How to convert special HTML entities back to characters in PHP

Topic: PHP / MySQL« Prev|Next »

Answer: Use the PHP htmlspecialchars_decode() function

You can use the PHP htmlspecialchars_decode() function to convert the special HTML entities such as &amp;, &lt;, &gt; etc. back to the normal characters (i.e. &, <, >).

The htmlspecialchars_decode() function is opposite of the htmlspecialchars() function which converts special HTML characters into HTML entities.


  • <?php
  • $my_str = "I&#039;ll come &amp; &lt;b&gt;&quot;get you&quot;&lt;/b&gt;.";
  • // Decode &amp;, &lt;, &gt; and &quot;
  • echo htmlspecialchars_decode($my_str);
  • // Decode &amp;, &lt;, &gt;, &quot; and &#039;
  • echo htmlspecialchars_decode($my_str, ENT_QUOTES);
  • // Decode &amp;, &lt; and &gt;
  • echo htmlspecialchars_decode($my_str, ENT_NOQUOTES);
  • ?>

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