So you can activate the emoji keyboard on any Mac

If you want to write smileys and symbols on your Mac quickly, you may miss a smiley button with the full repertoire available. On the iPhone we have an emoticon keyboard available, but this keyboard is also available from the Mac and today we show you how you can activate it to always have it available.

How emojis are activated on Mac

Before we begin, we must take into account one detail: MacBook Pros with Touch Bar have the emoticon catalog on the touch bar, and this is available when we are writing in any application. But Apple has removed the TouchBar, and since all desktop keyboards don’t have it either, it’s time to look for the alternative in a physical button on our computer’s keyboard.

If we are in certain applications, such as Messages, WhatsApp, Telegtram, or on a web page that has the digital emoji button, we will be able to see all the emoticons and symbols available on the screen. But what if we are in a word processor like Word or in a photo editing app like Affinity? In principle, we don’t have an on-screen emoticon keyboard, so it’s time to get down to business.

To do this, the first thing to do is go to Settings> Keyboard. Here we will have a series of options to execute keyboard commands for different functions. It is here where we will have to go to the section called “Press fn key to”. It may be the case that you have this feature disabled by default. To do this, you have to click on the options button and select the option “Show emojis and symbols”.

options fn key mac

Once we have this function activated, and if we are in an app with which we can write, if we press the fn key, then a drop-down contextual menu will open in which we will see all the categories of emoticons and symbols that are available on the Mac Remember that in each macOS update new emojis and symbols are added, so as we update our computer, we will have more content.

My Mac doesn’t have fn key

Your Mac or your keyboard may don’t have fn key, but that does not mean that we cannot activate the emoji keyboard. This key has been changing with revisions of Mac models, and it may look a few different ways, depending on which keyboard or MacBook model you have. This key may look like fn, like fn /, or just a key. This is called the globe key (yes, Apple has literally named it that), and it can receive different positions.

fn key mac

Most commonly, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models from 2020 have the globe key, while earlier models have the fn key. The same happens with the Magic Keyboard and Magic Keyboard 2, before the arrival of the new keyboard designs with Touch ID: these have an fn key. And if you have a Magic Keyboard with a numeric keypad, the fn key is in the middle. To activate the emoji keyboard with the globe key, we will have to perform the same steps as with the fn key. But in the settings, instead of “Press fn key to”, we will see the option “Press key to”.

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