How to Add Emoji to eMail Messages in Mac OS the Fast Way

Apr 2, 2019 - 12 Comments

How to add Emoji to email on Mac fast

Emoji fanatic Mac users may already be aware of the ultra-fast keyboard shortcut for typing Emoji on a Mac, but did you know the Mail app for Mac OS has another super easy option for adding Emoji to an email message?

It turns out there’s literally an Emoji button in the Mac email client, but much like many users are unaware of the email formatting options in Mail for Mac, the Emoji toolbar is often overlooked too. Not to worry Emoji fans, here’s how to use it!

How to Add Emoji to Emails on the Mac Quickly

  1. Open Mail on the Mac
  2. From any Mail compose window (new email, reply, forward), look in the mail windows titlebar for the smiley face icon and click on that smile button
  3. How to add Emoji on Mail for Mac with the Emoji button

  4. Select the Emoji you want to place into the email *
  5. Adding Emoji from the Emoji button on Mail for Mac

  6. Repeat as desired to add more Emoji, otherwise send the email as usual
  7. Adding Emoji to email on Mac

* Remember that you can also search for specific Emoji by keyword by scrolling to the very top of the Emoji list to reveal the search box on the Mac. And you can change the Emoji skin tone for any human Emoji icon as well.

Any Emoji added to the email message will be the same font size as the default message body text size, so if you change the Mac Mail font size you will find the size of the Emoji icons change as well. If you apply individual font size options to the Emoji than that will increase the Emoji size as well, so keep that in mind if you’re formatting emails. You can also change the size of Emoji individually if desired by selecting the Emoji directly and then using the Format menu options (or Command + and Command – keystrokes) to increase or decrease the size of the Emoji icons.

The Emoji button in Mail app is a new addition to Mail for MacOS, and it’s probably a welcome change to serious Emoji users. Despite the smiley face button being prominent in any email compose, reply, or forward window, the awareness of this as an Emoji button is often overlooked, unknown, or ignored, but if you’re a frequent Emoji typer than it should be another handy trick in your Emoji repertoire. Likewise, the email formatting button in Mail for Mac is often overlooked but is a nice feature for many emailers. If you’re new to Emoji, you’ll find that many of the emoticons are self explanatory but you can also get their meaning if needed.

The next time you want to add an Emoji into an email message and you’re on a Mac, remember you have several options: you can use the super easy Emoji button described here, you can use the Command + Control + Space keyboard shortcut for typing Emoji, or you can access the Emoji panel from the Edit menu. Use whichever is best for your workflow!


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. ACEtone says:

    Perhaps more useful and what I was looking for in the first place is, hit the control command and space to open the emoji panel then drag the panel away from the email you are writing and it will remain open for as long as you want until you decide to to close the panel by clicking the red button in the usual way.
    By having the independent panel open you have access to all of the emojis and special characters that are often difficult to find.

  2. rays says:

    I have upgraded to Mojave 10.14.3, used to be able to insert emojis from Edit in toolbar, but now there’s no reaction. the same with the emoji icon in the message toolbar even though it looks active. Btw, not all of the icons on that toolbar are active.

  3. Squiggy says:

    Remember when they were called emoticons?

  4. Zafer ARICAN says:

    You can also try Emojise for macOS for fast emoji control on your Mac. With emoji phrases, you can rapidly insert your group of emojis in your emails and other text.

    It is available on Mac App Store.

  5. Randy says:

    icon in toolbar is unavailable in High Sierra so I suppose you are referring to 10.14 OS. Can find no way to display the icon but of course, the keyboard shortcut does work.

  6. no way says:

    What are we cave dwellers, if you have something to say, use words not pictures. IMO emojis are the most annoying way to communicate.

  7. Chris says:

    My 10.13.6 (17G5019) mac mail has no smiley button and I can’t add via customize toolbar either. 🤔

  8. emmajane says:

    ?!? There is no emoji symbol in the tool bar of my Mail window – and it is not an option available to add via the
    View > Customise Toolbar > “Drag your favourite items into the toolbar…” dropdown menu.

    I am running OS 10.13.6 and all my apps are up to date – help please!

  9. Mike says:

    There’s no emoji icon in Mail for OSX 10.12.6

  10. Jag120 says:

    Is this valid for Mail 11.5 in High Sierra 10.13.6 ? I don’t have an Emoji button, nor is there an option for one when Customizing the header.

    • Joe says:

      Most new features require the new Mac release, in this case MacOS Mojave 10.14 or later for Mail Emoji

      Me personally I just hit command-control-spacebar for Mac Emoji typing in Mail or elsewhere

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