Emoji Keyboard Shortcut on Windows: Trick Or Treat! 👻💩

Bottom Line: Learn how to get instant access to the emoji and GIF menu with a Windows shortcut.

Skill Level: Beginner

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Watch the Tutorial

Happy Halloween!

I've got a simple Excel trick that's sure to be a treat for you. It's a keyboard shortcut that takes you straight to the emoji and gif menu. Just hold down the Windows key and then press the period key.

+ .

Open the Emoji GIF menu with Windows Period Keyboard Shortcut

The menu opens with your recently used emojis on top.

Recently used emoji menu

By clicking on the second icon (the smiley face), the menu will change to show emoji categories you choose from. These categories are:

  • Recent
  • Smiley Faces and Animals
  • People
  • Celebration and Objects
  • Food and Plants
  • Transportation and Places
  • Symbols
 emoji menu

Select a category and you can scroll through the emoji options that are presented.

You can also type a keyword into the search bar to jump directly to the emojis you're looking for.

search for emojis

You can navigate to the emoji you want using the arrow keys. Then hit Enter to select it, and the emoji will be added to your document.

The same process applies for GIFs as well.

search for GIFs

In fact, you'll notice that you can also use this menu to summon symbols, clipboard history (recent items you've copied), or even kaomoji, which is a collection of characters and punctuation that look like facial expressions:

  • (❁´◡`❁)
  • o(* ̄▽ ̄*)o
  • (▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿)
GIFS Kaomoji Symbols Clipboard History

The emoji menu is available on any Windows application, so + . is a good shortcut to memorize.


Frankenstein GIF

Let's be frank. Instant access to emojis and gifs using a simple keyboard shortcut is an awesome treat that will last throughout the year. 🍬🍭🍫

Leave a comment if you can see yourself adding this shortcut to your repertoire…or if you'd just like to wish your favorite Excel team Happy Holidays! 🎃

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  • Happy Halloween! I have been using the WIN+. since I discovered it by accident one day…fat fingers. But I have also learned the WIN+v shortcut as well. It allows you to copy multiple things and then paste them all separately; saving time flipping between windows!

  • Thanks for the tip, Jon
    There are unfortunately fewer options available in the WIN+. dialogue under Windows 11, where there are six options in the main WIN+. menu, as shown above; Windows 10 offers three; Favourites, GIFs and Clipboard history are not on offer.
    I was puzzled because Jon’s description above didn’t correspond with my experience on my W10 machine, so I did a search. This MS site confirms the difference (you can switch between the W10 and the W11 descriptions) and has some useful looking lists of keyboard shortcuts:

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