Unicode Symbol Become Emoji

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Some unicode symbols, now becomes emoji, which makes many math symbols such as not usable.

unicode left right arrow becomes pictograph problem
Unicode U+2194: LEFT RIGHT ARROW becomes pictograph. But U+21D4: LEFT RIGHT DOUBLE ARROW remains text.

This is annoying.

When is Text, When is Emoji?

By Unicode's spec:

  1. Some characters have both emoji and textual presentation.
  2. Some characters have only emoji presentation.
  3. Some characters have only textual presentation.

For those that have both emoji and textual presentation, Unicode specifies which one should be default.

A “Variation Selector” can be used to chose a presentation.

Browser or application do not necessarily respect the variation selector. For example, twitter renders vast majority of emoji as emoji, and ignores the variation selector.

There's no programable way to tell which character have both emoji and or text presentation.

Unicode Variation Selector

  1. Variation Selectors is used to indicate a desired presentation.
  2. Variation Selectors are invisible characters.
  3. A Variation Selector is placed immediately after another character, to change its rendering.
  4. There are 16 Variation Selectors, from code point U+FE00 to U+FE0F. They are abbreviated as VS1 to VS16.

Variation Selector 15 and 16 are used to indicate text rendering or emoji rendering, for those character that have both presentation.

Here's 2 characters with both emoji and text presentation.

nameNo VSwith VS15with VS16

Here's a correct browser rendering:

unicode text vs emoji 2018 06 13 343b4 crop
unicode text vs emoji

Which Characters Can Become Emoji?

This table shows all character that have emoji and or text presentation.

[Text vs Emoji, v11.0 By Unicode Consortium. At http://unicode.org/emoji/charts/text-style.html ]

It's not well written. Very confusing.

Here's what the column means:

See also: Emoji Politics

2018-06-19 thanks to https://twitter.com/FakeUnicode/status/766873680366280705

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