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I know that there is a keyboard shortcut to bring up the special characters and emoji dialog. (On my Mac you just press the function key once, but I think by default it's ctrl-cmd-space.)

However, you still have to select the emoji from an on-screen menu. I am wondering if there is a way to do it using the keyboard alone. If I want to type, say, 👍 or 🗿, is there any way to do it without using the trackpad or touch bar at all, only the keyboard?

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I don't think so - as a window it doesn't present itself as 'frontmost'. You can't switch to it with either Cmd ⌘ ` or even the wildly random Ctrl ⌃ F4 .

If there are some you use a lot, you could set them to text replacements, with short, easy to remember triggers…

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    That's a good idea - for some reason I hadn't thought of using that feature for this.
    – N. Virgo
    Jul 20, 2023 at 11:16

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