Without a doubt, one of the most popular apps on smartphones – any smartphones, really – is the messaging app. Billions of sentence long messages go back and forth between our iPhones and device’s running Google’s Android operating system every year. Though a smaller number for sure, millions of additional messages are traded through chat apps, things like iMessage, Hangouts and Skype. These message can be made up of text, but they also can have Emoji.
You likely know what an Emoji is, even if you aren’t familiar with what they’re called. The tiny characters come in different colors, with different expressions to let you display a full range of emotions. In a way, they’re a special kind of code, a short-hand for letting people know how you feel and what you’re thinking of at that moment.
Software makers began adding support for Emoji directly to their products a years ago. They noticed how popular dedicated Emoji keyboards for iPhone and Android had become. Since then, their use has spread quickly. Microsoft added support for the tiny characters into Windows with Windows 8. Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile boast the best Emoji support Microsoft has ever offered. Both include a dedicated Emoji keyboard that supports the latest standards.
Using the Emoji keyboard in Microsoft’s latest operating system update, you can send expressions to your friends and family. Here’s how to Use Emoji in Windows 10.
Using Emoji in Windows 10
Using Emoji in Windows 10 is incredibly easy. You don’t need to purchase a special software keyboard from the Windows Store or install a dedicated app.
If you’re on a device with a touch display – like a tablet or 2-in-1 – then you should have access to the Windows touch keyboard on your Taskbar. Look for the icon in the bottom-right corner of your display, just to the left of your clock and today’s date. It even looks like a tiny keyboard.
Unfortunately, devices without a touch display don’t have an icon for the Windows touch keyboard on their Taskbar. It needs to be added manually. You can do that by right-clicking on the arrow in the Taskbar and selecting the option that says. “show touch keyboard button” in the pop-up menu.
Go to the messaging or email app where you’d like to send your Emoji. Tap or click on the place you’d you like the Emoji to appear.
Tap or click on that touch keyboard button.
The Windows touch keyboard should float out from the bottom edge of your display. Despite its name, you can interact with the touch keyboard with a mouse to. When the touch keyboard is open, remember to not type on your physical keyboard. If you do, Windows will automatically shut the touch keyboard since it thinks you don’t need it.
Tap or click on the face to the left of the space bar and to the right of the Ctrl button in the Windows touch keyboard.
Now you can select the Emoji that you’d like to use.
Take your time. There are hundreds of Emojis in Windows 10. The arrows along the left edge of the touch keyboard are for navigating the different pages of characters. Some of the Emoji will look similar but include a slight alteration or two.
The symbols along the bottom edge of the keyboard underscore just how many characters there are in the operating system. The first page holds faces. The second holds characters hinting at time and dates. The third is all about facial expressions. The fourth focuses on enhanced characters. The fifth category is for world events, outings and celebrations. Windows 10 has 9 different categories of Emoji all together.
Clicking or taping on the squiggly frame allows you to decide what color some Emoji appear as. By default, people-centered Emojis are yellow, but you can change their skin tone with this option. There are six different skin tones in all.
When you’ve added all the Emoji that you want, simply close the Windows touch keyboard. You can manually do this by tapping or clicking on the X at the top-right of the keyboard. You can have the keyboard automatically close itself by tapping a letter on your keyboard too.
Things to Know About Using Emoji in Windows 10
Emojis sent to two devices of the same kind shouldn’t have any issues being display, but keep in mind that you could run into issues if you’re using Windows 10 and the person you are sending the message to isn’t. That’s because both the sender and receiver need to support the same expression. Otherwise, the receiver will only see a black box or a question mark. As Emojis have matured, this has become less of a problem.
Windows 10 became the first operating system in Microsoft’s line-up to support the middle finger at launch. Some older operating systems on devices running Android still don’t support that Emoji.
Good luck using Emoji in Windows 10.