How to type special characters and Emoji on your Android phone

keyboard.

Need to stick a tilde over an N or add an accent mark over an E? Or maybe you want to add some Emoji to your text messages? Doing either of these is actually quite easy on Android, though not particularly obvious. Here’s where to look.

Typing special characters

You can type special characters in just about any app using the standard Android keyboard. To get to the special characters, simply press and hold the key associated with that special character until a pop-up picker appears. Keep your finger down, and slide over to the special character you want to use, then lift your finger: That character will then appear in the text field you’re working with. 

n with tilde

Press and hold the N key to get an N with a tilde over it.

For the most part, the key associations for these special characters are pretty logical and intuitive. For example, “ñ” lives under the N key, “é” lives under the E key, and monetary symbols (such as the Yen and Euro symbols) live under the “$” in the US. The best way to get a feel for what the keyboard can do is to open an app that you can type in and to play around with the keyboard. Don’t worry—you aren’t going to break anything.

Using Emoji

If you want to use Emoji characters, you'll find it under the return key (or the "search" key, that looks like a magnifying glass, if you're typing into a search field). Just press-and-hold on the return key, and drag your finger over the to little smiley-face icon. The Emoji keyboard will pop up.

emoji

The Emoji keyboard.

To get back to the standard keyboard, tap the “ABC” key in either the lower left or lower right corner.

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