5 Ways to Insert Emojis in Microsoft Excel

Do you want to insert an emoji in your Excel spreadsheet?

Emojis can be a great way to liven up your documents and make them more engaging. But did you know that you can actually add emojis in Excel?

It’s true!

This will add some fun to your data, and it’s a great way to make certain items stand out from the rest.

This post is going to show you all the ways to add emojis in Excel. Get your copy of the example workbook used in this post to follow along.

Emojis in Excel Desktop vs Excel Online

The Excel web app has a definite advantage over the desktop app when it comes to using emojis.

The above example shows the same emoji on the desktop and the web. You can see the web app renders the emojis in color as intended whereas the desktop emojis appear in black and white.

How to Add Emojis in Excel

Since the implementation of Microsoft 365, the tools available in Excel are ever increasing and new features are being added all the time.

You can now add emojis and emoji-like images to Excel in many ways. The following sections will explore all the possible methods you can use to insert these icons into your workbook.

Insert Emojis with a Keyboard Shortcut

The easiest way to add an emoji to your Excel workbook is to use the Windows key shortcut. This utilizes a key exclusive to the windows operating system and not all windows devices will have this key.

When you press the Win + . keys, this will open a searchable menu of emojis.

You can either use the search bar to find a specific emoji based on a keyword or you can use the category tabs at the top to manually find the correct emoji.

Here are the steps you can follow to add your emoji in Excel.

  1. Select the cell where you want to add your emoji.
  2. Press the Win + . key to open the emoji menu.
  3. Enter some keyword in the search to filter the emoji selection.
  4. Click on the emoji in the menu to enter it into the Excel sheet.

💡 Tip: Mac users also have a similar menu and shortcut available. They can press Cmd + Ctrl + Space to open the emoji menu.

Once you learn about these emoji menu shortcuts, they will definitely become a favorite.

Insert Emojis with Copy Paste

If your keyboard doesn’t come with a Windows, then you’re going to need an alternative way to create your emoji characters in Excel.

The next easiest method is to copy and paste them from another source.

Luckily you will find many websites that allow you to copy and paste emojis from the web.

For example, the PicsArt site allows you to quickly search and copy emojis. When you click on any of the emojis displayed, it will get copied to your clipboard and you can paste it into Excel.

Insert Emojis with the UNICHAR Function

Another method you can use to insert an emoji is with a function.

You can use the UNICHAR function to create any unicode character if you know the correct decimal code for the character.

= UNICHAR ( number )

The UNICHAR function takes a decimal number argument and returns the corresponding unicode character.

You can find a full list of emoji decimal codes at w3school.

For example, the code 128513 corresponds to the grinning face with smiling eyes emoji.

= UNICHAR ( 128513 )

The above UNICHAR formula will create the grinning face and smiling eyes emoji.

Insert Emojis with Skin Tones

Certain emojis are available with a skin tone option and this can also be implemented in Excel.

This can be achieved using the correct emoji unicode and skin tone unicode together.

  • 127999 is the code for dark skin tone.
  • 127998 is the code for medium dark skin tone.
  • 127997 is the code for medium skin tone.
  • 127996 is the code for medium light skin tone.
  • 127995 is the code for light skin tone.
= UNICHAR ( 128070 ) & UNICHAR ( 127999 )

For example, the above formula will show a hand pointing up with a dark skin tone.

The UNICHAR(128070) returns the pointing emoji and then concatenates the UNICHAR(127999) on the end will display the emoji with the dark skin tone.

Insert Emojis as an Image

Another interesting way to get an emoji in Excel is by using the IMAGE function to convert an emoji to an image inside a cell.

This is particularly useful since the desktop app doesn’t render the emojis in color. But the image version of the emoji will be in full color.

This will also allow you to choose the style of emoji that appears. For example, the same emoji viewed on Android and Apple devices will appear quite different.

When you convert the emoji to an image, the emoji API allows you to select what emoji style to return.


The above URL is an API that returns the emoji image based on the emoji, size, and style supplied in the URL.

  • emoji is the emoji character to convert to an image.
  • size is the size in pixels of the image to return.
  • style is the emoji style to return as the image. This can be one of these values: twitter, google, microsoft, apple, emojione, facebook, whatsapp, mozilla, samsung, lg, htc, emojipedia, emojidex.

You can then use this API with the IMAGE function to return the emoji image in a cell.

The IMAGE function takes any image URL and returns the image.

= IMAGE ( "https://emoji.beeimg.com/" & C3 & "/" & C4 & "/" & C5 )

For example, the above formula will create an emoji image based on the emoji character in cell C3, the size in cell C4, and the style in cell C5.

