How to Put Icons and Smiley Faces in Email

by Andrea Ruiz
Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Emoticons are an effective and widely recognized way to add expression and context to the things you say online. When you write email, you can insert the standard text emoticons, such as smiley faces or frowns, with keyboard strokes. But the vast majority of email clients, both Web-based and stand-alone, also enable you to insert graphical icons with different facial expressions, symbols and other pictures into your emails by selecting them from the "Emoticons" button in the formatting menu.

Step 1

Open a blank email in your preferred email client or Web- based email provider and populate the "To" and "Subject" fields as desired.

Step 2

Type the content of your email, then click the place where you want to insert the smiley or other graphical icon.

Step 3

Click the button in the formatting menu of your email that inserts emoticons. Typically, this is a button with a smiley face on it, and clicking it launches a gallery of icons and emoticons from which you can choose.

Step 4

Select the emoticon or icon you wish to insert into your email by clicking it.

Repeat these steps if you want to insert more icons into other positions in your email.


  • Sometimes it may not be immediately obvious to you what an emoticon or icon symbolizes. Usually, hovering your cursor over the emoticon in the pop-up gallery displays its meaning or corresponding text code.
  • Most emoticons have text-based counterparts, and some email clients enable you to embed icons in emails by typing them. For example, you may be able to insert a smiley face emoticon by typing a colon and a right parenthesis, which looks as follows:
  • :)
  • This emoticon may display as the corresponding smiley-face icon in the icon set of your email recipient's mail client instead, or your mail client may embed the icon into the email's formatting.
  • You can also insert smileys and other special characters via the Windows Character Map.


Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Andrea Ruiz has written professionally for blogs, online entertainment magazines and television network websites for more than a decade. Ruiz has also been a web and social media developer, Internet business consultant and computer programmer since 1999, and worked for four years as a professional community manager. Ruiz holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Massachusetts, Boston.

More Articles