How Can I Make Smiley Faces and Other Emoticons With My Keyboard?


When you’re chatting with someone face-to-face or on the phone, you can read their mood in their facial expression or tone. You can certainly tell by someone’s voice if they’re angry, sad, happy or joking.

It’s not so easy to decipher what someone’s feeling via email or Facebook updates.

Enter the “emoticon” to save the day. By using your letters and punctuation on your keyboard to make an expressive “face,” you can let someone know the emotions behind your words. Use emoticons to add a little pizzaz to your text messages, emails, Facebook messages, online comments and Tweets.

I’ll teach you a few of the most popular emoticons, but first, I’ll review a few basic rules about using them:

  • Some online platforms automatically switch your typed emoticons into cartoonish images of the actual faces they represent. This is the case on Facebook. Check this list to see how to create emoticons specific to Facebook.
  • When typing an emoticon, omit the space bar between characters (otherwise, it might just look like random punctuation and letters).
  • Have fun with emoticons, but don’t overuse them. Too many emoticons can confuse what you’re trying to say. Try to limit your emoticons to one per message. Or, if you’re sending a long message -an email, for example, one emoticon per paragraph is a good rule of thumb.
  • Emoticons are generally a playful and fun way to liven up a written conversation. Though some emoticons express negative emotions, be careful when using them to discuss anything serious or heavy; it could be taken the wrong way.

Ready? Here we go.

Happy Faces

This is the most common emoticon of them all, and you can form it in different ways.

:-) colon + minus sign + close parentheses

:-D colon + minus sign + capital D

=) equal sign +close parentheses

Upset Faces

Use your judgement for the best time to use this one. A sad face might not be the right way to express condolences or sympathy.

:-( colon + minus sign + open parentheses

:’-( colon + apostrophe + minus sign + open parentheses

:’( colon + apostrophe sign + open parentheses

Playful Faces 

Let someone know you’re joking around or expressing sarcasm with a winking face or one that’s sticking out its tongue.

;-) semicolon + minus sign + close parentheses

:-P colon + minus sign + capital P

Cool Faces

This emoticon represents sunglasses, an important accessory for maintaining your cool.

B-) capital B + minus sign + close parentheses

8-) eight + minus sign + close parentheses

Angry Faces 

These emoticons represent the squinted eyes, furrowed brows, puckered faces and frowns associated with anger.

>:( greater than sign + colon +  open parentheses

:[email protected] colon + minus sign + @ sign

X-( capital X + minus sign + open parentheses

Embarrassed Faces 

Oops! Use these if you made a mistake or misunderstood something.

:$ colon + dollar sign

:-/ colon + minus sign + backslash

Shocked Faces

Use these emoticons if you find something startling or surprising.

:-O colon + minus sign + capital O

=O equal sign + capital O

Confused Faces 

Imagine someone squinting their eyes or biting their lip when confused.

%-) percentage sign + minus sign + close parentheses

:-S colon + minus sign + capital S

Flirtatious Faces 

An asterisk represents a kiss.

:-)* colon + minus sign + close parentheses + asterisk

Extra “Just for Fun” Symbols

<3 make a heart with a “less than” sign + three

\o/ represent someone cheering with backslash + lowercase o + forward slash

O:-) create an emoticon representing an angel with capital O + colon + minus sign + close parentheses

Practice time! Try typing your current mood in the comments area below! 

Click here to learn how to make picture emoji.

Want to know about the Next Big Thing in online communication?  Read more here!

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150 responses to “How Can I Make Smiley Faces and Other Emoticons With My Keyboard?

  1. So i’ve been tryna look for a smiley face but nobody has it so basically it’s like a smiley face y’all be putting the ones with the circle but what i’m lookin for is one like that but W/O the circle who can help me out

  2. How can I make a like emoji using my keyboard on android

    I can do this
       \( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
        > ⌒ヽ
       /   へ\
       /  / \\
       レ ノ   ヽ_つ
      / /
      / /|
     ( (ヽ
     | |、\
     | 丿 \ ⌒)
     | |  ) /
    ノ )  Lノ

      1. since i don’t know your gender, i will use an example. Say you are the boy, and your friend is a girl. And the girl, is using that symbol a lot. They must like you. But if you are a girl, and they are a boy, same thing. But, if you are the same gender, then they are either gay (nothing wrong with that) or, they mean it as a playful sign. If it is none of the above, then I honestly don’t know.

