Unicode Symbol Become Emoji

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
xah talk show 2021-11-19 unicode, emoji, font, css, JavaScript live coding

Some unicode symbols, now become emoji, which makes many math symbols not usable.

for example:

symbol vs emoji problem 2016
symbol vs emoji problem
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.

“Variation Selector” is a invisible character. It indicates a rendering preference for the character before it.

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 indicate a preferred 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.

“U+FE0E: VARIATION SELECTOR-15”
Indicator for text rendering.
“U+FE0F: VARIATION SELECTOR-16”
Indicator for emoji rendering.

Unicode Variation Selector Usually Has No Effect

Here is some characters with both emoji and text presentation.

unicode emoji vs text win10 firefox 2021-12-25
Windows 10, Firefox 94.0.1, 2021-12-25.
unicode emoji vs text mac safari 2021-12-25
MacOS, Safari 2021-12-25.
unicode emoji vs text win10 chrome 2021-12-25
Windows 10, Google Chrome, 2021-12-25

Here's what your browser shows:

name No VS with VS15 with VS16Can be Emoji or Text,
Unicode Spec Default
U+26BD: SOCCER BALL ⚽︎ ⚽️Emoji
U+2194: LEFT RIGHT ARROW ↔︎ ↔️Emoji
U+2122: TRADE MARK SIGN ™︎ ™️Text
U+1F441: EYE👁 👁︎ 👁️Text

Practical Solution

In practice

Which Characters Can Become Emoji?

Font:

Can be Emoji or Text, Default to Emoji

The following can be emoji or text, default to emoji. (In practice, what it actually shows mostly depend on font or the app.)

😐 👽 🏂 🏄 🏊 👪 👈 👉 👆 👇 👍 👎 👂 💣 👓 🎓 🐕 🐈 🐦 🐟 🍸 🌍 🌎 🌏 🏠 🏭 🚇 🚍 🚑 🚔 🚘 🚲 🕛 🕧 🕐 🕜 🕑 🕝 🕒 🕞 🕓 🕟 🕔 🕠 🕕 🕡 🕖 🕢 🕗 🕣 🕘 🕤 🕙 🕥 🕚 🕦 🌕 🌜 🏆 🎮 🎭 🔈 🎧 📻 📟 💻 💿 🎬 📺 📷 📹 🔍 📚 💰 💳 📤 📥 📦 📫 📪 📬 📭 📋 🔒 🔓 🚹 🚺 🚼 🚭 🈯 🈚 🀄

Can be Emoji or Text, Default to Text

The following can be emoji or text, default to text. (In practice, what it actually shows mostly depend on font or the app.)

🕵 🕴 🗣 🏌 🏋 🏎 🏍 🖐 👁 🗨 🗯 🕳 🕶 🛍 🐿 🕊 🕷 🕸 🏵 🌶 🍽 🗺 🏔 🏕 🏖 🏜 🏝 🏞 🏟 🏛 🏗 🏘 🏚 🏙 🛣 🛤 🛢 🛳 🛥 🛩 🛰 🛎 🕰 🌡 🌤 🌥 🌦 🌧 🌨 🌩 🌪 🌫 🌬 🎗 🎟 🎖 🕹 🖼 🎙 🎚 🎛 🖥 🖨 🖱 🖲 🎞 📽 🕯 🗞 🏷 🗳 🖋 🖊 🖌 🖍 🗂 🗒 🗓 🖇 🗃 🗄 🗑 🗝 🛠 🗡 🛡 🗜 🛏 🛋 🕉 🏳 🅰 🅱 🅾 🈂 🈷 🅿 🀄 © ®

Always Shown as Emoji, Only

The following can only be shown as emoji. (In practice, what it actually shows mostly depend on font or the app.)

