Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover and Smart Keyboard Folio rock a Globe key for quickly accessing the Emoji picker, but good luck finding it on hardware keyboards made by other manufacturers. Heck, even Apple’s latest Magic Keyboard for the new iPad Pro lacks a dedicated Globe key. So, how do you access the Emoji picker while using a hardware keyboard with your iPad?
Where did the Globe key go?
I’m a heavy iPad user and my setup includes the previous-generation iPad Pro (the 2018 model) and Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio. So far, it’s been great and my only complaint deals with lack of backlight, which renders the pricey keyboard attachment useless in the dark.
Although the Smart Keyboard Folio from Apple already features a dedicated Emoji key which you can press to get to the Emoji picker quickly, the company’s Magic Keyboard and most other external iPad keyboards from other manufacturers aren’t nearly as emojified.
Follow along with our step-by-step tutorial to learn how to bring up the Emoji picker from anywhere where emojis are supported while using a physical keyboard with your iPad.
How to access the Emoji picker on external iPad keyboards
This is going to be the shortest tutorial ever.
To type emoji on an external iPad keyboard, be sure the cursor is in a text field and press the following combination on keys on the keyboard to bring up an onscreen keyboard switcher:
Control (⌃) + Space
Now you can use the Up and Down arrows on the keyboard to select the Emoji keyboard from the list or press the Space bar to cycle through the languages.
Thanks to proper mouse, trackpad and pointer support in the iPadOS 13.4 software, you can navigate the emoji picker and select the emoticon you want without having to use the touchscreen at all. And with Full Keyboard Access, you can even take advantage of your external keyboard to control your iPad and navigate the entirety of the iPad user interface.
TROUBLESHOOTER: How to fix predictive iOS emoji keyboard not working
Oh, almost forgot… If you’re not on team Emoji and don’t type Emoji characters often, you probably don’t need a dedicated Globe key at all. But if your keyboard has one, how about remapping it to, say, the Escape key function? While we’re at it, you can also rebind other hardware modifier keys in iPadOS 13.4, including the Command, Option and Caps Lock keys.
Accessing the emoji picker in macOS
On your Mac, you get a dedicated keyboard shortcut that you can hit anytime you want to access up the Emoji picker from almost anywhere a text field could be accessed in macOS.
The following macOS keyboard shortcut brings up the Emoji & Symbol picker:
Control (⌃) + Command (⌘) + Space
Pressing this keyboard combination brings up the Emoji picker.
The Emoji picker makes it easy to browse through the available Emoji categories, see your recently-used Emojis, as well as favorite and search for Emojis using a dedicated search bar.
It would be nice to see Emoji search functionality added to iOS, no?
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