Google is simplifying the way you insert emojis in Docs. You can simply type “@” followed by the name or descriptor of the emoji to get a list of all related emojis on the screen. You can use arrow keys to scroll through them and select an emoji with the enter key. The selected item will appear in line with your text.
Additionally, you can also type “@:” or “:” in Google Docs for a dropdown list of emojis with the option to open up the entire catalog. It shows the company’s standard emoji grid with category grouping. A search bar lets you search for the desired emoji using the name or a keyword.
This Feature comes just a few months after Google Docs gained support for emoji reactions. Rolled out in April this year, emoji reactions give you “a less formal alternative to comments” to tell your response or opinions about the content of a document.
The @ insertion menu isn’t new to Google Docs either. The company introduced it last year as a “universal insertion menu“. It lets you insert anything from tables, lists, and images to templates and links in your document. You can even tag people to the document through it. You don’t need to leave the current tab for any of these actions. That’s regardless of where you are inserting a file from, including other Workspace tools such as Google Drive. Earlier you needed to switch tabs and navigate to the file to add it to Docs.
During the launch of this universal insertion menu, Google said that it will make the menu more usable with new features in the future. Support for emojis certainly adds to its usability.
Google Docs lets you insert emojis with the universal insertion menu
This simplified emoji picking in Google Docs is currently rolling out to users on Rapid Release domains. The company expects to complete the first batch of rollout in a couple of weeks. Users on Scheduled Release domains will get the new ability after that. All eligible Workspace customers should get it before the end of September.
Speaking of eligibility, Google isn’t leaving anyone out. Emoji support for the universal insertion menu on Docs will be available to all Google Workspace customers, G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts. The Feature is enabled by default and there is no admin control for it. So once the shortcut is rolled out to you, you can start using it right away.