Saturday, January 28, 2017

Emoji Notes

Emoji symbols were first added to Unicode in its version 6.0 of October 2010, and Apple incorporated font support in iOS and OS X 10.7 shortly thereafter.  Since then the number of emojis approved by Unicode has grown regularly:  In versiĆ³n 9.0 there are well over 1000.   To ask for a new emoji to be encoded, the place to go is here.

Useful references for the range of encoded characters include emojipedia and the Unicode Full Emoji List.

When using these characters, it's helpful to be aware that :

A) Apple's Color Emoji Font embodies special technology and may not work in all apps.   Alternative black/white fonts which should work everywhere include Symbola.

B) The details of how emoji's look depend on the special fonts used to display them on each device.  So Windows, Android, and Linux users may not see exactly the same picture that you do when you put them in your emails, messages, or web pages.

C) Unicode has devised some fairly complex coding mechanisms to implement emojis for flags, skin tones, and other variables.  For further info about these see Unicode TR #51.  A Unicode test page for some of these mechanisms is here.

D) Instructions for Emoji input in MacOS are here.  For iOS they are here.  For a way to input emoji directly via the Unicode Hex  keyboard, see this page.

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