How to Input Unicode/Emoji

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here is how to insert unicode in Microsoft Windows 10, Mac, Linux.

Microsoft Windows 10

Insert Emoji

Press โ– Window+. to open emoji panel.

Windows 10 emoji panel 2021-02-16
Windows 10 emoji panel

Character Map

Press โ– Window then type charmap to open the character map panel.

Windows 10 charmap 2021-02-16
Windows 10 charmap

To insert Unicode by hexadecimal

Suppose we want to insert this character:

  1. Type the hexadecimal number. For example, type 1f602
  2. Press Alt+x
Windows 10 wordpad insert emoji 2021-02-13 QtG5s
Windows 10 wordpad insert emoji

This works in WordPad, Microsoft word. Does not work in Notepad.

To launch WordPad, press โ– Window key, then type wordpad

To Insert Unicode by Decimal

  1. Press and hold Alt
  2. Type the decimal number in the number pad. For example, type 128514.
  3. Release Alt

Note: you must have NumLock on.


Press โŒ˜ command+Ctrl+Space to bring up the Characters palette

You can hold โŒฅ option key and press a letter/digit key to insert some unicode/math symbols.

macOS 10.15.5 keyboard viewer 2020-07
MacOS Keyboard Viewer. macOS 10.15.5, 2020-07-25.

You can also create your own keyboard layout to insert emoji/symbols you use often.

[see macOS: Create Custom Keyboard Layout]


How to input unicode depends on your desktop or application.

In Gnome, Press Ctrl+Shift+U, then type the hexadecimal digits, then press Enter.

In LibreOffice 5.1 or later, type the hexadecimal then press Alt+x


In emacs, Alt+x insert-char, then type the hexadecimal.

Emacs can also insert by decimal, by name, or setup keyboard shortcuts to insert frequently used ones.

[see Emacs: Unicode Tutorial]

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