If you like emoji, it’s easy to find and insert them into apps like Discord, Messages, and Slack, and many websites, especially social media like Facebook and Twitter, that have created emoji drawings that are unique for their products. But beyond apps and sites that embrace emoji, macOS offers a complicated process for opening them in a different way.
Rocket shoots its way into that hole. This simple utility offers the same simplicity as in Slack by typing a colon, part of an emoji name, and pressing a finish key (like Return) to insert it. For example, type :rocket and hit return, and there’s a 🚀. You can change a colon’s trigger key or have to type the trigger twice to invoke the emoji picker.
The free flavor of the app matches names with an option in preferences to enable vague search. It relies on the common names of emoji for matching, or the app matches names with an option in preferences to enable vague searching.
App developer Matthew Palmer is also adding Boosters – choose that item from the Rocket system menu – something he planned to include in the Pro pack before the pandemic. His generosity of providing it for free gives you access to emoticons (pre-emoji text symbology), certain Unicode symbols and markers (such as dingbats and elements used in math), and what Rocket calls Deeper Emoji Keywords: 10,000 extra keywords to help match.
Rocket even enables emoji picking for the blind through a combination of Apple’s accessibility features and its own preferences. You let it speak the emoji name, copy a selected one to the clipboard, and ignore VoiceOver using Rocket if needed.
You can add apps and websites to exclusion lists to avoid conflicts with extension shortcuts or already available emoji systems.
The free version of Rocket offers type-based access to emoji selection and insertion, including setting a default skin tone. Upgrade to Pro for $10 and you unlock the emoji browser, but also adds the ability to insert GIFs (including 150 pre-made ones), generate usage stats, and set your custom emoji extension names. It also adds general text expansion, bringing it closer to something like TextExpanderor Typinator.
If you like emojis and are part of your language, stop using macOS’s character view to find them. At least install Rocket’s free flavor and increase the ease of expression.
With the Mac boom in recent years, we want to celebrate the tools we use and recommend to readers to get the most out of your macOS experience. Mac Gems highlights great pieces of Mac software, apps that are highly useful, have a sharp focus on a limited number of problems to solve, and are generally developed by an individual or small business. Stay tuned for weekly updates and send your suggestions to the Mac Gems Twitter feed (@macgems).