Windows 10 Symbols And Emojis


Today’s Friday Fun Fact is not directly related to webinars, but it’s awfully useful when composing text in almost any type of material: PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Instant Messenger… you name it.

Instead of hunting around in your application for the command button to “Insert Special Character,” you can hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the period key ( WIN + . ).

This brings up an overlay menu with a bunch of selectable graphics that you can insert into your text stream. The default display is emojis:

Emojis menu

There are two rows of menu items to switch the displayed collection. They don’t immediately stand out from the rest of the graphics, so you have to know to look for them. At the bottom is a row that groups icons into “families” that are marginally related by some theme. At the top is a higher-level selector that brings up other types of inserts.

The smiley face (second selector) lets you choose from something apparently called kaomojis. My internal name for them is “winkies”:

Kaomojis menu

The third and final selector gives you all the symbols and special characters you normally have to hunt for:

Symbols menu

I love having quick access to things like copyright and trademark symbols. The bottom row of theme selectors opens up even more usefulness. For instance, clicking the Ç selector gives you foreign letters:

Letters menu

You can usually just click the ESC key on your keyboard to make the popup go away, but you can always use the standard X at top right to close the window.

CAVEATS: This is implemented as a bundled feature in Windows 10. The emoji picker has been around for a while, but the special characters/symbols menu just got added in a recent update, so make sure you have upgraded your copy of Windows. I’m not a Mac user, but it looks like similar functionality is included on MacOS systems with a CMD-CTRL-Spacebar sequence.


Online enterprenuer. Lean leadership consultant.

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