&#058;','&#046;'), $mail);
$mail = '<a href=mailto&#058;'.$mail.'>'.$mail.'</a>';
$len = strlen($mail);
   $c = mt_rand(1,4);
$par[] = (substr($mail, $i, $c));
$i += $c;
$join = implode('"+ "', $par);
return '<script language=javascript>
echo InsertMail ('');
Prints a javascript, that joins a bunch of randomly long substrings (1-4) of hyperlink prefix mailto and email address, considering that the chars . : and @ are replaced by html entities. It should work just fine.

miguel miguel

This is a simple script that I'm using to encode and decode values from a form. Save it with the name that you wish.
/*  When you call anyone of the two functions, set the $_str
    variable to the string that you want to encode or decode */
/* This function encodes the string.
   You can safetly use this function to save its result in a
   database. It eliminates any space in the beginning ou end
   of the string, HTML and PHP tags, and encode any special
   char to the usual HTML entities (&[...];), eliminating the
   possibility of bugs in inserting data on a table */
function encodeText($_str) {
 $_str = strip_tags($_str);
 $_str = trim($_str);
 $_str = htmlentities($_str);
 $_str = str_replace("\r\n", "#BR#", $_str);
/* This function decodes the string.
   If you are showing the string in the body of a page, you
   can set the $_form variable to "false", and the function will
   use the "BR" tag to the new lines. But, if you need to show
   the string in a textarea, text or other input types of a form
   set the $_form variable to "true", then the function will use
   the "\r\n" to the new lines */
function decodeText($_str, $_form) {
 $trans_tbl = get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES);
 $trans_tbl = array_flip ($trans_tbl);
 $_str      = strtr($_str, $trans_tbl);
 if ($_form) {
   $_nl = "\r\n";
 } else {
   $_nl = "
 $_str      = str_replace("#BR#", "$_nl", $_str);


This is a followup to the older note by mirrorball_girl (5 Jan 2003) for those who may follow.
Rather than making an exception for the en-dash (#150) and translating it to a hyphen, you could use the &#8211; unicode en-dash entity (assuming that you are serving up your pages as UTF-8 or some such encoding.
Also, the whole thing can be done better with mb_detect_order, mb_detect_encoding and mb_convert_encoding if all you want to do is serve up a web page (if you need to convert to pure ASCII, that's another issue). You need to have multi-byte support enabled on your PHP server.
Basically, the problem is with older MS programs that use Windows-1252 for their encoding, so all you really need to do is
- detect for Win-1252
- if present, convert to UTF-8
- serve up your pages as UTF-8
See the manual on Multibyte String Functions for more information.


This is a conversion function for special chars.
Very usefull to convert a word document into valid html
(the html provided is successfully parsed by sablotron 0.97 using iso-8859-1 charset) :
function convertDoc2HTML($txt){
$len = strlen($txt);
$res = "";
for($i = 0; $i < $len; ++$i) {
$ord = ord($txt{$i});
// check only non-standard chars          
if($ord >= 126){
$res .= "&#".$ord.";";
else {
// escape ", ' and \ chars
case 34 :
$res .= "\\\"";
case 39 :
$res .= "\'";
case 92 :
$res .= "\\\\";
default : // the rest does not have to be modified
$res .= $txt{$i};
return $res;


This function will encode everything, either using ascii values or special entities:
function encode_everything($string){
   $encoded = "";
   for ($n=0;$n<strlen($string);$n++){
       $check = htmlentities($string[$n],ENT_QUOTES);
      $string[$n] == $check ? $encoded .= "&#".ord($string[$n]).";" : $encoded .= $check;
   return $encoded;
so you can use:
$emailAddress = encode_everything($emailAddress);
to protect an email address - although I imagine it's not a great deal of protection.


