The Emoji Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed to Step Up Your Texting Game

Need new ways to express yourself through text? Check out these little known tips and tricks for typing the most creative and emotive smiley faces, animals, and so much more.

Best-Emoji-Hacks-To-Step-Up-Your-Texting-Game-338391155-ober-artober-art/shutterstockWe love our emojis, but sometimes, we just need more. With every iteration of iOS software, new emojis from Unicode are released that keep us occupied, but what ever happened to the emoticon? Remember how you used to actually have to type out your emotions using clever combinations of punctuation marks, letters and numbers? (And did you know that your iPhone keyboard has had a mouse this whole time?!) Here’s a refresher, if you find that your regular emoji keyboard is getting a little bland and want to switch up your texting game:

  • Heart: <3    (less than sign, 3)
  • Smile: :)    (colon, close parenthesis)
  • Excited: =D    (equal sign, capital D)
  • Sad: :(   (colon, open parenthesis)
  • Crying: :’-(   (colon, apostrophe, dash, open parenthesis)
  • Angry: >:(   (greater than sign, colon, open parenthesis)
  • Angry (second version): >_<   (greater than sign, underscore, less than sign)
  • Shocked: =O   (equal sign, capital O)
  • Dazzled: (*_*)   (open parenthesis, asterisk, underscore, asterisk, close parentheses)
  • Cheering: \O/  (backslash, lowercase o, forward slash)
  • Wink: ;)   (semicolon, close parenthesis)
  • Tongue Sticking Out: :P   (colon, capital P)
  • Sunglasses: B)   (capital B, close parenthesis)
  • Penguin: (“)>   (open parenthesis, quote, close parenthesis, greater than sign)
  • Bird: (‘V’)   (open parenthesis + single quotation + capital V + single quotation + close parenthesis)
  • Owl: ^o,o^   (caret + lowercase o + comma + lowercase o + caret)

In addition to these emoticons that you can make on your regular keyboard, you can also add a hidden keyboard with tons of other pre-created emoticons. It’s called the “Kana” keyboard—here’s how you can add it:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click General
  • Select Keyboard
  • Click the “Add New Keyboard” option
  • Choose Japanese from the list of languages
  • Then select “Kana”

This keyboard will now be available right next to your emoji keyboard. Click the ^_^ face for all of the emoticons and start expressing yourself in brand new ways through text! (Did you know about this iPhone feature that can save your life?)

If you do most of your typing on a desktop or laptop and miss your typical Unicode emojis, fear not! If you have a Mac, simply go to any text field and press the Command, Control, and Space bar keys at the same time. The emoji keyboard will pop up right away.

If you have Windows 8 or 10, simply click the keyboard icon on the lower lefthand corner of the taskbar to activate the touch keyboard. Click the smiley face on the lower righthand side, and access all of the emojis you love.

Emojis and emoticons are always available! ? ?