January 3, 2019 — September 13, 2023

computers are awful

Raw emotions for typography.

Figure 1: :grimace-heart: from Emoji Kitchen

In every environment, including ones that don’t have good emoji support or are locked down by sysadmins who hate fun, you can use the emoji search page and reference emojipedia, which is a voting member of the unicode consortium according to wikipedia, so they must be authoritative.

1 Generating/finding/mutating

AI Emojis are pretty cute. See also fofr/sdxl-emoji – Run with an API on Replicate.

Figure 2: :koala-chemist: according to AI Emojis

2 Emoji wallpaper

3 Typing emoji

Sometimes it is hard to type emoji; one could try to type them the way one types any weird character. Emoji specifically have specialised means.

3.1 shortcodes

The :emoji: syntax allows us to refer to them via “shortcodes” such as :roller_coaster: for 🎢, which will be rendered by some clever text rendering systems.

I’m not sure what, if any, the canonical list of these shortcodes is but the emoji cheatsheet will do. The github emoji system is aligned to that, I learned via emojify. For this blog, the ugly-lookin’ and slightly divergent pandoc list was handy. One can also use emojipedia dictionary on macOS which is an OS-integrated dictionary of emoji.

Also important: sardonically rating emoji. Here are expert opinions on ants, and horses.

3.2 Ubuntu

In recent Ubuntu emoji input is built-in via Emoji picker (right click), although AFAICT only on system dialogues, which excludes, e.g. the text editors and browsers where you actually need this stuff. There is also the emoji hotkey, defaulting to Ctrl+Shift+E which enables a slightly confusing the underdocumented ibus emoji search widget which for all that is more reliable and usable than the picker etc. However that shortcut key is annoying.

There’s also Character Map and Characters, two more-or-less interchangeable apps to find and type characters for you. Characters is nicer-lookin’ but has awful search, whereas Character Map has merely bad search.

The emoji are, I think, supplied via Google’s Noto font in its emoji flavour.

3.3 macOS

You can open the emoji typer with ⌘ ⌅ Space.

For more power, see

3.4 Browsers

3.5 Mobile

Very built-in these days, but I’m sad that cute apps like Dango which did deep emoji learning, never got traction.

3.6 LaTeX


4 Weird gotcha

Fun fact: It takes reading of the spec to discover that Emoji are banned from YAML 1.1, which is an important text encoding system. We can use escape sequences, but only in double quoted strings.

So, to write the subtitle of this page for YAML 1.1, you could say

"Writing with \U0001f195\U0001f41c\U0001f41c"

I think this is fixed in the more recent YAML 1.2.

However, AFAIK that means that YAML is technically not a superset of JSON, which I thought was a design criterion for YAML. Huh.

5 Incoming

Emoji Painting Gallery - by ND Stevenson