htmlspecialchars_decode()

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Published Sep 20, 2023
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The htmlspecialchars_decode() function converts special HTML entities back to characters. The converted entities include &, ", ', < and >.

Syntax

htmlspecialchars_decode($string, $flags)

The htmlspecialchars_decode() function has two parameters:

  • $string (required): Specifies the string with the HTML entities to convert (decode).
  • $flags (optional): A bitmask of one or more of the following flags, which specify how to handle quotes and which document type to use.
Constant Description
ENT_COMPAT Converts double-quotes and leaves single-quotes alone
ENT_QUOTES Converts both double and single quotes
ENT_NOQUOTES Leaves both double and single quotes unconverted
ENT_SUBSTITUTE Replaces invalid code unit sequences with a Unicode Replacement Character U+FFFD (UTF-8) or � (otherwise) instead of returning an empty string
ENT_HTML401 Handles code as HTML 4.01
ENT_XML1 Handles code as XML 1
ENT_XHTML Handles code as XHTML
ENT_HTML5 Handles code as HTML 5

The htmlspecialchars_decode() function returns the converted string with characters like &, ", ', < and >.

Example

The following example uses the htmlspecialchars_decode() function to convert a string that contains multiple HTML entities.

<?php
$original = "Codecademy &lt;3 PHP and special characters like &amp;, &quot;, &#039;, &lt; and &gt;.";
echo "original: " . $original . "\n";
echo "converted: " . htmlspecialchars_decode($original, ENT_QUOTES) . "\n";
?>

The example will result in the following output:

original: Codecademy &lt;3 PHP and special characters like &amp;, &quot;, &#039;, &lt; and &gt;.
converted: Codecademy <3 PHP and special characters like &, ", ', < and >.

Codebyte Example

This example is runnable and uses the htmlspecialchars_decode() function:

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