How to type Emojis and Symbols on a Mac

You want to type things like this…

Smiley Emoji
Smiley Emoji


… but you don’t know how to do it. Until now!

Since Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) there’s been an Emoji & Symbols menu item at the bottom of the Edit menu in many Mac programs. Choose that and you get this:

Emoji & Symbols palette
Emoji & Symbols palette


Choose a category on the left, and then choose a symbol/picture on the right. Double-click the picture to insert it into your document (Mail, Pages document, Messages). If double-clicking doesn’t work, just drag the smaller version (highlighted in the picture above) into place. You can’t drag the big version, for some reason.

BONUS: keyboard shortcut for showing the Emoji & Symbols palette is Control-Command-Spacebar.

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