You might think that emoji only belong on your phone, and it’s true that these postmodern hieroglyphs did not really take off until the smartphone revolution. But that does not mean you can not use them on your computer, especially if you own a Mac. There are all kinds of emoji-specific features baked directly into macOS.
We̵7;ve shown you the basics of emoji before, but if you’re a real emoji fan you will want more power. This is how you get it.
Insert Emoji quickly
Apple has never really announced it, but macOS makes it relatively easy to insert emoji as you type. Just press Control, Command and Space to bring up the emoji window.
From here, you can browse all emoji, either by scrolling or by category. You can also start typing to quickly search for a specific emoji:
In addition to emoji, you will find all sorts of special unicode symbols, such as ⌘, ⏏ and ♠. It is also a useful way for people with an American keyboard to quickly find international symbols, such as the euro symbol (€) or the British pound symbol (£).
Make Emoji easier to use with the rocket
If you are a Slack user, you know that the chat platform does emoji right. In Slack, inserting an emoji is just as easy to type with a colon (:) followed by a word that describes what you’re looking for – auto-completion pop-ups make things even faster. It is fast and intuitive, and unlike the method described above, it requires no extra gestures.
Rocket is a simple, free Mac application that provides this feature to any application on your Mac. Using it could not be easier: just type a colon followed by the word you are looking for. Real-time search results show your options as you type, and you can press “Enter” to select anything. Like this:
If you are really addicted to emoji, I highly recommend that you set up this program. Sure, it only saves a few keystrokes, but it might be worth it.
If you would rather not have a third-party program running all the time, check out Macmoji instead. This uses the built-in auto-replace feature in macOS to achieve roughly the same thing, the biggest difference being that you need to know the exact spelling of an emoji in order to use it.
Look up all the Emoji quickly
Emoji are small, and sometimes it is difficult to figure out what they should be. Your Mac can help.
RELATED: Your Mac Dictionary is more than definitions: here’s what you can search for
Many people overlook the dictionary program that comes with macOS, and it’s a shame: it’s much more than just a dictionary. Perhaps my favorite feature is its integration with the entire operating system: select and right-click almost anything, or use a three-finger gesture and you can quickly look up a word. As it turns out, it also works for emoji:
It’s nice, but all it does is give the definition of the emoji’s name. If you would rather see a larger image of emoji, along with a link to more information, I recommend that you install the Emojipedia dictionary. Just download the file and you will have a .diction file in your download folder.
Drag this file to
~/Library/Dictionaries; you need to know how to access the hidden library folder on your Mac.
Then look up the dictionary, which you will find in the Applications folder. Go to Dictionary> Settings in the menu bar and then scroll down until you find Emojipedia.
Make sure this dictionary is selected. You can now look up emoji the same way you do words.
If you are ever unsure what an emoji should be, this will give you a bigger picture and a brief description. It probably won’t save your life, but it might.