How to Insert Emoji in Emails with OS X Mail

Mad egg emoticon
Flickr/PDPics

If an email's recipient cannot see the face you make as you type it, how about showing them someone else's face—or an iconic version of a face at least?

Emoji Emoticons Express Emotions, Ideas, and More

Emoji include emoticons to express love, rage, and most things in between, as well as pictographs for many oft-used concepts and objects. Using emoji, you can both lighten up your emails to be taken less seriously and enliven them with fun and character and make the faster to grasp with but a glance.

In OS X Mail, adding emoji emoticons is easy, and you can sprinkle not only your message with their colors and expressivity, you can insert them in the Subject line as well, for example, or add them to the recipient's name in the To line.

Insert Emoji in Emails with OS X Mail

To spruce up your emails with emoji in OS X Mail:

  • Position the text cursor in the email where you want to insert the emoji character.
  • Press Command-Control-Space.
    • You can also select Edit | Special Characters… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  • Select the Emoji section.
    • If you do not see Emoji listed:
      • Click the settings gear icon () in the Characters window's toolbar.
      • Select Customize List… from the menu that has appeared.
      • Make sure Emoji is checked under Symbols.
      • Click Done.
    • You can also find your most recently used emoji characters under Recently Used, of course, and add your most-used and best-loved emoji to the Favorites section (click Add to Favorites under the character).
  • Find the desired emoji using the categories.
  • Double-click the pictogram to insert it at the text cursor's position.
    • You can also drag and drop the emoji to any place in the email's body as well as the Subject and address fields.
  • Close the Characters window.

Note that you can insert emoji characters in very much the same into emails using different OS X email programs and browsers; this is not unique to OS X Mail.

Note, also, that the emoji characters need not look identical to all operating systems, platforms and email programs. The general idea and design should be expressed and kept, though.