Development / 4 min read

How to remove “OBJ in a box” in WordPress: 3 easy methods

“OBJ in a box” is a character that sometimes appears unexpectedly on titles for WordPress posts. This article is a quick explanation of what it is and how to get rid of it.

OBJ in a box emoji over unfocused text

Have you ever written a post title only to find and unusual [OBJ] emoji/character within a dotted box on your live site once you publish? That character is known as “OBJ in a box” and it appears unexpectedly on many users’ post titles and bodies. Let’s find out how you can remove OBJ in a box in WordPress.

If your goal is to just remove it, read the next section. After that, keep reading to understand what it is, why it appears, and more detailed instructions on how to remove it.

3 quick ways to remove “OBJ in a box” in WordPress

  1. Paste your title as plain text using CTRL + Shift + V on Windows or CMD + Shift + V on Mac.
  2. Select your title, delete it, and retype it without copying and pasting.
  3. Copy the text in the title field or paragraph where OBJ is. Then paste it onto Notepad or any other simple .txt editor. Now copy the text from Notepad and paste it back into your title field or post body. Pasting text you copied from .txt editors strips extra code which may be causing “OBJ in a box” to appear.

Now let’s move on to a deeper explanation of its origin and uses.

What is “OBJ in a box”?

object replacement character unicode symbol

“OBJ in a box,” “OBJ box,” “object in a box,” or simply “OBJ” is a character your WordPress text editor defaults to when it cannot display a special character or emoji.

OBJ is an abbreviation of “object replacement character” and is not a random glitch character. It’s part of the Unicode library, identified with the U+FFFC number. It’s been used since 1998 to signal that a character could not be interpreted and displayed.

WordPress is not the only platform that occasionally suffers from OBJ’s presence. OBJ also appears on apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and many others. If their devices or app versions aren’t compatible with a special character or emoji, OBJ will likely appear.

Why does “OBJ in a box” appear in WordPress?

screenshot of WordPress post title with unwanted OBJ character

Most of the time, OBJ is the result of copying text from MS Word into your WordPress text editor. MS Word and other enriched text processing programs have quite a bit more code going on behind the scenes than most browser text editors.

As a result, when you copy text, it carries over all of this extra “junk” code. When a WordPress text editor can’t recognize the additional code as any specific character, it may display an OBJ in a box to signal unrecognized code on the text.

OBJ also appears when copying from other word processing programs and other programs from which you copy your text.

How to remove “OBJ in a box” in WordPress posts?

There are several ways to remove OBJ from your text. These are the three easiest and quickest ones.

1. Paste your text as plain text (works in popular browsers with an OS-dependent keyboard shortcut)

instructions for pasting as plain text to avoid OBJ

Copy your title or body text from wherever it’s written (Word, Google Docs, etc.) and paste it as plain text. In Windows, use CTRL + Shift + V when editing in Chrome, Edge or Firefox. On Mac, CMD + Shift + V does the same.

Pasting as plain text removes formatting and additional code. It should get rid of the OBJ character.

2. Retype the title field or body text (any browser)

instructions to highlight text and retype it to avoid OBJ

Highlight the text containing the OBJ character, delete it, and retype it. Or replace it after selecting it.

3. Paste the text from a notepad (any browser)

It may seem overkill for such a simple issue, but it’s another possible solution.

Step 1

Copy the text from your title field or body, then paste it into your notepad program. It can be Windows’ Notepad, Mac’s Notes, or any other simple .txt editor.

screencapture showing the process of copying text from WordPress to a notepad app

Step 2

Now that the text is in your notepad program, copy it and paste it back into your WordPress post.

screencapture showing the process of copying text from a notepad app and pasting back to WordPress

Much like pasting as plain text, notepads strip additional formatting code and what you get is simple word characters without added flair. Pasting the stripped-down text back into your editor will eliminate the OBJ character.

Removing OBJ in a Box in WordPress is Easy

“OBJ in a box” is a Unicode character that signals that your editor or operating system can’t display a specific character. In WordPress, OBJ often appears when you paste text copied from an enriched text editor program like MS Word. Word and similar text editors add some extra code to the text that WordPress may not recognize and display as OBJ.

We explained three simple ways to get rid of it. From now on, every time it pops up again you’ll know where it comes from and what to do to remove it.

If you found this article helpful, read our blog for more WordPress insights and guides.