Thursday, October 27, 2016

#900 - A note about how to search for emojis and other Unicode characters

Welcome to SearchResearch post #900!  

Remarkably enough, we've somehow gotten from my first post on January 30, 2010 to this post, which is #900 in the series.  First SRS post 

In that very first post, I wrote:  


Saturday, January 30, 2010

About this blog--Why SearchReSearch?

I've been tempted for quite a while to create a blog. But I was finally pushed over the edge when i realized that there are too many good ideas about how-people-search, too many fascinating tales of mystery and woe that should be told, too many little morceaux that should be shared. 
That's what this blog is about: What skills, tricks, tips, ideas (both small ideas and big IDEAs) should you know in order to be an effective searcher? Better yet, which of these combine to make you a great researcher?


This sort of led inevitably to the SearchResearch Challenges that we all now enjoy each week.   

The First SRS Challenge was pretty easy.  I just asked: 
 "Who IS the Silicon Valley CEO (that Gladwell mentions in his story) who coaches girls' basketball AND what company is he/she the CEO for?"  
Not a bad start. 

But this blog started up this long, long, long list of Challenges.  Some have been simple and asked a single question that was intended to teach a particular search skill.  Some have been really hard.. and a few still haven't been answered yet.  (I'm thinking about the Danish Optician Challenge from 2015.)  Along the way we've talked about all kinds of things, from finding where the cameraman is standing, to discussions of center-pivot irrigation systems

Each post is supposed to teach you a bit more about how to search, both the tactics and the strategies of searching.  I hope I've managed to do that, and that you've been both entertained and enriched in the process.    


Today's post isn't another Challenge, but a note about how to search for emojis--or more generally, any Unicode character.  

Here's what I mean.

Just recently, this kind of emoji search started working on Google:  

Yes, that's right, you can now search for emojis or any character in the Unicode set.  For instance, the white knight character, which will make it really easy to find chess match transcriptions... 

Of course, you can copy/paste characters from many Unicode or Emoji character sites.  (Such as the giant page of Unicode characters on Wikipedia.  Or a shorter list at CopyPasteCharacters.)  

Or, if you're on a Mac, you can do the CMD+Control+Space shortcut to bring up the Emoji selector (shown below):  

Or, if you like to use Google Docs, just select "Insert Character" and you can either search for a character, or draw it: 

May you find all your emoji. 

I'll post a short Challenge tomorrow--one that's related to this note!  

When we get to 1000 posts, we'll talk about what's next.  

In the meanwhile... Search on! 


  1. Congratulations Dr. Russell on 900+ posts. Has been great time since the first time I found your blog through Google Power Search MOOC.

    And, I am happy that we still have plenty of posts to arrive to 1000 because that means we have plenty of new SearcgReSearch Challenges, notes, 1MM and knowledge to learn and share.

    Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Russell

  2. 1000 or Bust - woohoo… 900 is nothing to sternutate at… appropriate emoji or emoticon inserted ▢
    emojipedia - shows different makers iterations… categories seem useful, site search pretty good

    1. another new lesson from 900…
      … had no idea Philip Guston was unicodeable / searchable in that manner… not sure if there is an emoji for that —
      it all gets nuanced and subject to multiple, ambiguous interpretations… seeing isn't always believing… or even understanding, in passing ;-)
      just for grins… & stoic reflection.
      the historical development of some emoji…
      click on images to see historical iterations; e.g., Google, Android 4.3 - black & white graphic

  3. I have really enjoyed your Challenges, even when I triumphantly sailed through with incorrect responses [emoji grin] or rather chagrin.

    I have learned lots and plan to hang in for the 1000th post. Don't know how you manage to do these with all the other stuff you do.

    Cheers jon tU

  4. This is my week for Emoji stories. New York's Museum of Modern Art said Wednesday that it has acquired the original set of 176 emojis. They were a gift to the museum from the phone company, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. Read more about that here:

    1. this somehow dovetails… (saw while looking @ article you referenced on Nippon Telegraph and Telephone emoji from the last century [1999])
      $50 million?
      updated: 1902 canvas “Girls on the (scream emoji (�� Face Screaming in Fear) ) Bridge” (Apple, Google & Samsung examples)
      … a reminder of this [] - generated 63 comments
      bad bridge, bad…

      Dan, was wondering why emoji can't be used in blogger comment text if they are unicode?

    2. That's a great question. I know how to do it in the main body text, but I don't know why it doesn't work in the comments text. (I'll ask around and see if I can't find out.) £ 🍻 🍪

    3. Hmmm.. Looks like it works. 😀

    4. Hi Remmij and Dr. Russell. Remmij thanks for the links and for the image. It is really funny and the emoji resembles the original. That is cool and also appropriate for the Halloween Season.

      I also wonder about emojis. In desktop they look like squares or rectangles and if you look on mobile they look fine some times like in the pizza emoji (and the 3 that Dr. Russell posted here) and not good like in the [D lesson] this looks fine in desktop and not on mobile.

      On G+ and other social media emojis also just work on mobile. Only Twitter looks to make them work on both versions.

  5. thx for the response… is this they way you are seeing it?
    the way it appears to me… ☹ ♔ ♚ ♜ ♖ ☯ it might be check for me
    fwiw - the previous image host I used… ☠⚠ a tale of woe & whoa…
    post image

    1. On desktop it appears to me like your image, Remmij. On tablet, also some show and others just look like X in rectangle

  6. My colleague Anne and I love doing these searches. We consider it part of our professional development. Great way to hone our search skills and then pass them along to our teacher colleagues and students.

  7. There is entire emerging way to use and sort thru emojis now. Oh and you know its officially a 'thing' when emojis have their first conference. All hail Emojicon! ��������

  8. Today's post isn't another Challenge, but a note about how to search for emojis--or more generally, any Unicode character.

    You can get access directly by clicking on sign for wavelength and generate your emojis.