Tag Archives: emoji
The Japanese taste for cute kitsch has spread round the world like an embarrassing social virus. In every language school in Japan you’ll find teachers from western countries who have given up perfectly good jobs, partners and lives just to come here and spend all their spare time in stationery shops, toy stores, gadget emporia, maid cafes, manga shops and the like, buying up armloads of little monsters, cute creatures, and … and … you know, stuff.
In the modern Japanese way, everything has to be decorated with stomach churningly adorable nonsense.
This obsession includes decorating your email, photos, and office documents with smiley faces, animated crabs and dinky piles of poo. I’m sure that the prime minister signs off on legislation with a stamp of a loveable little cat saying ‘nya nya nya I am heartful world with you’.
When the iPhone launched here, sales were feeble. Apple eventually discovered that the lack of emoji to decorate email was a turn off for the Japanese punter. Apple installed an emoji function and sales took off. Any phone you buy here, smart phone or not, is full of these tiny graphics, and the first thing we do with a new phone is scroll through the cache to see what’s available.
Then the damn things went pandemic.
And so it is that even this jaded old curmudgeon got to wondering how to get emoji on his very grown-up MacBook Pro, and became quite irritable when he couldn’t find any convenient way to do it. Why are Mac users denied this trivial, inane distraction? Does the Apple cachet put us above vacuity?
Not at all, as it turns out.
Today I discovered that you can very easily use emoji on your Mac. They are right there in the operating system but hidden away so that only a hopeless nerd would find them. It’s as if Mr Jobs was so embarrassed that he had to have these darn pics in the house that he did the equivalent of hide them behind the fridge in an old paper bag.
You can use the emoji and all sorts of other diverting symbols in your email, word processing docs and even file names. Almost everywhere except bloody WordPress it seems (where I am now).
So here’s how to get them.
Open a window in Finder and go
In the dialogue box that appears, type
and look for the app named CharacterPalette.
So that you don’t have to go through that search each time you want a smiley, you might want to drag the Character Palette to your dock.
Once activated, the bugger is a floater and will stay on top of everything but I haven’t found a preference to control that. To use: simply drag and drop your emoji from the palette to wherever you want it.
So. I can no longer joke ‘I don’t have the emoji to smile’. I am wondering whether I can drag and drop a smiley on my face so that I don’t have to bother with the real thing.