This function will encode anything that is non Standard ASCII (that is, that is above #127 in the ascii table)
// allhtmlentities : mainly based on "chars_encode()"  by Tim Burgan <> []
function allhtmlentities($string) {
if ( strlen($string) == 0 )
return $string;
$result = '';
$string = htmlentities($string, HTML_ENTITIES);
$string = preg_split("//", $string, -1, PREG_SPLIT_NO_EMPTY);
$ord = 0;
for ( $i = 0; $i < count($string); $i++ ) {
$ord = ord($string[$i]);
if ( $ord > 127 ) {
$string[$i] = '&#' . $ord . ';';
return implode('',$string);


This function changes all entities to unicode-entities.
For example '<' becomes '&#60;', '©' becomes '&#169;', etc.
function xmlentities($string, $quote_style=ENT_COMPAT)
   $trans = get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES, $quote_style);
   foreach ($trans as $key => $value)
       $trans[$key] = '&#'.ord($key).';';
   return strtr($string, $trans);


This fuction is particularly useful against XSS (cross-site-scripting-). XSS makes use of holes in code, whether it be in Javascript or PHP. XSS often, if not always, uses HTML entities to do its evil deeds, so this function in co-operation with your scripts (particularly search or submitting scripts) is a very useful tool in combatting "H4X0rz".


There's no sane reason to use htmlentities() instead of htmlspecialchars(). As long as you specify the charset of a page with a Content-Type meta in the head of a page (which you should ALWAYS do in the first place), escaping all characters is completely pointless and will only grow the size of your page. Only the special HTML characters (<, >, &, etc.) need to be escaped, which is exactly what htmlspecialchars() does.


The function xmlentities works great, but there can be up to 5 numbers after the &# string. See this for example:
This is a valid (wrapped) japanese string. To successfully use it with xmlentities, you need to replace
return preg_replace("/&(?![A-Za-z]{0,4}\w{2,3};|#[0-9]{2,3};)/","&#38;" , strtr($string, $trans));
return preg_replace("/&(?![A-Za-z]{0,4}\w{2,3};|#[0-9]{2,5};)/","&#38;" , strtr($string, $trans));
(3 to 5).


The existance of html entities such as &quot; inside an xml node causes most xml parsers to throw an error.  The following function cleans an input string by converting html entities to valid unicode entities.
function htmlentities2unicodeentities ($input) {
 $htmlEntities = array_values (get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES, ENT_QUOTES));
 $entitiesDecoded = array_keys   (get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES, ENT_QUOTES));
 $num = count ($entitiesDecoded);
 for ($u = 0; $u < $num; $u++) {
   $utf8Entities[$u] = '&#'.ord($entitiesDecoded[$u]).';';
 return str_replace ($htmlEntities, $utf8Entities, $input);
So, an input of
Copyrights &copy; make &quot;me&quot; grin &reg;
Copyrights &#169; make &#34;me&#34; grin &#174;


Thanks attila at roughdot dot com, however I changed this to :
in order to also to match hex-coded entities.


similar to cedric at shift-zone dot be's function, this 'cleans up' text from MS Word, and other non-alphanumeric characters to their valid [X]HTML counterparts
// strips slashes, and converts special characters to HTML equivalents for string defined in $var
function htmlfriendly($var,$nl2br = false){
$chars = array(
128 => '&#8364;',
130 => '&#8218;',
131 => '&#402;',
132 => '&#8222;',
133 => '&#8230;',
134 => '&#8224;',
135 => '&#8225;',
136 => '&#710;',
137 => '&#8240;',
138 => '&#352;',
139 => '&#8249;',
140 => '&#338;',
142 => '&#381;',
145 => '&#8216;',
146 => '&#8217;',
147 => '&#8220;',
148 => '&#8221;',
149 => '&#8226;',
150 => '&#8211;',
151 => '&#8212;',
152 => '&#732;',
153 => '&#8482;',
154 => '&#353;',
155 => '&#8250;',
156 => '&#339;',
158 => '&#382;',
159 => '&#376;');
$var = str_replace(array_map('chr', array_keys($chars)), $chars, htmlentities(stripslashes($var)));
return nl2br($var);
} else {
return $var;