🥰 🥵 🥶 🥳 🥴 🥺 🦸 🦹 🦵 🦶 🦴 🦷 🦰 🦱 🦳 🦲 🥽 🥼 🥾 🥿 🦝 🦙 🦛 🦘 🦡 🦢 🦚 🦜 🦞 🦟 🦠 🥭 🥬 🥯 🧂 🥮 🧁 🧭 🧱 🛹 🧳 🧨 🧧 🥎 🥏 🥍 🧿 🧩 🧸 🧵 🧶 🧮 🧾 🧰 🧲 🧪 🧫 🧬 🧴 🧷 🧹 🧺 🧻 🧼 🧽 🧯 🤩 🤨 🤯 🤪 🤬 🤮 🤫 🤭 🧐 🧒 🧑 🧔 🧓 🧕 🤱 🧙 🧚 🧛 🧜 🧝 🧞 🧟 🧖 🧗 🧘 🤟 🤲 🧠 🧡 🧣 🧤 🧥 🧦 🧢 🦓 🦒 🦔 🦕 🦖 🦗 🥥 🥦 🥨 🥩 🥪 🥣 🥫 🥟 🥠 🥡 🥧 🥤 🥢 🛸 🛷 🥌 🤣 🤤 🤢 🤧 🤠 🤥 🤡 🤴 🤵 🤰 🤶 🤦 🤷 🕺 🤺 🤸 🤼 🤽 🤾 🤹 🤳 🤞 🤙 🤛 🤜 🤚 🤝 🖤 🦍 🦊 🦌 🦏 🦇 🦅 🦆 🦉 🦎 🦈 🦐 🦑 🦋 🥀 🥝 🥑 🥔 🥕 🥒 🥜 🥐 🥖 🥞 🥓 🥙 🥚 🥘 🥗 🥛 🥂 🥃 🥄 🛴 🛵 🛑 🛶 🥇 🥈 🥉 🥊 🥋 🥅 🥁 🛒 🤗 🤔 🙄 🤐 🙃 🤑 🤒 🤕 🤓 🤖 🤘 🏻 🏼 🏽 🏾 🏿 📿 🦁 🦄 🦃 🦀 🦂 🧀 🌭 🌮 🌯 🍿 🍾 🏺 🕌 🕍 🕋 🏐 🏏 🏑 🏒 🏓 🏸 🏹 🛐 🕎 🙂 🙁 🛌 🖕 🖖 🛫 🛬 🏅 📸 🏴 😀 😗 😙 😑 😮 😯 😴 😛 😕 😟 😦 😧 😬 😁 😂 😃 😄 😅 😆 😉 😊 😋 😎 😍 😘 😚 😶 😏 😣 😥 😪 😫 😌 😜 😝 😒 😓 😔 😲 😖 😞 😤 😢 😭 😨 😩 😰 😱 😳 😵 😡 😠 😷 😇 😈 👿 👹 👺 💀 👻 👾 💩 😺 😸 😹 😻 😼 😽 🙀 😿 😾 🙈 🙉 🙊 👶 👦 👧 👱 👨 👩 👴 👵 👮 💂 👷 👸 👳 👲 👰 👼 🎅 🙍 🙎 🙅 🙆 💁 🙋 🙇 💆 💇 🚶 🏃 💃 👯 🛀 👤 👥 🏇 🚣 🚴 🚵 👫 👬 👭 💏 💑 💪 👌 👊 👋 👏 👐 🙌 🙏 💅 👃 👣 👀 👅 👄 💋 💘 💝 💖 💗 💓 💞 💕 💌 💔 💛 💚 💙 💜 💟 💤 💢 💥 💦 💨 💫 💬 💭 👔 👕 👖 👗 👘 👙 👚 👛 👜 👝 🎒 👞 👟 👠 👡 👢 👑 👒 🎩 💄 💍 💎 🐵 🐒 🐶 🐩 🐺 🐱 🐯 🐅 🐆 🐴 🐎 🐮 🐂 🐃 🐄 🐷 🐖 🐗 🐽 🐏 🐑 🐐 🐪 🐫 🐘 🐭 🐁 🐀 🐹 🐰 🐇 🐻 🐨 🐼 🐾 🐔 🐓 🐣 🐤 🐥 🐧 🐸 🐊 🐢 🐍 🐲 🐉 🐳 🐋 🐬 🐠 🐡 🐙 🐚 🐌 🐛 🐜 🐝 🐞 💐 🌸 💮 🌹 🌺 🌻 🌼 🌷 🌱 🌲 🌳 🌴 🌵 🌾 🌿 🍀 🍁 🍂 🍃 🍇 🍈 🍉 🍊 🍋 🍌 🍍 🍎 🍏 🍐 🍑 🍒 🍓 🍅 🍆 🌽 🍄 🌰 🍞 🍖 🍗 🍔 🍟 🍕 🍳 🍲 🍱 🍘 🍙 🍚 🍛 🍜 🍝 🍠 🍢 🍣 🍤 🍥 🍡 🍦 🍧 🍨 🍩 🍪 🎂 🍰 🍫 🍬 🍭 🍮 🍯 🍼 🍵 🍶 🍷 🍹 🍺 🍻 🍴 🔪 🌐 🗾 🌋 🗻 🏡 🏢 🏣 🏤 🏥 🏦 🏨 🏩 🏪 🏫 🏬 🏯 🏰 💒 🗼 🗽 🌁 🌃 🌄 🌅 🌆 🌇 🌉 🌌 🎠 🎡 🎢 💈 🎪 🚂 🚃 