      1. (\_/)
        ( )o
        bunny on grass
        ( . )
        ( . )
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ < <
        < <

    1. hi not a reply to you but to the person who made the article , don’t tell me how many i an use anywhere.. For people who want to know how many are acceptable there are other factors besides 1 per email.. 1 what platform you’re using facebook post, email, etc. 2 how many times have you used the same emoticon? it is like going lol i said this is now don’t you lol.. thats too many lol’s and you’ll know that.. and 3 your personality and age.. if you’re a happy ,excited person, its okay to use more than one per email, in fact i’ve used them in place of talking, on my page, “i really love that song ty for playing it” me <3 :D ~ ty that makes my heart happy…
      finally 4 which its probably the only one aside form 4 you need to really know~ It ALL depends no matter age race,gender etc, on this WHO is the POST, EMAIL you're writing and WHAT is it for!! no emoticons on replies to job interviews or on resumes, or condolence messages, and tats it those are the only guidelines.. imo , in mu opinion… oh yeah and HAVE FUN OR at least CONFUSE some people it keeps them on their toes.. ty <3 :) ;) ~ so that was a heart, a smile and a blinky face incase they don't automatically work.. they don't work on youtube at all.. and google plus..

    1. I think that it is very unfair how you can only do this with a portable keyboard. I have a PC, no portable keyboard. So I can’t make any of these faces. At least the alt and whatever number. If anyone or the maker of this webpage could find a way to do so, that would make my day in a weird way. An emoji happy day I suppose. But, if it is indeed impossible, please let me know so I don’t get my hopes to high, and letting it fall to the ground and breaking. (hyperbole or metaphor). Just for fun, I am going to do a bunch of faces that I CAN do on PC. :) :D C: [: :-) [@[email protected]] [-: >:( XD DX D: ;C 8-] 8] 8-) 8) <o0> ~O~ ~o~ ~0~ ~_~ ~L~ O~O o~o 0~0 \0/ \o/ \O/n I~I \~/

      1. Press shift and then the button on the left of the “1”button to get the ¬ . (the “b” is a thumbs up or an “OK” sign!?) ( =XD )

  3. These are simple emoticons. I found these on another site and slightly modified them in order to make them look better, so feel free to copy and paste them from below:

    • SCARY → ಠ_ಠ

    • FACE → ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • MAD → ̿̿ ̿’̿’̵͇̿̿з=(◣_◢)=ε/̵͇̿̿/’̿’̿ ̿ ̿̿

    • PUPPY → [‘ᴥ’]

    • TABLE → (╯°□°)╯︵

    • GRIN → ツ

    • PIG → (^ɷ^)

    • HAPPY → ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

    • SUPRISE → (ʘ_ʘ)

    • SMILE → (•‿•)

    • POINTER → (✌゚∀゚)☞

    • ANGRY → ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

    • ABOVE → ╚(•⌂•)╝

    • BEAR → ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

    • SKULL → ☠

    • CONFUSED → ﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿

    I hope you like them! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @zombie.unicorn.123
    Thanks a bunch!

      1. (◦▿◦) You got tha skills dude.
        ( ◐◊◓ ) I’m dizzy.
        ◯◡◯ Keep up the good work!

  4. Good Morning I was wondering how do I make a eye with the dot in the middle to make it look like an eye ball?

    How do I make a square with the center all black?

    Thank-You Have a Great Day

  5. When I type the prescribed characters, all I get is the prescribed characters . . .no emoticon that I can see. Help please. should I be holding down an alt, ctrl or shift key with the prescription? I am confused. thanks for any clarification you can provide

  6. <3
    When I type them they only show up as the
    as the symbol, letter or number I type. I neve see the emoticon. I work and we use a chat room and others use emoticons and all I see are the semicolons etc. I never see a smiley or whatever it is supposed to be.

  7. I was hoping for the smiley face that actually looks like one, with the circle and all turned upright and everything, I know you do something with enter, shift, colan and nine but not sure

  8. How can I make a sheet of the symbols, and what they make and save them to my tablet. I see a lot of people put them up, but I would need to save a sheet of them to look at. Hope you can help. Thank you

  9. Noo this is how you make smiley. faces
    Happy~:) sad~:( crying ~ :'( angry~ >:( confused~ :/ shocked~:0 swearing~:-* weirdshock~O_o poutedlips~:” normal~d’_’b
    Cheshiresmile~: 3 existed~ =_=`another normal~ (‘_’) Angel~0:) ect………

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