Regarding the two great function posted by pinkpather and webwurst;  one to encode xml entities, the other to encode only the entities of a string not already encoded.  I've combined these two.  And IMHO made a small improvement by making the translation table static:
function xmlentities($string, $quote_style=ENT_QUOTES)
static $trans;
if (!isset($trans)) {
$trans = get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES, $quote_style);
foreach ($trans as $key => $value)
$trans[$key] = '&#'.ord($key).';';
// dont translate the '&' in case it is part of &xxx;
$trans[chr(38)] = '&';
// after the initial translation, _do_ map standalone '&' into '&#38;'
return preg_replace("/&(?![A-Za-z]{0,4}\w{2,3};|#[0-9]{2,3};)/","&#38;" , strtr($string, $trans));
Here's the snippet of code I'm testing with:
echo "

Testing xmlentities...";
$strings[] = "No entities here.";
$strings[] = "<b>bold</b>";
$strings[] = "Got style? Try K & R.";
echo "<ul>";
foreach ($strings as $string) {
echo "<li>Original string: ".htmlentities($string)."</li>\n";
echo "<li>Encoded once: ".htmlentities(xmlentities($string))."</li>\n";
echo "<li>Encoded twice: ".htmlentities(xmlentities(xmlentities($string)))."</li>\n";

echo "</ul>";

24-jan-2006 01:20

Please, don't use htmlentities to avoid XSS! Htmlspecialchars is enough!
If you don't specify the encoding, Latin1 will be used, so there is a problem if someone wants to use your software in a non-English environment.


Okay, so maybe this SHOULD be posted under Urlencode, but there's more talk of foiling XSS attacks here than there, so…
Be VERY careful validating submitted data not to miss something.  By that I mean EVERYTHING passed in the $_POST array, including keys (the names of the form fields themselves) is susceptible to XSS attacks.  Any hack can add whatever they want to your form and submit it to your script:
<input type="hidden" name="<script>alert('…the form_fields_NAMES can get you, too!');</script>" value="We all validate form_field_VALUES, but…">
Step one of course is to adopt a sensible naming convention for your form fields, to whit: name="always_lower_case" (underscores do NOT get encoded because they are valid URL characters).  So, you should never find a "%" in one of your form field NAMES.  Here's what I do:
foreach($_POST as $key => $val) {
 // scrubbing the field NAME...
 if(preg_match('/%/', urlencode($key)*)) die('FATAL::XSS hack attempt detected. Your IP has been logged.');
 // okay, got here, now scrubbing the field VALUE...
 [ scrub $val here by using htmlentities or a custom replacement function ];
* %3Cscript%3Ealert%28%27%85the+form_fields_NAMES+can+get+you%...
P.S. Yes, remove the asterisk!

bassie :

Note that you'll have use htmlentities() before any other function who'll edit text like nl2br().
If you use nl2br() first, the htmlentities() function will change < br > to &lt;br&gt;.


many people below talk about using
to convert non-ascii code into html-readable stuff.  Due to my webserver being out of my control, I was unable to set the database character set, and whenever PHP made a copy of my $s variable that it had pulled out of the database, it would convert it to nasty latin1 automatically and not leave it in it's beautiful UTF-8 glory.
So [insert korean characters here] turned into ?????.
I found myself needing to pass by reference (which of course is deprecated/nonexistent in recent versions of PHP)
so instead of
which worked perfectly until I upgraded, so I had to use
   call_user_func_array('mb_convert_encoding', array(&$s,'HTML-ENTITIES','UTF-8'));
Hope it helps someone else out


It may come to you as a surprise, but i've noticed that in Firefox (as of 1.0), the text presented in "View selection source" is not the same as "View page source"; Il you want to see the REAL result of htmlentities() you should look at the entire source;
almost become mad before i discover this :)


In response to soapergem at gmail dot com 10-May-2006 02:14 - If any of you are attempting to use this or anything else to foil XSS attacks, test this or any other function out _first_ before you put it into a development environment.  To test out if you think your code will pass, just visit  for some potential attacks.  After doing this myself it is apparent that just simply using htmlspecialchars is sufficient.


