How to insert emoji, kaomoji and symbols into Outlook email

Step by step guide to insert special characters in Outlook mail

When you are typing an email in Outlook web mail, how do you enter special characters like emoji smiley faces, kaomoji expressions and symbols like copyright and others? Here is an easy guide.

Do your email messages always look deadly serious, even when they don’t need to be? It is hard to convey your feelings like lightheartedness with plain text. On occasions, it can be useful to include emojis like smiley faces, birthday presents, food, travel and other symbols. It may be just for fun, but why be so serious all the time.

Kaomojis are facial expressions, but unlike emojis, which are graphical, Kaomoji’s use oddball characters in fonts. There are all manner or strange strings of text that look like smily or sad faces. The simplest is 🙂 which is a face on its side, but there are many more complex ones than this.

Emojis and kaomojis are mostly for fun and you probably would not use them in a business email. You might need special symbols though. For example, copyright and registered trademark synbols. You could type (c) for copyright, but it is best to use the proper character.

There are many more symbols you might want to use besides copyright and trademark, like temperatures, musical notes, infinity, double headed arrows and more.

Let’s see how to enter all of these special characters into an Outlook email message. I will be using a free Microsoft account and you do not need a Microsoft 365 subscription. This will work on a Windows PC and an Apple Mac because it is all in a web browser.

1 Create a new message

Outlook web mail in a browser
Outlook email in a web browser

Go to the outlook.com website in a browser and click the New message button to create a new email. Suppose we want to insert some special characters into this new email.

2 The actions menu

Outlook email menu in a web browser
Show the menu to insert emojis in emails

I don’t know what this menu is called, I call it the actions menu and you get it by clicking the three dots at the bottom of the new email panel. Up near the top of this menu is Insert emojis. Click it.

3 Browse and select emoji

The emoji panel in Outlook email
Click an emoji to insert it

A panel on the right opens and displays emoji characters. They are organized into categories like smiley faces, transport, food and so on. Select a category and click an emoji to insert it into the email.

4 Search for emoji

Search for emoji to insert into Outlook emails
Search and select emoji

If you cannot see an emoji that is suitable, try searching for it. Enter a word into the search box. Emojis are tagged with all sorts of keywords, so you can search for things like ‘success’ and find suitable emoji.

Click one to insert it into the email

5 Set the emoji size

Change the size of an emoji

If the emoji is too small and you would like them to be larger, they can be resized in the same way as plain text can. Click and swipe over the emoji to select them or use the keyboard Shift+left/right arrow.

A formatting toolbar automatically appears above selected text when writing an email. Select the size you want from the font size list to make the emoji characters as big or as small as you want.

6 Alternative method to insert emoji

Insert emoji menu in Outlook mail
Right click for a menu in Outlook

There is another way to insert emoji characters into an email you are writing. Just right click in the message and a menu is displayed. Select Emoji on the menu.

This does more than enable you to insert emoji and other characters can be entered as we will see.

7 Insert emoji in emails

Select and insert emoji in Outlook email messages
Insert emoji in Outlook messages

This emoji collection is similar to the previous one. Select the smiley face at the top to show emoji. Click a category at the bottom, like transport (the car icon), and then just click one or more emoji to insert them into the email.

The big advantage of using this method is that there are two more categories of characters you can insert.

8 Insert kaomoji in emails

Insert kaomoji in emails in Outlook web mail
Insert kaomoji in Outlook email messages

Select the Kaomoji icon at the top ;-). Kaomoji are a bit weird and sometimes you really have to stare at them for a while before you see what they are. Sometimes they are obvious and I get them, but sometimes I never work out what they are meant to be!

The bottom row of characters are categories, like greeting, sad, angry, surprised and so on. They at least tell you what a kaomoji should indicate.

Use the scrollbar on the right to browse the collection of kaomoji and when you see one you like, click it to insert it into the email message. Resize it like you would a font. Select it and then set the size in the formatting toolbar.

9 Insert copyright and other characters

Insert copyright and other symbols and characters in Outlook emails
Insert other characters in emails

Click the third category at the top of this collection, the Omega symbol, and another collection of characters appears. Click the icons on the bottom row to select the category of symbol, like Latin, math and fractions, These contain symbols like copyright, trademark, infinity, currencies, Greek letters and so on. Click a symbol to insert it and set the size like you would with text.

There are a lot of very useful characters here and it is good to know how to insert them into email messages.


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