Is there any support for emoji in illustrator or photoshop, and if so how do I access it? If not, why and when can we make this happen.

  • 2
    Why would you even want this? Emoji's are for text messaging. I suppose you could find a font which contains Emojis.
    – Scott
    Oct 30, 2014 at 18:17
  • Its posible to make PS do this. Another thing is why would you want it to. And how much surplus money you have to spend on this.
    – joojaa
    Oct 31, 2014 at 7:26
  • 1
    @Scott I do a lot of mock ups for mobile applications where emojis are used quite frequently, and my current workflow of past emoji and align it and size it correctly is tedious. I have looked for fonts containing emojis, and the Open Sans Emoji one was probably the best I encountered but this is not the solution I was looking for as they are monochrome and abstracted.
    – Tyler M
    Oct 31, 2014 at 18:59
  • @joojaa if it is possible, do you know how to do it?
    – Tyler M
    Oct 31, 2014 at 18:59
  • Try the solution from superuser.stackexchange.com. It worked perfectly for me.
    – Zander
    Dec 21, 2014 at 14:17

6 Answers 6


I've found a bit of a workaround, hopefully this helps.

System Preferences > Keyboard > Check the box for "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar" then close window.

Now on your top menu bar you will see an icon top right like this: Keyboard Viewer

Select "Show Character Viewer" and in the viewer window that pops up you will see an 'Emoji' category, click there. Emoji Viewer

Then open text edit, and you can either copy and paste or drag and drop directly from the character viewer to the text edit doc.

text edit

Go to the File > Export as PDF export

Now you can just open that PDF in Illustrator and get access to the emoji, it may not be super crisp but it's something!

  • You also can create emoji directly in TextEdit via Ctrl+cmd+F11 Jun 4, 2016 at 8:52
  • There's also a nice shortcut for Character Palette on macOS: control + command + space. I find it quite useful and use it frequently.
    – kr85
    Mar 13, 2017 at 22:04

Since emoji are full-color and Photoshop only recognizes gray-scale fonts, you cannot import the emoji as a font. However, in just a few easy steps, you can easily pull in any emoji.

  1. Paste the emoji that you desire into a Mac Text Editor window.
  2. Set the font to a very large size (288 point is in the font-size drop-down, but you can go higher).
  3. Save the file as a PDF document.
  4. In the Photoshop menu, select "File / Place"
  5. Select the PDF document that you just saved.

The emoji will come in very large. You can then downsize it to fit your needs. The image should be very sharp.

  • 1
    Good answer, but a technical note: there is no such thing as a "gray-scale font" 😜 Current fonts are monochromatic vectors - it is filled or it is not - and what you perceive as "grayscale" is the antialiasing around the edges.
    – Jongware
    Nov 26, 2016 at 12:03
  • Photoshop CC 2017+ supports the emoji fonts on Windows & Mac now
    – Joël
    Nov 20, 2017 at 13:44

Just type or paste the emoji as you would into any other program, and change the font to your platform’s emoji font. On macOS it’s Apple Color Emoji, on Windows it’s Segoe UI Emoji.

  • And that works in Illustrator and PhotoShop?
    – Jongware
    Nov 7, 2016 at 18:50
  • 1
    @RadLexus It works in Photoshop. For some reason Illustrator doesn’t recognize Apple Color Emoji as a font. Nov 7, 2016 at 19:29

"Emoji" appears in recent Unicode fonts, but how they are rendered depends heavily on the application you are using.

"Full color" is only a very recent addition to fonts; in fact, there are only proposals so far. Photoshop (and all other, uh, serious software) will typically render the plain monochrome form.

Applications such as chat apps are specially programmed to recognize emoji in text and then display them as tiny bitmaps -- which may or may not be contained in the font file.

As to "when can we make this happen", you will have to wait for the programmers of aforementioned serious software. You could file a Feature Request at Adobe; unless you meant the "we" literally and you're up for a serious bit of programming.

  • thanks - pretty much my understanding at the moment, but was looking to see if there was something I'd missed. I'll submit a feature request and see if I can bug some friends to help me think about it more.
    – Tyler M
    Oct 31, 2014 at 19:01

To my knowledge there is no way to use the unicode emojis in Photoshop and i believe this is because each font would have to support emojis and furthermore it is uncommon to need emojis in your photoshop. If you really do need the emojis you can always download them in PNG/PSD format at a link like this: Emoji Collection.

I hope this has answered your question :)

  • 1
    thanks for the collection link! I currently use a similar format to this, copy and paste/import file method but it is not an optimal solution. Will bookmark and use though!
    – Tyler M
    Oct 31, 2014 at 19:02
  • Open Photoshop
  • Type the emoji using the 'Apple Color Emoji' font
  • Rasterise the text layer
  • Copy the image
  • Paste in Illustrator

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