How do I add emoticons to text messages?

How do I add emoticons to text messages?

This tip was written in 2011 and we still love it. However, visit the updated version of our tip here: How to Add Emojis to Text Messages.



Emoticons are the little icons created from punctuation and symbol keys and are inserted into text to indicate your mood or intention. Most desktop computer programs automatically convert symbols to graphical emoticons. For example, if you type in :-) most programs will automatically convert it to a smily face.

How do I add emoticons to text messages?By default, you cannot create graphical emoticons on the iPhone. However, you can install an app like Emoji Free! (Free,, which adds graphical emoticons to your iPhone. Once installed, it's easy to add graphical emoticons to your text messages and e-mails. With the app installed, here's how you add emoticons to a message:

Add emoticons to your text messages with a few taps

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap on the New Message icon in the upper right corner of the screen. (It looks like a pencil resting on a square piece of paper.)

  3. Type in the name or number of the recipient.
  4. Tap on the text field.

  5. Tap on the globe icon on the lower left of the screen (see image).
  6. Tap on the different menus along the bottom of the screen for lots of emoticon choices.
  7. Tap on the emoticon to insert it into the text field.
  8. Tap Send when you're ready to send the text.
May-June 2011
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