How can I type emoji on my PC keyboard? Itâs a question that youâve probably asked, given up on, shrugged, and then pulled out your smartphone. Now, with Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update, a new emoji keyboard will make adding emoji to Twitter, Facebook, and other apps a snap.Â
While thereâs nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned smiley-face :) or GIF, an emoji is a simple way to add a bit of fun to your communications. Thatâs the whole point of emoji, after all! And while theyâve been part of smartphone culture for years,Â youâll have to wait until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update drops on Oct. 17Â for Microsoft to add its easy emoji command and emoji keyboard to Windows 10.
For now, weâll show you how to bring up emoji under the current version of Windows 10, and how it will become easier once the Fall Creators Update drops. (We used Insider Build 16215 for testing.)
How to type emoji under Windows 10
Whatâs so annoying about the current state of emoji in Windows 10 is that Microsoft almost, but not quite, has it right. A tool called theÂ On-Screen Keyboard is actually an accessibility app that you can launch using the Start menu, or, via the Control Panel, trigger to launch whenever you boot Windows.
The On-Screen keyboard isÂ not an emoji app, however, and trying to type a smiley-face simply types in text: a colon and a closed parentheses symbol. Given that the on-screen keyboard is rather detailed, you would think that emoji could be built right in. Nope.
If youâre lucky enough to have a tablet, emoji are accessible onlyÂ if you undock the tablet and put it into tablet mode. In tablet modeâand only in tablet modeâyouâll see an on-screen keyboard icon appear in the lower right-hand corner of your taskbar. ItâsÂ this keyboard that allows you to type in emojiâif you enjoy typing on glass while trying to tweet or send email.
Discovering that Microsoft allows emoji in one on-screen keyboard but not in the other is the sort of design decision that, as a user, makes you want to tear your hair out. Fortunately, Microsoft has resolved that issue with the Fall Creators Update.
How to launch the emoji keyboard within Windows 10 (and the FCU)Â
Once the Fall Creators Update drops, hereâs how to launch the emoji keyboard within Windows 10: either use the WIN + .Â (the period punctuation mark) key, or else the WIN + ;Â (semi-colon) key. Either will open the new emoji keyboard.
There, youâll find the standard range of emoji, from people to food to sports, plus Microsoft-specific emoji like the ninjacat. You can navigate among the various âtabsâ or categories of emoji via the Tab key, and touch or mouse to the one youâd like, or use the arrow keys. TheÂ Enter key selects the proper emoji.
Thereâs one catch: Somewhat inexplicably, you can enter onlyÂ one emoji at a time. After you enter your emoji, the keyboard disappears. That means, of course, that if you want toÂ really emphasize a pointâđ˘đ˘đ˘âfor example, youâll have to re-invoke the keyboard three separate times. Unfortunately, the emoji keyboard isnât a true, draggable window, eitherâit remains in place.
Thereâs one other option you should know about: On the very first tab of the emoji keyboard (and only that tab, for now) thereâs a small âswatchâ of what looks like fabric to the upper right, near the 'X' icon to close the emoji window. The swatch represents a global adjustment for the skin tone for each emoji, which you may vary as you choose.
If thereâs any downside to Microsoftâs emoji window, itâs that developers have already coded in solutions to fix the issue. If you post something to Facebook, or use the Web app that Twitter provides, each service will present you with a small emoji icon to add whatever emoji youâd like, regardless of whether you have the Fall Creators Update.
Thatâs not the case for all apps, though. And Microsoftâs ownâWord, PowerPoint, Mail, and othersâlack the capabilities that the new emoji keyboard adds. Once the new emoji keyboard drops with the Fall Creators Update, that will be cause for đđđĽ!