In case you want a 'htmlentities' function which prevents 'double' encoding of the ampersands of already present entities (&gt; => &amp;gt;), use this:
function htmlentities2($myHTML) {
  $translation_table=get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES,ENT_QUOTES);
  $translation_table[chr(38)] = '&';
  return preg_replace("/&(?![A-Za-z]{0,4}\w{2,3};|#[0-9]{2,3};)/","&amp;" , strtr($myHTML, $translation_table));


in add to the last post...for flash dont forget the percent character too.
% = %25
& = %26
' = %27


If you're looking to provide bare bones protection to email addresses posted to the web try this:
$string = '';
$n = rand(0,1);
echo $finished;
This randomly encodes a mix of hex and oridinary HTML entities for every character in the address. Note that a decoding mechanism for this could probably be written just as easily, so eventually the bots will be able to cut through this like butter, but for now, it seems like most harvesters are only looking for non-hex html entities.


If you are programming XML documents and are using the htmlentities function, then performing a  str_replace on ' into &apos; to set mandatory escape characters you can use this simple function instead.
This function, xmlentities, is basically the XML parsing equivalent of htmlentities, with fewer options than its HTML counterpart:
// XML Entity Mandatory Escape Characters
function xmlentities ( $string )
return str_replace ( array ( '&', '"', "'", '<', '>' ), array ( '&amp;' , '&quot;', '&apos;' , '&lt;' , '&gt;' ), $string );
function xmlentities($string)
return str_replace ( array ( '&', '"', "'", '<', '>' ), array ( '&amp;' , '&quot;', '&apos;' , '&lt;' , '&gt;' ), $string );
echo xmlentities("If you don't use these mandatory escape characters <tags> between </tags>, XML will \"eXtensively\" & \"implicitly\" give you errors.");
If you don&apos;t use these mandatory escape characters &lt;tags&gt; between &lt;/tags&gt;, XML will &quot;eXtensively&quot; &amp; &quot;implicitly&quot; give you errors.

julien crouzet

If you are looking for a htmlentities inverse :
$table = array_flip(get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES));
$plaintext = strtr($html, $table);
Here is a full example to extract plaintext from a SIMPLE html page (not table, etc...)
$file_content = file_get_contents($htmlfile);
$file_content = strip_tags($file_content, '
$file_content = preg_replace('/<br( )?(\/)?>/i', "\n", $file_content);
$file_content = wordwrap($file_content);
$table            = array_flip(get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES));
$file_content = strtr($file_content, $table);


If you are looking for a comprehensive visual list of entities check here:


If you are building a loadvars page for Flash and have problems with special chars such as " & ", " ' " etc, you should escape them for flash:
Try trace(escape("&")); in flash' actionscript to see the escape code for &;
& = %26
' = %27
function flashentities($string){
return str_replace(array("&","'"),array("%26","%27"),$string);
Those are the two that concerned me. YMMV.

q dot rendeiro

I've seen lots of functions to convert all the entities, but I needed to do a fulltext search in a db field that had named entities instead of numeric entities (edited by tinymce), so I searched the tinymce source and found a string with the value->entity mapping. So, i wrote the following function to encode the user's query with named entities.
The string I used is different of the original, because i didn't want to convert ' or ". The string is too long, so I had to cut it. To get the original check TinyMCE source and search for nbsp or other entity ;)
$entities_unmatched = explode(',', '160,nbsp,161,iexcl,162,cent, [...] ');
$even = 1;
foreach($entities_unmatched as $c) {
if($even) {
$ord = $c;
} else {
$entities_table[$ord] = $c;
$even = 1 - $even;
function encode_named_entities($str) {
global $entities_table;