📝 Note: You will only be able to use this if you want a single emoji inside a cell. You won’t be able to combine text or other emoji images in a single cell.

How to Delete an Emoji

Deleting an emoji is as easy as it gets.

If the emoji is the only thing inside the cell, then press the Delete key.

If the emoji is combined with other text in the cell, then you will need to enter the edit mode. Press F2 to edit the cell, then use the arrow key to place the cursor to the left of the emoji to be deleted. Press the backspace key.

Some emoji characters are actually made up of multiple characters so you may need to press the backspace key more than once to completely delete the entire emoji.

How to Get the Emoji Unicode

Suppose you already have an emoji in your Excel workbook and you want to know what unicode character it is.

You can get the unicode based on the character by using the UNICODE function.

= UNICODE ( character )

This takes a single character as the input and then returns the decimal code for that character.

= UNICODE ( "🎄" )

For example, the above formula will return 127876 since this is the decimal code for the Christmas tree emoji.

Popular Emojis in Excel

When using emojis in Excel, there will definitely be certain characters that are more popular and used quite frequently.

For example, you might use the check mark and cross mark emojis to indicate yes or no data in a more visual manner.

Here are some of the most used emojis in Excel.

Smiley face emoji🙂128578=UNICHAR(128578)
Sad face emoji😢128546=UNICHAR(128546)
Wink emoji😉128521=UNICHAR(128521)
Heart emoji❤️10084=UNICHAR(10084)
Shrug emoji🤷129335=UNICHAR(129335)
Thumbs up emoji👍128077=UNICHAR(128077)
Thumbs down emoji👎128078=UNICHAR(128078)
Check mark emoji✔️10004=UNICHAR(10004)
Cross mark emoji10060=UNICHAR(10060)
Christmas tree emoji🎄127876=UNICHAR(127876)
Turkey emoji🦃129411=UNICHAR(129411)
Fire emoji🔥128293=UNICHAR(128293)
Cake emoji🎂127874=UNICHAR(127874)

Slack Emojis in Excel

Slack is a popular messaging platform that includes custom emojis and users might want to include these same custom emojis in their Excel documents.

This is only possible using the IMAGE function. You can get the emoji image from the site Slackmojis.

You will be able to search for your emoji and then right-click on the emoji image and choose the Copy link address option from the menu.

This will add the URL for the image to your clipboard and you can use this in the IMAGE function.

Slack logo emoji=IMAGE("https://emojis.slackmojis.com/emojis/images/1643514526/5206/slack.png?1643514526")
Windows logo emoji=IMAGE("https://emojis.slackmojis.com/emojis/images/1643510969/49730/windows11.png?1643510969")
Excel logo emoji=IMAGE("https://slackmojis.com/emojis/5939-ms_excel/download")
CSV emoji=IMAGE("https://emojis.slackmojis.com/emojis/images/1643510579/42579/csv_text.png?1643510579")

Above are some popular Slack emojis along with the IMAGE formula. Each will get the emoji as an image in Excel.

Flag Emojis in Excel

Flag emojis are often wanted in Excel to help visualize any country data.

Unfortunately, users are often disappointed as these Unicode characters don’t render properly in either the Excel desktop or web app. you will only see what looks like an alpha character code.

The best you will be able to do for flag emojis is to convert them to images. This can be achieved in the same way as seen previously with the IMAGE function and the emoji API.

= IMAGE ( "https://emoji.beeimg.com/" & C3 & "/250/twitter" )

The above formula will convert the flag emoji in cell C3 to a 250 by 250 pixel image in the Twitter emoji style.


Emojis are a great way to add some fun and flair to your Excel files.

You can insert emojis in Excel using a keyboard shortcut, the UNICHAR function, copy and pasting them from online sources, or by adding them as images with the IMAGE function.

Have you tried inserting emojis into your Excel sheets? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and qualified actuary with over 15 years of experience. He has worked in a variety of industries, including insurance, ad tech, and most recently Power Platform consulting. He is a keen problem solver and has a passion for using technology to make businesses more efficient.


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  1. oguruma1209

    I developed pq code as XLOOKUP in Excel (RechercheX in French)
    Do you agree to send my source or my excel workbook please ?

    • John MacDougall

      I could make a YouTube video about it if you send me the file.

  2. Roberto

    Hi, I have tried the IMAGE function several time but on Excel 2016 it gives me “=NAME?” ERROR.
    Maybe it is not compatible?

    • John MacDougall

      Yes, you will need to upgrade to Excel for M365 to use the IMAGE function.

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