How to get emojis on Mac: complete step-by-step guide

how to get emojis on Mac

Explains how to get emojis on Mac, with step-by-step instructions, emojis as an overlay on Mac and link to find ALL the emojis.

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»Emojis rule the world.« Okay, we wouldn’t go that far! But the small images of smileys, figures and symbols for the subtext of a message are often more meaningful than written words. Under iOS, they can be quickly found by pressing a key in the digital keyboard. On the Mac, however, you have to know how to get hold of them. It’s actually very simple.

  • Select a text box where you want an emoji to be inserted.
  • Press the Control, Command and
    Space keys at the same time: CTRL + CMD + Space
  • Select the appropriate emoji from the overview.

Alternatively, you can also access the corresponding emoji overlay via the menu item »Edit« at the bottom under »Emoji & Symbols«.

Emoji overview as an overlay

Some apps, such as the Messages app, also have their own button for displaying the emoji overview. The app also automatically translates the typical character combinations into the corresponding smileys – for example 🙂 in 🙂 or;) in 😉. Starting with the upcoming Mac operating system macOS Sierra, emojis will be displayed three times as large as before.

Overview of the emojis on Mac

There are 240 different emojis in the overview that appear after entering the code CRTL-CMD-Space. Because of their large number, they are divided into categories that can be quickly accessed using the buttons at the bottom. The categories are

  • Smiley & people
  • Animals & nature
  • Eat Drink
  • activity
  • Travel & places
  • Objects
  • Symbols
  • Flags

The categories are specified by the Unicode consortium. However, the overview also includes other characters from the categories

  • Letter-like characters
  • Pictograms
  • Bullets / Stars
  • Technical symbols
  • Characters / standard symbols

There are several versions available for a large number of emojis: usually different skin colors, sometimes different outfits. By clicking on such an emoji, the selection of the variants appears as a context menu, from which the specific appearance can then be selected.

It can be assumed that the number of emojis will keep expanding again in the near future with each update. But there’s already plenty of choices — from drooling smiley faces to clown, cowboy and facepalm to croissant, baguette and whiskey on the rocks. You can find a view of every Apple emojis available so far here.

how to get emojis on Mac,

Emoji overview in the menu bar
In order to be able to access an overview of all emojis including all other available symbols directly from the menu bar, you must set two ticks in the system settings.

  • Select »Keyboard« in the system settings.
  • Switch to the tab »Input sources«.
  • Check the box »Show input sources in menu bar«. A flag symbol for the keyboard layout you have chosen should appear in the top right of your menu bar.
  • In the system settings, switch back to the »Keyboard« tab.
  • Check the box for »Show keyboard, emoji and symbol overviews in the menu bar«. The flag should now have given way to a black and white icon for the symbol overview.

The two ticks to be set in the settings and the resulting keyboard menus
From now on you can select »Show emoji & symbols« in the newly appeared menu item. Here you can see all available characters. In addition to the emojis, these also include all letters, mathematical symbols, arrows and currencies. By the way: As long as you have the character overview open, the shortcut is++ (CTRL + CMD + Space) deactivated.