NSString encoding special characters like !@#$%^&

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What you are talking about is called HTML Entities.

There exists a category claiming to solve this: NSString+HTML.

For URL Escaping (while we’re at it) use this:

@nterface NSString (Escaping)

- (NSString *)percentEscapedString
- (NSString *)percentUnescapedString


@implementation NSString (Escaping)

- (NSString *)percentEscapedString {
    return [self stringByAddingPercentEscapesUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];

- (NSString *)percentUnescapedString {
    return [self stringByReplacingPercentEscapesUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];


Edit: As Dave pointed out weaknesses in my references solution, here are some related questions with lots of other solutions:

  • Objective C HTML escape/unescape
  • HTML character decoding in Objective-C / Cocoa Touch