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Searching and Typing Unicode Characters - Like Emojis - System-Wide Via Emacs

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Update 2020-02-13: trying to move from insert-char to counsel-unicode-char after this reddit comment

Mastodon-user @jeeger tooted about a nice way to search for Unicode characters such as Emojis:

Unlike somebody would think that this is only relevant within Emacs, this method is using the really nice built-in Emacs character search for entering special characters in any application:

  1. Define my-insert-char() in your Emacs configuration (see below).
  2. Manually test in the command line using the following line:

    emacsclient -c -e '(my-insert-char)'
    
  3. Map to a system-wise keyboard shortcut and use it to put arbitrary Unicode characters in the system clipboard.

(defun my-insert-char ()
  (interactive)
  (with-temp-buffer
    (call-interactively 'insert-char) ;; classic method
    ;; (call-interactively 'counsel-unicode-char) ;; improved usability but inserts characters differently
    (kill-ring-save (point-min) (point-max))))	  

I mapped this command to Fn-Search which is a special key that is available on some keyboards.

This way, I can search for something like "arrow" and using TAB completion to get something like this: ⤴ For emojis, I might search for "happy" to get "happy person raising one hand": 🙋

This is going to be an additional input method to me besides emojione-picker.


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