Fun Friday Tip – Add icons (Emoticons) to your Messages

Here’s the first of what I’m calling “Fun Friday” posts – quick tips and tricks to bring a bit of light-hearted fun to your tech life.  I hope to bring these to you at least every other Friday.

I learned this tip from my daughter.  She showed me how she was able to insert cute little icons – often referred to as “emoticons” – into the text messages she sent in iMessage.

What is iMessage?

iMessage is a text-messaging application on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad first introduced with iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) version 5.  Using iMessage, you can send text messages over WiFi to other iOS users.  This means that your son or daughter armed with a newer-model iPod touch can text friends who also have an iPod touch.  (Yes, you can restrict iMessage if desired!)

Cute little iPhoneSo, my daughter will send me messages with more than just the cute smiley :-) .  She sends sad smileys, pictures of food, thumbs up, music notes, animal faces, you name it. They even have an iPhone – wow, Apple has just thought of everything!

Here’s how to make these little icons available.  It’s done using what’s called the “Emoji Keyboard”.

(What’s Emoji? Good question! Here’s the answer)


How to Add the Emoji Keyboard

1. Go to Settings – General.  Scroll down and select Keyboard

Select Keyboard from General Settings


2. Select International Keyboards.

International Keyboards


3. Select Add New Keyboard…

Add New Keyboard


4. Scroll down and select Emoji.  (While you’re here, you can see what other international keyboards are available).

Select the Emoji keyboard


Emoji has been added to your keyboards.  You can close out of Settings.

How to add emoticons using the Emoji Keyboard

On the keyboard, you can switch between your standard keys and the Emoji keyboard to select the icons.  Just click the Globe in the lower left of the keyboard to switch to Emjoi.  Add your icons, and click the Globe to switch back to the regular keyboard.  You can do this any time you are typing – Messages, E-mail.  Just keep in mind that only other iPod/iPad/iPhone users will see the icons.

Select the Globe icon to get to the Emoji keyboard   Emoticons added to a message

That’s it! Try it out and have a fun Friday.


About Jean

Hi! I'm a webmaster, technology educator and creator of Be Web Smart. I hope you found this article useful. If you are new here, you might like to sign up for e-mail updates, view Links and Resources on similar topics, and subscribe to the RSS feed.