$encoded_str = '';
for($i = 0; $i < strlen($str); $i++) {
$ent = @$entities_table[ord($str{$i})];
if($ent) {
$encoded_str .= "&$ent;";
} else {
$encoded_str .= $str{$i};
return $encoded_str;


I've been dissatisfied with all the solutions I've yet seen for converting text into html entities, which all seem to have some drawback or another. So I wrote my own, borrowing heavily from other code posted on this site.
makeSafeEntities() should take any text, convert it from the specified charset into UTF-8, then replace all inappropriate characters with appropriate (and legal) character entities, returning generic ISO-8859 HTML text. Should NOT reconvert any entities already in the text.
makeAllEntities() does the same, but converts the entire string to entities. Useful for obscuring email addresses (in a lame but nonetheless somewhat effective way).
Suggestions for improvement welcome!


I wrote usefull function which is support iso-8859-2 encoding with htmlentities function ;]
* Function htmlentities which support iso-8859-2
* @param string
* @return string
* @author FanFataL
function htmlentities_iso88592($string='') {
$pl_iso = array('&ecirc;', '&oacute;', '&plusmn;', '&para;', '&sup3;', '&iquest;', '&frac14;', '&aelig;', '&ntilde;', '&Ecirc;', '&Oacute;', '&iexcl;', '&brvbar;', '&pound;', '&not;', '&macr;', '&AElig;', '&Ntilde;');
$entitles = get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES);
$entitles = array_diff($entitles, $pl_iso);
return strtr($string, $entitles);
Greatings ;-)


I use this function to convert imput from MS Word into html  (ascii) compatible output. I hope it would work also for you.
I have enabled magic_quotes on my server so maybe you won't need stripslashes and addslashes.
I've also noticed that Opera 8.51 browses behaves somehow different from IE 6 and Firefox 1.5. I haven't check this functions with other browsers.
function convert_word_to_ascii($string)
$string = stripslashes($string);

if ( stristr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], "Opera") )
$search = array('&#8216;',

if ( stristr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], "Firefox") || stristr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], "MSIE") )
$search = array(chr(145),

$replace = array( "'",
$new_string = str_replace($search, $replace, $string);
return addslashes($new_string);

lorenzo masetti

i think I found a bug in  makeSafeEntities procedure. I don't know why but if the string has a special charachter as the last one (e.g. 'liberté') the result will be truncated ('libert')
I solved by adding and  taking a way a blank at the  end  of the string ,  it is not the most elegant solution but it works
This is the part that I changed in the original code that is at
function makeSafeEntities($str, $convertTags = 0, $encoding = "") {
if (is_array($arrOutput = $str)) {
  foreach (array_keys($arrOutput) as $key)
    $arrOutput[$key] = makeSafeEntities($arrOutput[$key],$encoding);
  return $arrOutput;
else if (!empty($str)) {
    $str .= " ";
  $str = makeUTF8($str,$encoding);
  $str = mb_convert_encoding($str,"HTML-ENTITIES","UTF-8");
  $str = makeAmpersandEntities($str);
  if ($convertTags)
    $str = makeTagEntities($str);
  $str = correctIllegalEntities($str);
  return substr($str, 0, strlen($str)-1);


