If you like emoji, it’s easy to find and insert them in apps like Discord, Messages, and Slack, and on many websites, particularly social media ones like Facebook and Twitter, which commissioned emoji drawings unique to their products. But outside of apps and sites that embrace emoji, macOS offers a convoluted process to access them otherwise.
Rocket blasts its way into that gap. This simple utility provides the same simplicity as in Slack in typing a colon, part of an emoji name, and pressing a completion key (like Return) to insert it. For instance, type :rocket and press Return, and there’s a 🚀. You can change the trigger key from a colon or require typing the trigger twice to invoke the emoji picker.
The free flavor of the app matches names with an option in preferences to enable fuzzy search. It relies on the common names of emoji for matching, or the app matches names with an option in preferences to enable fuzzy search.
App developer Matthew Palmer also includes Boosters–choose that item from the Rocket system menu–something he had planned before the pandemic to include in the Pro pack. His generosity at providing it free gives you access to emoticons (pre-emoji text symbology), certain Unicode symbols and marks (like dingbats and elements used in math), and what Rocket labels Deeper Emoji Keywords: 10,000 additional keywords to help with matching.
Rocket even enables emoji picking for the blind through a combination of Apple’s accessibility features and its own preferences. You have it speak the emoji name, copy a selected one to the clipboard, and override VoiceOver when using Rocket if that’s necessary.
You can add apps and websites to exclusion lists to avoid conflicts with expansion shortcuts or emoji systems already available.
Rocket’s free version provides typing-based access to selecting and inserting emoji, including setting a default skin tone. Upgrade to Pro for $10 and you unlock the emoji browser, but also add the ability to insert GIFs (including 150 prefabricated ones), generate usage statistics, and let you set custom emoji expansion names. It also adds general text expansion, moving it closer to something like TextExpanderor Typinator.
If emoji delight you and are part of your language, stop exercising the tedium of using macOS’s Character View to find them. Install at least the free flavor of Rocket, and extend the ease of expression.
With the strong resurgence of the Mac in recent years, we want to celebrate the tools we use and that readers recommend to make the most of your macOS experience. Mac Gems highlights great nuggets of Mac software, apps that have a high utility, have a sharp focus on a limited set of problems to solve, and are generally developed by an individual or small company. Stay tuned for weekly updates, and send your suggestions to the Mac Gems Twitter feed (@macgems).