If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is an emoji worth? Emoji are becoming commonplace in our digital world, helping express emotion in our texts, tweets and even selfies on sites like Instagram and Snapchat. It’s easy to access emoji on iOS and Android, but what about on Mac?

While it’s not quite as intuitive as your iPhone, you can access hundreds of emoji via your Mac. Work emails will never be the same again! 🤘🏻

How to access emoji on Mac

It might not be obvious at a glance, but there are several ways to access emoji on your Mac.

Keyboard shortcut

The most convenient way to access the emoji picker on your Mac is via keyboard shortcut:

  1. Place the cursor where you’d like to insert emoji in a text window (be it a tweet, in a note or even in Photoshop). 
  2. On your keyboard, press Command + Control + Spacebar to access the emoji picker.
  3. Browse and click the emoji you’d like to use to insert it. 

As with iOS, emoji are divided into various categories including Smileys & People, Animals & Nature and Objects, but if there’s a specific emoji you’ve got in mind, you can also use the search bar to try and find it. The name of the emoji doesn’t always align with what it depicts, but it should work most of the time. 🤷🏻‍♂️

While it’s primarily for emoji, you can also use this method to access lesser-used symbols. 

Add the emoji picker to the Menu bar

If you can’t seem to remember the keyboard combination to access the emoji picker on-the-fly, you’ve always got the option of adding it to the Menu bar at the top of your Mac.

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top-left of your Mac display.
  2. Click System Preferences.
  3. Select Keyboard.
  4. Check the option box beside ‘Show keyboard and emoji viewer in Menu Bar’.  

You should now see the emoji picker icon next to your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other macOS icons in the top-right of your display. Simply click it whenever you want to insert an emoji. 😎

Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

If you want a more iOS-like experience, you could always splash out on a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The tech was first introduced back in 2017, and essentially provides users with a contextual function bar that’ll change depending on the app.

Handily, if you’re composing a message in Mail or Messages, you should see an emoji button appear on the Touch Bar. Simply tap the icon and scroll across to find your desired emoji.

It’s admittedly not a good reason to slap down at least £1,299/$1,299 on a 13in MacBook Pro, but if you were considering buying one anyway, it’s a nice added bonus. 🤑

For more handy Mac tips, here’s how to use an iPad as a second screen on Mac and how to reset a Mac too.