I just thought I would add that if you're using the default charset, htmlentities will not correctly return the trademark ( â„¢ ) sign.
Instead it will return something like this: �
If you need the trademark symbol, use:
htmlentities( $html, ENT_QUOTES, "UTF-8" );

funky ants

I had a problem working with partially html encoded data, with a selection of unescaped ampersands, hex coded, and characters in "&amp;", style.
Which ive finally overcome by decoding all of the data, adn then reincoding it all.
I found a combination of a couple of peoples work useful.
function get_htmlspecialchars( $given, $quote_style = ENT_QUOTES ){
return htmlentities( unhtmlentities(  $given ) , $quote_style  );
function unhtmlentities( $string ){
$trans_tbl = get_html_translation_table ( HTML_ENTITIES );
$trans_tbl = array_flip( $trans_tbl );
$ret = strtr( $string, $trans_tbl );
return preg_replace( '/&#(\d+);/me' , "chr('\\1')" , $ret );


I found using:
"&#38;",strtr($string, $trans));
didn't trap hex values (such as &#x7684;), so instead I ended
up using:
"&#38;", strtr($string, $trans));

anthony aragues

I found in a previous not the function for encoding the input... which worked great, but it also encoded the &nbsp and
that was being automatically added in my POST, so I created and Output function to go with it that worked for me:
function VerbatimInput($String)
$Output = mysql_escape_string(htmlentities(addslashes($String)));
return $Output;
function VerbatimOutput($Input)
$Output = str_replace("&lt;br /&gt;", "
", "$Input");
$Output = str_replace("&amp;nbsp;", "&nbsp", "$Output");
return $Output;


htmlentites is a very handy function, but it fails to fix one thing which I deal with alot: word 'smart' quotes and emdashes.
The below function replaces the funky double quotes with &quot;, funky single quotes with standard single quotes and fixes emdashes.
function CleanupSmartQuotes($text)
return str_replace($badwordchars,$fixedwordchars,$text);


htmlEncodeText (below) needs a small tweak, the dash needs to be made literal to get picked up in cases like '<a href="blah-blah.php">'.  I have been using this function to parse my postgresql database calls since I have alot of unicode data and I don't want HTML data to be neutered (via htmlentities()).
function htmlEncodeText ($string)
 $pattern = '<([a-zA-Z0-9\.\, "\'_\/\-\+~=;:\(\)?&#%![\]@]+)>';
 preg_match_all ('/' . $pattern . '/', $string, $tagMatches, PREG_SET_ORDER);
 $textMatches = preg_split ('/' . $pattern . '/', $string);
 foreach ($textMatches as $key => $value) {
  $textMatches [$key] = htmlentities ($value);
 for ($i = 0; $i < count ($textMatches); $i ++) {
  $textMatches [$i] = $textMatches [$i] . $tagMatches [$i] [0];
 return implode ($textMatches);
--Editor note: Combined some corrections to the regex pattern, thanks to fabian dot lange at web dot de, hammertscrew at veryweb dot com, webmaster AT scholesmafia DOT co DOT uk, thomas AT cosifan DOT de and marques at displague dot com---


Hi, from some machines (Mac for example), when submiting a form characters with accents makes the wrong encode.
For example: í -> &Atilde;&shy instead of &iacute;


Here's another version of that "allhtmlentities" function that an anonymous user posted in the last comment, only this one would be significantly more efficient. Again, this would convert anything that has an ASCII value higher than 127.
function allhtmlentities($string)
return preg_replace('/[^\x00-\x7F]/e', '"&#".ord("$0").";"', $string);

guillaume beaulieu

Here's a simple script to transform filename with accented character in it into much more usable unaccented character for a restrictive filesystem.
$string = htmlentities($stringToModify);
/* Take the first letter of the entity (if you got filename with ([<>] in it the result will probably remain lookable*/
$string =  preg_replace("/\&(.)[^;]*;/", "\\1", $string);
/* Change the whitespace into _*/
$string = preg_replace("/[ ]/", "_", $string);
/* Dance ! */
print $string;


