The complete guide to Emojis :D

Emojis rose to prominence with the era of the smart phone, and are truly a 21st century sensation. The small keyboard emoticons are now the world’s fastest growing language, a subject of news, merchandise and even a movie. But what are they? Where have they come from and how can you use them?

The History of Emoji

Emoji are representations of facial expressions, objects and other ideas that began as a combination of keyboard characters. They are a cultural phenomenon arising from Japan in the late 20th century, following a growing trend of exchanging picture messages.

This trend was inspired by symbols used in manga comics and Japanese weather forecasts. Shigetaka Kurita invented the concept of emojis following Japanese mobile companies introducing i-mode, a mobile web platform which combined email, news, weather forecasts and entertainment. He decided digital communication did not offer the same level of emotion present in traditional means of messaging one another, such as letters or phone calls.

Emoji, a Japanese term that translates as ‘picture-character’ (e-moji), was initially rejected from all big Japanese tech names such as Panasonic, Sharp and Fujitsu. But the idea soon blossomed after Kurita proved the popularity of his characters. Following the boom of emojis in Japan, Apple and later Android, decided to pre-load the miniature emoticons into their handsets. As a result, emojis became a uniform fixture on mobile phones and laptops.

Millennial Adoption

The power of emojis to convey emotion and communicate feelings is highlighted in their use by millennials. Over a third believe that the tiny characters communicated their thoughts and feelings better than words do. Millennials, who have championed emojis, feel their constant use increases their connection to one another, making conversations feel more personal and human.

World emoji day

Emojis are now common place, even outside of millennial use, it’s now strange not to use them whilst sending messages to friends and family. Their popularity as grown so much that they have been awarded an unofficial “World Emoji Day” which takes place on July 17th. The purpose of the day is to celebrate emojis and their ability to bring people together, and each year attracts lots of traditional and social media attention.

Accessing emojis on your desktop keyboard

If you own a Mac, you can choose and type emojis from your keyboard. In order to do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. After pointing the cursor where you’d like to place some text, press the Command and Control keys on your keyboard.
  2. Press the space bar to launch the character menu and click on the emoji icon in the sidebar, on the left side of the window.
  3. Double-click on the emoji you’d like to use and it will be inserted where you left your cursor.
  4. When you have finished, close the window to make the list of emojis disappear.

Windows 8 and 10 users can use their Touch Keyboard to select emojis. Simply tap the smiley face and you’re ready to go.


As an extra tip, you can even search for the emoji you’d like to use by typing out the first few characters.

If you’re using an Apple or Android phone, the emojis are likely to be preloaded. You can access them from your keyboard by clicking on either of the following buttons. Again, just look for the 😊 on your keypad!


There are over 1,000 emojis which range from facial expressions, to cars and trees. So you’ll have no trouble trying to find one to suit your needs.

Which one is your favorite? Comment below or tweet us at @JustAskGemalto.