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How to Insert Graphical Emoticons in Your Gmail Messages


Women using laptop in park
Sam Edwards/Caiaimage/Getty Images
The unwanted emotions and unwelcome feelings: nothing's amiss if they are black and white and small and plain.

The happy glee and loving spark, however: they should not lack color and depth and motion and verve.

In Gmail, you can type standard text smileys (say, :-| ), of course. You can also insert graphical emoticons, however, and select from quite large an assortment of colorful smileys, some of them animated even.

Insert Graphical Emoticons in Your Gmail Messages

To add a colorful and possibly animated image emoticon in an email with Gmail:

  • Make sure your email uses rich text formatting.
    • If you cannot see a formatting toolbar above the message body, click Rich formatting ».
  • Position the text cursor where you want the insert the smiley.
  • Click the Insert Emoticon button in the formatting toolbar (it sports a rectangular smiling face).
  • Now click the desired smiley to insert it.
    • You can switch between square and round faces using the tabs at the bottom.
    • Gmail can remember the smiley you've used and keep them in an extra tab for quick access. See below.

You can highlight and move or copy graphical smileys just like text.

Note that the graphical smileys will not be represented by corresponding text smileys (such as :-) ) in the plain text alternative of your message. In their place, [?] will appear.

Have Gmail Remember the Emoticons You Used Most Recently

To make Gmail remember your most recently used smileys and put them in an extra toolbar for fast access:

  • Select Settings in Gmail.
  • Open the Labs tab.
  • Make sure Enable is selected for Recently Used Emoji.
  • Click Save Changes.

Add Emoji to the Gmail Emoticon Mix

To add tabs for Japanese emoji emoticons to Gmail's smiley makeup:

  • Follow the Settings link in Gmail.
  • Go to the Labs tab.
  • Make sure Enable is selected for Extra Emoji.
  • Click Save Changes.
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