Here you have a character map function ;)
function htmldecode($encoded, $char = 'HTML_SPECIALCHARS') {
foreach($encoded as $key => $value){
echo $value .' --> ';
if ($char == 'HTML_SPECIALCHARS') {
echo htmlspecialchars($value);
} else {
echo htmlentities($value);
echo '&gtbr&lt';
echo 'ENTITIES<&gtbr&lt><&gtbr&lt>';
$entities = get_html_translation_table (HTML_ENTITIES);
htmldecode($entities, 'HTML_ENTITIES');
echo '<&gtbr&lt>SPECIAL CHARACTERS<&gtbr&lt><&gtbr&lt>';
$specialchars = get_html_translation_table (HTML_SPECIALCHARS);
htmldecode($specialchars, 'HTML_SPECIALCHARS');
So next time you're developing you'll always have a charmap ready to use.


here the centralized version of htmlentities() for multibyte.
function mb_htmlentities($string)
   $string = htmlentities($string, ENT_COMPAT, mb_internal_encoding());
   return $string;


function htmlnumericentities($str){
 return preg_replace('/[^!-%\x27-;=?-~ ]/e', '"&#".ord("$0").chr(59)', $str);
function numericentitieshtml($str){
 return utf8_encode(preg_replace('/&#(\d+);/e', 'chr(str_replace(";","",str_replace("&#","","$0")))', $str));
echo (htmlnumericentities ("Ceci est un test : & é $ à ç <"));
echo ("<br/>\n");
echo (numericentitieshtml (htmlnumericentities ("Ceci est un test : & é $ à ç <")));
Output is :
Ceci est un test : &#38; &#233; $ &#224; &#231; &#60;<br/>
Ceci est un test : & é $ à ç <
First method convert characters to decimal values.
Second will reverse the problem !!!


Convert any language (Japanese, French, Chinese, Russian, etc...) to unicode HTML entities like &#XXXX;
In one line!
where $s is your string (may be a FORM submitted one).

anonymous coward

Another version of the xml special characters string conversion, this one also takes care of ascii chars in range 128 to 255
$asc2uni = Array();
 $asc2uni[chr($i)] = "&#x".dechex($i).";";    
function XMLStrFormat($str){
   global $asc2uni;
   $str = str_replace("&", "&amp;", $str);
   $str = str_replace("<", "&lt;", $str);  
   $str = str_replace(">", "&gt;", $str);  
   $str = str_replace("'", "&apos;", $str);  
   $str = str_replace("\"", "&quot;", $str);  
   $str = str_replace("\r", "", $str);
   $str = strtr($str,$asc2uni);
   return $str;


allthough it is much more complex than this, please note that if you're using xhtml the character encoding you specify within your document is "associated" with the encoding used by php.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="..."?>
may also assess the manner form data is submitted. as it is prepared before sending it does not matter whether it is post or get.
to give you something stoutly have a look at mozilla firefox (0.9.3) where submitting form data...
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
...converts ä to %E4
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
...converts ä to %C3%A4
or at internet explorer (6.0) where encoding is ignored while submit but default values of an input field let you recognize the same thing.
this may confuse you getting the desired &auml; afterwards.


A version of the xml entities function below. This one replaces the "prime" character (’) with which I had difficulties.
// XML Entity Mandatory Escape Characters
function xmlentities($string) {
  return str_replace ( array ( '&', '"', "'", '<', '>', '’' ), array ( '&amp;' , '&quot;', '&apos;' , '&lt;' , '&gt;', '&apos;' ), $string );


A quick revision to my last comment. For some reason, leaving the control characters in the safe range seemed to screw things up. So instead, using this function will do what everybody else here is trying to do, but it will do so in a single line:
$text = preg_replace('/[^\x09\x0A\x0D\x20-\x7F]/e', '"&#".ord($0).";"', $text);

root nospam

A little function that may help someone. Is useful where, FE, someone writes a text through a content management panel and is also able to put html (bolds, italics,...), so we don't want to convert html tags but all the rest. The code offers a few examples of extra entities.
function myhtmlentities($str) {


unset ($tbl["<"]);
unset ($tbl[">"]);
unset ($tbl["'"]);
unset ($tbl['"']);

