Where can I find an explained list of emoji (emoticons) used in iOS for use on Mac OS X?

Some of them are not quite clear and I would like to see their base meaning (I know that you are free to use them, still as the glyphs they should have an Unicode name).

  • 1
    For anyone now looking for a much better resource that's available on more than just Macs and shows images of the glyphs rendered on several different platforms/environments, check it out here: unicode.org/emoji/charts/full-emoji-list.html
    – bubbleking
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 17:53

4 Answers 4


First, in System Preferences, under the Keyboard tab of the Keyboard Preference Pane, be sure Show Keyboard and Character Viewers in menu bar is checked. enter image description here

Then, from the Keyboard menu in the menu bar, select Show Character Viewer. In the Character viewer pane, select Emoji. When you select an Emoji, on the right side of the pane, you get a large graphic of the Emoji and a text explanation of the shape. enter image description here

  • This is also reachable in most programs under Edit > Special Characters…
    – Tuesday
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 22:13

There's also a list on my web site, that I just made. The list is viewable using a browser with emoji font support; this includes Safari.

  • I just read your list and was about to post a link to it here as an answer — only to find that you, the person who created it, already posted here! Great work on the list. Have an upvote.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:00
  • 1
    Funny. This page was the best resource I found when looking for this information myself, so now hopefully it's better.
    – grumdrig
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 17:10
  • Awesome! Thanks for the list!!!!! Great reference; now I know what I'm saying :)
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 7:01
  • This works fine on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as well. Awesome list. Great work! Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 21:08

When you're in iOS, you can also turn on VoiceOver and it'll read the names of the Emoji as you move around the keyboard.


Wikipedia has a series of tables at w:Emoji. Additionally, they also organize it by what platform supports what character as well.

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