I’m trying to render a large version of one Apple’s new emojis in Photoshop.

I know how to write with emojis in something like TextEdit, but I need the emoji to have a transparent background.

I've even tried writing the emoji in TextEdit, and copying and pasting into Photoshop but I just get an unknown unicode character.

I see the font is “Apple Color Emoji” in TextEdit when I highlight the emoji, yet I can’t find that font in Photoshop.

Any idea on how to type emoji’s into a text box in Photoshop?


According to this answer on the graphic design Stack Exchange site, you can activate “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar” under “System Preferences… > Keyboard” for easy access to character sets:

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And then what you can do is type the emojis into TextEdit like this:

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And then use “Export as PDF…” from the “File” menu in that document to export that emoji as a PDF and then import that PDF into Photoshop or Illustrator and you should have a nice and clean transparency.

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Just note that I’m not 100% clear on whether it is best to increase the font size in the emoji in TextEdit to something close to what you want it to be rendered as in Photoshop or Illustrator. Or perhaps the PDF import process will treat that emoji “text” as scalable vector elements. But the overall concept should work fine; clunky but fine.

  • I actually wrote the question knowing this method. It isn't the exact answer I'm looking for. I don't get why TextEdit shows the "Apple Color Emoji" font, yet it's not accessible in Photoshop? – Corey Apr 30 '15 at 2:53
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    I'm going to mark this as the answer, because there is no other one according to this answer over on Graphic Exchange. – Corey Apr 30 '15 at 3:01
  • What about the “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar” idea. Have that active and then in Photoshop or Illustrator use the “Show Character Viewer” from that menu to select emojis like that? – JakeGould Apr 30 '15 at 3:01
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    I've tried getting that keyboard to show in Photoshop and I can't seem to. – Corey Apr 30 '15 at 3:02
  • @Corey Welp, if that doesn’t work than the kludgy PDF export in one place, PDF import in another is the best solution for now. Might be worth contacting Adobe about that and see what their answer. – JakeGould Apr 30 '15 at 3:05

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