String Functions
PHP Manual


(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7)

htmlentitiesConvert all applicable characters to HTML entities


string htmlentities ( string $string [, int $flags = ENT_COMPAT | ENT_HTML401 [, string $encoding = ini_get("default_charset") [, bool $double_encode = true ]]] )

This function is identical to htmlspecialchars() in all ways, except with htmlentities(), all characters which have HTML character entity equivalents are translated into these entities.

If you want to decode instead (the reverse) you can use html_entity_decode().



The input string.


A bitmask of one or more of the following flags, which specify how to handle quotes, invalid code unit sequences and the used document type. The default is ENT_COMPAT | ENT_HTML401.

Available flags constants
Constant Name Description
ENT_COMPAT Will convert double-quotes and leave single-quotes alone.
ENT_QUOTES Will convert both double and single quotes.
ENT_NOQUOTES Will leave both double and single quotes unconverted.
ENT_IGNORE Silently discard invalid code unit sequences instead of returning an empty string. Using this flag is discouraged as it » may have security implications.
ENT_SUBSTITUTE Replace invalid code unit sequences with a Unicode Replacement Character U+FFFD (UTF-8) or &#FFFD; (otherwise) instead of returning an empty string.
ENT_DISALLOWED Replace invalid code points for the given document type with a Unicode Replacement Character U+FFFD (UTF-8) or &#FFFD; (otherwise) instead of leaving them as is. This may be useful, for instance, to ensure the well-formedness of XML documents with embedded external content.
ENT_HTML401 Handle code as HTML 4.01.
ENT_XML1 Handle code as XML 1.
ENT_XHTML Handle code as XHTML.
ENT_HTML5 Handle code as HTML 5.


An optional argument defining the encoding used when converting characters.

If omitted, the default value of the encoding varies depending on the PHP version in use. In PHP 5.6 and later, the default_charset configuration option is used as the default value. PHP 5.4 and 5.5 will use UTF-8 as the default. Earlier versions of PHP use ISO-8859-1.

Although this argument is technically optional, you are highly encouraged to specify the correct value for your code if you are using PHP 5.5 or earlier, or if your default_charset configuration option may be set incorrectly for the given input.

The following character sets are supported:

Supported charsets
Charset Aliases Description
ISO-8859-1 ISO8859-1 Western European, Latin-1.
ISO-8859-5 ISO8859-5 Little used cyrillic charset (Latin/Cyrillic).
ISO-8859-15 ISO8859-15 Western European, Latin-9. Adds the Euro sign, French and Finnish letters missing in Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1).
UTF-8   ASCII compatible multi-byte 8-bit Unicode.
cp866 ibm866, 866 DOS-specific Cyrillic charset.
cp1251 Windows-1251, win-1251, 1251 Windows-specific Cyrillic charset.
cp1252 Windows-1252, 1252 Windows specific charset for Western European.
KOI8-R koi8-ru, koi8r Russian.
BIG5 950 Traditional Chinese, mainly used in Taiwan.
GB2312 936 Simplified Chinese, national standard character set.
BIG5-HKSCS   Big5 with Hong Kong extensions, Traditional Chinese.
Shift_JIS SJIS, SJIS-win, cp932, 932 Japanese
EUC-JP EUCJP, eucJP-win Japanese
MacRoman   Charset that was used by Mac OS.
''   An empty string activates detection from script encoding (Zend multibyte), default_charset and current locale (see nl_langinfo() and setlocale()), in this order. Not recommended.

Note: Any other character sets are not recognized. The default encoding will be used instead and a warning will be emitted.


When double_encode is turned off PHP will not encode existing html entities. The default is to convert everything.

Return Values

Returns the encoded string.

If the input string contains an invalid code unit sequence within the given encoding an empty string will be returned, unless either the ENT_IGNORE or ENT_SUBSTITUTE flags are set.


Version Description
5.6.0 The default value for the encoding parameter was changed to be the value of the default_charset configuration option.
5.4.0 The default value for the encoding parameter was changed to UTF-8.
5.4.0 The constants ENT_SUBSTITUTE, ENT_DISALLOWED, ENT_HTML401, ENT_XML1, ENT_XHTML and ENT_HTML5 were added.
5.3.0 The constant ENT_IGNORE was added.
5.2.3 The double_encode parameter was added.


Example #1 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($strENT_QUOTES);

Example #2 Usage of ENT_IGNORE


// Outputs an empty string
echo htmlentities($strENT_QUOTES"UTF-8");

// Outputs "!!!"
echo htmlentities($strENT_QUOTES ENT_IGNORE"UTF-8");

See Also

String Functions
PHP Manual