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How To Add Emojis to your PC or Mac

Posted by Jamie on July 16, 2018

Are you so used to using emojis on your phone that you feel lost when you use another device? Want to know how to get emojis on your PC or Mac? That’s what this tutorial is all about. Why should phones have all the fun?

Sometimes, a single emoji can sum up an emotion that would take several sentences. They are a unique method of communication that have literally changed the way we express ourselves forever. What was once a niche Japanese form of expressing things they don’t usually express as a culture has become a global phenomenon for portraying emotion.

As well as giving people the ability to portray emotions without words, emojis also allow you to say things without causing offense or annoying the recipient (mostly). They are a non-adversarial way of expressing feelings and you can often get away with saying something with an emoji that you wouldn’t get away with using words.

Not all emojis are not installed by default on a PC but since the Fall Creator’s Update, you have more options than ever before. Mac has a bunch of emojis installed too.

How to use emojis on your PC

If you have the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update, you have access to a new emoji keyboard. It wasn’t advertised much and certainly didn’t get the kind of attention other new features did but it is there. The upside is that a lot of emojis are present. The downside is that you can only add one at a time before the keyboard disappears so you have to call it up every time you want to add a single emoji.

To access emoji on your PC, press the Windows key plus ‘;’ (semicolon). You should see a window like the image above appear. Select the emoji you want and it will be inserted into whichever app you’re using at the time. Use the tabs at the bottom to select between categories.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts for more basic emojis if you find the new keyboard unwieldy. Press Alt plus the corresponding number in your keypad to call one of these fine emoji.

For example, Alt + 1 brings up ☺, Alt + 2 calls ☻ and so on.

Finally, you can use the Touch Keyboard function in Windows 10 to access emoji. You can create a shortcut to add to the Task Bar to make this easy if you like. If you are using Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update, you just need to right click an empty space on the Task Bar and select Show touch keyboard button. An icon will then appear next to the other icons by your clock. Select the icon and the touch keyboard will appear at the bottom of your screen. Select the emoji button to the left of the space bar.

How to get emojis on your Mac

Macs also have emojis built in on newer versions of MacOS. If you’re used to using them on your iPhone, you will find similar ones available on your Mac as long as you have updated to the latest OS version. It’s a similar setup to PC, a small window that allows you to select emoji and insert them into an open app as you see fit.

To call the Character Viewer on Mac, press Control, Command (⌘), and the spacebar to access it. Use the tabs at the bottom to select your category or search if you know what you’re looking for. The corresponding emoji will then be inserted into whatever app you have open and selected at the time.

The Mac version of the emoji keyboard works much better than the Windows version. It remains open to allow you to select multiple emoji. It can also be activated between apps, so you can switch between open apps on your Mac with the Character Viewer open and insert characters into whichever is active at the time.

If you have a Touch Bar Mac, you have another option. Whenever you’re using Message or other app that support emoji, the Touch Bar will populate the icons so you can select them directly.

If you want to get emojis on your PC or Mac, you now know how. Both recent versions of Windows and MacOS has support for emojis and a selection of common ones built in. The Mac way of doing things is better but Windows lets you get things done too.

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