How to Insert Emojis on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Have you ever wanted to add a little extra flair to your messages or documents on your Mac? Well, look no further!

In this tutorial, we will show you how to easily insert emojis on your Mac. Emojis are a fun and creative way to express yourself, and they can be used in various applications such as messaging, social media posts, and even emails. So let’s get started!

Using the Keyboard Shortcut

The quickest and easiest way to insert emojis on your Mac is by using the keyboard shortcut. Just follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Place Your Cursor

First, place your cursor at the location where you want to insert the emoji. It can be in a text document, an email compose window, or any other text field.

Step 2: Press Command + Control + Space

To bring up the emoji picker, press the Command + Control + Space keys simultaneously. This will open a small window with a wide selection of emojis to choose from.

Step 3: Select Your Emoji

In the emoji picker window, you can browse through different categories of emojis using the tabs at the bottom of the window. Once you find the emoji you want to use, simply click on it to insert it at the cursor’s location.

Note: You can also search for specific emojis by typing keywords in the search bar at the top of the emoji picker window.

Using Character Viewer

If you prefer a more comprehensive view of all available emojis and symbols on your Mac, you can use the Character Viewer tool. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open Character Viewer

To open Character Viewer, go to Edit > Emoji & Symbols in the menu bar of any text application or simply press Control + Command + Space keys together.

Step 2: Find and Insert an Emoji

In the Character Viewer window, you’ll see a vast collection of emojis, symbols, and special characters. You can browse through different categories using the left sidebar or use the search bar at the top to find a specific emoji. To insert an emoji, simply double-click on it or click on the “Insert” button.

Note: You can also customize your Character Viewer preferences by clicking on the gear icon at the top left corner of the window. This allows you to add favorite characters, change the size of the window, and more.

Using Shortcodes

If you frequently use specific emojis and want a quicker way to insert them without opening the emoji picker or Character Viewer every time, you can create custom shortcodes. Shortcodes are easy-to-remember codes that automatically convert into emojis when you type them. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open System Preferences

To set up custom shortcodes for emojis, go to Apple menu > System Preferences.

Step 2: Open Keyboard Preferences

In System Preferences, click on Keyboard.

Step 3: Add a Text Replacement Rule

In the Keyboard preferences window, select the Text tab. Click on the “+” button at the bottom left corner to add a new text replacement rule.

Step 4: Enter Your Shortcode and Emoji

In the “Replace” field, enter your desired shortcode (e.g., “:smile:”) followed by a space or any other character that triggers the replacement. In the “With” field, select the emoji you want to associate with the shortcode (you can copy and paste it from the emoji picker or Character Viewer).

Step 5: Save Your Rule

Once you’ve entered your shortcode and selected the corresponding emoji, click on Save to save your rule.

Note: You can create as many custom shortcodes as you like. These shortcodes will work across all applications on your Mac.


Now that you know how to insert emojis on your Mac using different methods, you can add an extra touch of fun and creativity to your messages and documents. Whether it’s a smiley face, a thumbs-up, or a heart, emojis can help convey emotions and make your text more engaging. So go ahead and start experimenting with emojis on your Mac today!

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