How to Put Emojis on a MacBook Pro

by Amy Stanbrough

Although you can use your MacBook keyboard to make basic emoticons like smiley or frowny faces, more sophisticated emotions are better represented with emojis. These tiny Japanese graphics -- popular across the globe -- are the universal standard for expressing anything from joy to jet lag. A set of emojis is installed with Mac Mountain Lion and is accessible through the Character Viewer. If your MacBook Pro isn't running Mountain Lion, you might be able to upgrade if you have a late 2008 or newer model.

Step 1

Pull down the Apple icon from the upper left corner of the screen and choose "System Preferences." Click the "Keyboard" icon from the Hardware section. Alternately, access your system preferences by clicking the "Gears" icon in your dock.

Step 2

Click the "Keyboard" tab and check "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar." Close the options panel. A viewer icon will appear in the top section of your screen on the right side -- it looks like a box with an asterisk inside. Click it once and choose "Show Character Viewer."

Select "Emoji" from the left side of the Characters panel. The emoji icons will appear on the right side. With the panel open, click your cursor into the application where you want the emoji. For example, if you want the emoji in your Facebook status, click your cursor into the status field. Move the mouse over to the emoji you want to use and double-click on it. The spot where your cursor is positioned should now show the emoji.


  • If you would like more options for using emojis, you can purchase and download an emoji application from the iTunes store (link in Resources).


  • Information in this article applies to Macintosh OS X Mountain Lion. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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