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How to Type Emoticons on Your Windows 8 Tablet

Windows 8 carries the text-based smiley into the future by supporting dozens of emoticons. Sometimes called emoji characters, emoticons are these little characters that grew from the simple smiley face created from a colon, a dash, and a right parenthesis: :-).

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To insert an emoticon, press the smiley key. The Emoticon keyboard appears.

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The keyboard first shows the smiley faces shown. However, pressing any of the keys along the bottom lets you choose among six other categories of symbols: holiday, food, travel, weather, miscellaneous, and text. The text category is a quick way to add text-based smiley faces when sending e-mail.

And that brings us to the problem with special characters: Few of these little symbols translate well between programs, computers, and e-mail systems. They’ll work most reliably if you’re sending them between two Windows 8 computers.

However, if you’re sending them to somebody not using Windows 8, stick with the last emoticon button, which lets you insert the time-tested text-based smileys: :-(.

You can still use emoticons as clipart when creating flyers and posters. Insert them into your document; then enlarge their font size to make them as large as you want.

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