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How to make Google Docs 😊: The easy way to add emoji without copy and paste

Emoji are easy to find and add nearly everywhere, except in Google's online documents. Here's where they're hiding.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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Katie Teague
2 min read

Add an emoji to your Google Doc.

Screenshot by CNET.

Sure, you might be used to dropping a smiley 😀in a text message or just about any other conversation, but did you know that you can also shed tears of joy 😂in a  Google Doc?

Expressing yourself though emoticons, or emotional icons, has become so commonplace, it's inspired everything from plush emoji pillows to The Emoji Movie, which was pretty much universally panned. Still, it shows the important cultural role that emoji play in how we digitally communicate.

Adding emoji to Google Docs isn't totally straightforward, but it isn't hard. We'll show you how to it's done. Note that not every single official emoji is available through the built-in picker. It's also unclear if any of the new emoji coming soon (there are over 100 of them) will be integrated into Google Docs right away.

To get started, open a Google Doc on your preferred desktop browser (try this awesome hack, if you haven't). Select Insert > Special characters. You'll see a group of symbols and arrows. To change to emoji, click on the drop-down menu that says Symbols and select Emoji


Here's your desktop view of adding emoji in Google Docs.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

You can also click on the Arrows drop-down menu and select Emoticons, but you'll see a more limited number of options. If you're using your phone, you can just open a Google Doc and select an emoji from your keyboard.

If you can't seem to find the emoji you're looking for, you can use the large box on the right that says "Draw a symbol here." After you draw what you're looking for, a list of options you can choose from will appear to the left. So, if you're looking for the upside-down smiley emoji but you keep overlooking it, just draw it to find it. You can also type to search for selections.

That's it! Now you can add an emoji to any Google doc. For more Google tips, here are six clever Gmail tricks to minimize regret, frustration and spam and six hidden Google Maps tricks.

Watch this: Tips and tricks for using Gmail