return str_replace(array_keys($tbl),array_values($tbl),$str);



a function to encode everything but html tags. pattern improvement is much appreciated!
function htmlEncodeText ($string)
 $pattern = '<([a-zA-Z0-9\. "\'_\/-=;\(\)?&#%]+)>';
 preg_match_all ('/' . $pattern . '/', $string, $tagMatches, PREG_SET_ORDER);
 $textMatches = preg_split ('/' . $pattern . '/', $string);
 foreach ($textMatches as $key => $value) {
   $textMatches [$key] = htmlentities ($value);
 for ($i = 0; $i < count ($textMatches); $i ++) {
   $textMatches [$i] = $textMatches [$i] . $tagMatches [$i] [0];
 return implode ($textMatches);


// tested with PHP 4.3.4, Apache 1.29
// function works like original htmlentities
// but preserves Polish characters encoded in CP-1250
// (Windows code page) from false conversion
//, 2004
function htmlentities1250($str)
// four chars does not need any conversion
// s` (9c), z` (9f), Z` (8f), S` (8c)
$trans = array(
"&sup3;"  => "\xb3", //  "l-"
"&sup1;"  => "\xb9", //  "a,"
"&ecirc;" => "\xea", //  "e,"
"&aelig;" => "\xe6", //  "c`"
"&ntilde;"=> "\xf1", //  "n`"                            
"&iquest;"=> "\xbf", //  "z."
"&yen;"   => "\xa5", //  "A,"
"&AElig;" => "\xc6", //  "C`"
"&macr;"  => "\xaf", //  "Z."
"&Ecirc;" => "\xca", //  "E,"
"&oacute;"=> "\xf3", //  "o`"
"&Oacute;"=> "\xd3", //  "O`"
"&pound;" => "\xa3", //  "L-"
"&Ntilde;"=> "\xd1"  //  "N`"
return strtr(htmlentities($str), $trans);


// htmlentities() does not support Mac Roman, so this is a workaround. It requires the below table.
// This function runs on a Mac OSX machine, where text is stored in the Mac Roman character set inside a Mac OSX MySQL table.
function custom_htmlentities ($string, $table) {
// Loop throught the array, replacing each ocurrance
for ($n = 0; $n < count($table); $n++) {
$table_line = each($table);
// use the chr function to get the one character string for each ascii decimal code
$find_char = chr($table_line[key]);
$replace_string = $table_line[value];
$string = str_replace($find_char, $replace_string, $string);
return $string;


replaces everything but
carriage return
function allhtmlentities($string,$decode_first=true) {
   // this is to ensure that any entities already coded are not "messed up"
   if($decode_first) $string = html_entity_decode($string);
   // "encode"
   return preg_replace(
          , '"&#".ord("$0").";"', $string);


Within <textarea>, Browsers auto render & display certain "HTML Entities" and "HTML Entity Codes" as characters:
&lt; shows as <    --    &amp; shows as &    --    etc.
Browsers also auto change any "HTML Entity Codes" entered in a <textarea> into the resultant display characters BEFORE UPLOADING.  There's no way to change this, making it difficult to edit html in a <textarea>
"HTML Entity Codes" (ie, use of &#60 to represent "<", &#38 to represent "&" &#160 to represent "&nbsp;") can be used instead.  Therefore, we need to "HTML-Entitize" the data for display, which changes the raw/displayed characters into their HTML Entity Code equivalents before being shown in a <textarea>.
how would I get a textarea to contain "&lt;" as a literal string of characters and not have it display a "<"
&amp;lt; is indeed the correct way of doing that. And if you wanted to display that, you'd need to use &amp;amp;lt;'. That's just how HTML entities work.
htmlspecialchars() is a subset of htmlentities()
the reverse (ie, changing html entity codes into displayed characters, is done w/ html_entity_decode()
google on ns_quotehtml and see
see also

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