🚄 🚅 🚆 🚈 🚉 🚊 🚝 🚞 🚋 🚌 🚎 🚐 🚒 🚓 🚕 🚖 🚗 🚙 🚚 🚛 🚜 🚏 🚨 🚥 🚦 🚧 🚤 🚢 💺 🚁 🚟 🚠 🚡 🚀 🌑 🌒 🌓 🌔 🌖 🌗 🌘 🌙 🌚 🌛 🌝 🌞 🌟 🌠 🌀 🌈 🌂 🔥 💧 🌊 🎃 🎄 🎆 🎇 🎈 🎉 🎊 🎋 🎍 🎎 🎏 🎐 🎑 🎀 🎁 🎫 🏀 🏈 🏉 🎾 🎳 🎣 🎽 🎿 🎯 🎱 🔮 🎰 🎲 🃏 🎴 🎨 🔇 🔉 🔊 📢 📣 📯 🔔 🔕 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎷 🎸 🎹 🎺 🎻 📱 📲 📞 📠 🔋 🔌 💽 💾 📀 🎥 📼 🔎 💡 🔦 🏮 📔 📕 📖 📗 📘 📙 📓 📒 📃 📜 📄 📰 📑 🔖 💴 💵 💶 💷 💸 💹 💱 💲 📧 📨 📩 📮 📝 💼 📁 📂 📅 📆 📇 📈 📉 📊 📌 📍 📎 📏 📐 🔏 🔐 🔑 🔨 🔫 🔧 🔩 🔗 🔬 🔭 📡 💉 💊 🚪 🚽 🚿 🛁 🚬 🗿 🏧 🚮 🚰 🚻 🚾 🛂 🛃 🛄 🛅 🚸 🚫 🚳 🚯 🚱 🚷 📵 🔞 🔃 🔄 🔙 🔚 🔛 🔜 🔝 🔯 🔀 🔁 🔂 🔼 🔽 🎦 🔅 🔆 📶 📳 📴 🔱 📛 🔰 🔟 💯 🔠 🔡 🔢 🔣 🔤 🆎 🆑 🆒 🆓 🆔 🆕 🆖 🆗 🆘 🆙 🆚 🈁 🈶 🉐 🈹 🈲 🉑 🈸 🈴 🈳 🈺 🈵 🔴 🔵 🔶 🔷 🔸 🔹 🔺 🔻 💠 🔘 🔲 🔳 🏁 🚩 🎌

Reference

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 is what the column means:

“+EP -EPSq”
Emoji only. E.g. 😂 (U+1F602: FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY)
“+EP +EPSq”
Both. Default emoji. E.g. (U+26BD: SOCCER BALL)
“-EP +EPSq”
Both. Default text. E.g. (U+2122: TRADE MARK SIGN)
“-EP -EPSq”
Always text. E.g. A

See also: Emoji Politics

2018-06-19 thanks to [ twitter FakeUnicode ] [ 2016-08-19 https://twitter.com/FakeUnicode/status/766873680366280705 ]

Unicode Search

Type heart face, or 9829, or U+1f60d, or paste emoji 😂.

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