As a writer, I hate emojis. They feel like a regression in communication, taking our society one step closer to hieroglyphics. However, they have become a part of our daily communication in chats, text messaging, social media, and other platforms. Today, almost everyone recognises emojis (they even got their own film), so it’s understandable if you need to use them in PowerPoint to help convey your message and connect with an inevitably younger audience.

Inserting Emojis in PowerPoint

Emojis vary between operating systems. On Mac, you will see the colourful emoji symbols like you see on social media. Though Apple has character encoding for emojis, you will see all emoji filled with solid colours, while Windows PC and laptops show emojis as outline figures. Be cautious of which emojis you use as updates and changes are always universal across operating systems.

One options for using emojis in PowerPoint is AutoCorrect. By default, PowerPoint comes with some emojis that you can type using keyboard shortcuts. For example, 🙂 will produce the smiley emoji ☺. In addition, you can setup shortcuts for any emoji to insert quickly using AutoCorrect, such as typing :: to insert the tears of joy emoji ????.

Open a new PowerPoint and head to File > Options menu. Click on AutoCorrect Options under the Proofing section. Type the shortcut in ‘Replace’ text box and the corresponding emoji in ‘With’. Then click ‘OK’ to save your changes. Unfortunately, AutoCorrect on PowerPoint will not work when you want to use text replacements. In the above case, you can use :: but cannot use a shortcut more text-based like :poop: ????.

To work around this, your other option to use Alt-Code shortcuts. Windows allow you to insert emojis using alt code with number keys. Just press the alt key on your keyboard to use your emoji’s relevant Alt Code, which is an encoded printable character native to the code page used on that device. For example, Alt + 1 will make the smiley symbol ☺ while Alt + 9787 will produce the black smiling face emoji ☻. Find more Alt Codes here.

Another easy way through the built-in Windows 10 emoji keyboard. Press ‘Windows Logo + . (dot)’ or ‘Windows Logo + ; (semicolon)’ to  open the emoji keyboard pop-up. Search for your favourite emoji or type the name to filter from the result. Click on the emoji to insert into your presentation.

PowerPoint offers a ‘Symbol’ utility to insert Unicode symbols. First go to “Insert > Symbols” menu, which will open a ‘Symbol’ pop-up where you can search and find the relevant emoji symbols you need.

You can also use Character Map, which is similar to Symbol utility, but operates as an independent app. Simply type ‘charmap’ in Windows Search box to find and open the Character Map app. From here, you can search and find your favourite emoji within the app. Remember, in both Symbol and Character Map, you can change the font to Webdings and Wingdings to find more emoji symbols.

Using Emojis as Bulletpoints

While we would usually dissuade creators from using bulletpoints in PowerPoint, any bulletpoint can be customised in Document Bullets. From here, you can change the colour and style of your bullets, including use emoji symbols as bullets in your presentation.

Click on the small arrow that appears near the bullet insertion icon. Select the ‘Bullets and Numbering’ option to open a pop-up window. Click on the ‘Customise…’ button to open the ‘Symbol’ utility we discussed earlier. From here, you can choose the emoji or other symbol to set as your bullet and use in the presentation.

You can also easily access a library of emojis for any Microsoft application, including PowerPoint, through add-ins you download and install from the Office Store.

First, open a Word or PowerPoint Document. Under the Insert menu tab, look for the Office Store icon. You will then be directed to Microsoft’s Office Store. Here, search for the Emoji Keyboard add-in. Once you see this add-in, just click on Add on the right side of the app. This will begin the download and install process.

Please note that you’ll need administrator permission before you can download the app and install it. Once you click the Add button and finished downloading and installing, you will now see a new section under the Insert tab for Emoji Keyboard.

To add emojis to your document or presentation, simply go to the Insert tab in the Ribbon. Here, click the Emoji Keyboard option to open a pop-out screen containing over 1,300 emoji icons.

The pop-out window offers a search bar so you can just type in your keyword. You can also choose from the category tabs, which include animals, objects, food, symbols, and drinks. There are also different skin tone options for your emojis. Since PowerPoint imports emojis as image, you can adjust their sizes according to pixels. Check out some cheeky PowerPointers or learn how to use themese to help make your design process easier. Or download our free PDF outlining various ways to reduce the file size of your PPT.