How to Use Emoji Reactions in Google Docs – Technology

Stephen Plaster/

Emoji seem to be everywhere, from communications in Slack to social media posts to emails in Outlook. So, why not Google Docs? If you want a casual interaction when collaborating on a document, start showing your reactions with emoji.

You can add an emoji in Google Docs to show you’re happy about a statement or angry about the finances on a chart. You can also use animals, nature, food and drink, transportation, and symbols. Let’s look at how to add these handy reactions in your next Google Doc.

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Add an Emoji Reaction in Google Docs

  1. Highlight the text or object you want to react to.
  2. Click the emoji button that appears.
  3. Find and click the emoji that best shows your feelings.

You can use emoji when in Editing or Suggesting mode. Select something on the page you want to react to like a portion of text or graph. You’ll see the floating toolbar on the right. This once only contained options to add a comment or suggest edits. Now, you’ll see an emoji option (a yellow smiley face) as well.

Emoji in Google Docs floating toolbar

Click the emoji to display the option window which is similar to that you’d see when using emoji in text messages or on your computer. There’s a convenient search box at the top if you want something in particular. You can also select a category to see its available emoji.

Emoji selection in Google Docs

Pick the one you want and it pops onto the right side of the page, just like a comment. The item in the document also has an indicator for the emoji. You’ll see that it’s highlighted in yellow.

Emojis inserted and items highlighted

To see who added the emoji, hover your cursor over it.

Name displayed for who added the emoji

Resolve an Emoji Reaction

Similar to comments when you’re collaborating in Google Docs, you can resolve emoji. This removes the emoji from displaying on the document and eliminates the yellow highlight as well.

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Click one of the emoji to display the three dots for More Options. Select “Resolve.”

Resolve an emoji reaction

The emoji vanish from the right side of the document but are still saved if you want to view or reopen them. Click the comments icon on the top right.

You’ll see the emoji reaction with the date and time. To place the reactions back on the document, click the three dots and pick “Reopen.”

Reopen emoji reactions

As of this writing, you cannot delete or change an emoji you add in Google Docs. Maybe this is a feature that will come down the road.

If you’re interested in a fun way to interact while working with others on your document, try out the emoji reactions in Google Docs and see if they work for you and your team!

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