How to Make Emojis in Slack

As a productivity tool, Slack is extremely functional and handy for creating a cohesive online office environment. However, purely word-based communication can, at times, become devoid of the human factor that’s so important to live conversations. This is where emojis can come in to help illustrate the emotional intent of a message.

The Slack creative team has shown to be quite aware of this, as the app now has more than 2,500 integrated emojis. But maybe the existing emoji offerings don’t cover the things you’d like to express. Or perhaps a custom flair is needed for your Slack conversations.

Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to add all kind of emojis, static or moving, to Slack, and even create custom ones. In this article, we’ll explain how to do just that.

How to Make Emojis in Slack

Slack is very versatile when it comes to handling emojis. You can use them as reactions to comments, as a stand-alone comment or reply, or in combination with plain text.

To use the emoji reactions on the computer app, hover the mouse cursor over a Slack message and you’ll see a menu. Clicking the first option on the left will bring up the emoji reactions. Once you pick the preferred one, click on it and the emoji will appear at the bottom of the message.

If you’re on the Slack mobile app, tap on the message and hold until the popup menu appears. From there, tap the “Add Reaction” option and choose a reaction emoji from the list. Up to 23 emoji reactions can be added to a single Slack message on any version of the app.

Using Emojis in Your Messages

To add emojis to posts or comments on Slack, use the integrated emoji menu found in the message box. On the bottom right, there are five icons. The third one will bring up the emoji menu where you can choose between the vast selection.

Another way to add emojis to a Slack message is through keywords or an emoji alias. These are textual shortcuts that will, when entered correctly, display the appropriate emoji instead of text. Their format is a line of text with colons on either side. For instance, typing “:slightly_smiling_face:” will produce the default smiley emoji.

While using an alias can be more complicated if you don’t know the exact phrase for the emoji needed, Slack has a handy smart search function to aid in choosing. Type in the colon and the first couple of letters, and you’ll see an autocomplete menu with every emoji containing the partial phrase entered. These will be displayed in real emoji form, so it should be easy to find the exact one needed.

Using Emoticons and Shrugs

Enter a standard emoticon such as 🙂 in Slack, and it will automatically transform to the appropriate emoji. To change that, simply go to “Slack Preferences,” then to “Messages & Media,” and you’ll find the “Convert My Typed Emoticons to Emojis” option. Uncheck it, and you’ll be able to use emoticons in messages from now on.

The more complex “shrug” emoticon has become a favorite in digital communication, and chances are you’ll want to use it in your Slack conversations from time to time. To do this, type “/shrug” in the message or comment space.

How to Make Emojis Bigger in Slack

Slack doesn’t have an option to customize the size of emojis either in messages or reactions, so, unfortunately, there’s no way to make the emojis bigger when adding them to text. However, in a message containing nothing but emojis, they will be displayed as larger versions, the so-called Jumbomojis.

Should you wish to make the Jumbomojis standard size, go to “Slack Preferences,” then “Messages & Media,” and uncheck the “Show JUMBOMOJI” option.

How to Make a Moving Emoji in Slack

To make a moving emoji in Slack, you’ll need to import one from your device. They can either be found from a multitude of online emoji sources or you can create one from a GIF image.

To do the latter, use an online tool that can transform uploaded GIF images into emojis or create everything yourself in Adobe Photoshop.

When using Photoshop, you’ll need to save the file with settings optimized for Slack. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the GIF in Photoshop, then go to “File,” then “Export” and choose “Save For Web (Legacy).”

  2. You should select “GIF” as the file type and set “Colors” to 128. The Image Size should be 120×120 pixels.

  3. Go to “Looping Options” under “Animation” and click “Forever,” which will make the image loop indefinitely.

Once you’ve successfully exported the file, upload it to Slack and it’ll become available for use in conversations.

How to Put Emojis in Your Slack Name

It isn’t possible to insert emojis in a Slack name, but there’s a handy workaround for those who would like to have something similar.

You can make your Slack name appear unique by editing your status. Follow the steps below to do just that:

  1. In Slack, click on your picture to bring down the profile menu.

  2. The first thing below your name and picture is the “Update Your Status” box. Clicking on it will open a new window where you can set the status.

  3. You’ll see a box at the top with the text “What’s your status?” and next to the text will be a smiley icon. Click on that icon and a list of emojis will pop up. Choose one, then hit the “Save” button.

After doing this, the selected emoji will be featured next to your name. This method is the closest there is to inserting emojis in a Slack name.

How to Make a GIF Emoji in Slack

GIF emojis and moving emojis are one and the same, so the best way to add a GIF emoji to Slack is to follow the steps provided in the section concerning moving emojis.

There are plenty of resources for free GIFs online, but you might want to make a custom GIF from a standard image. There are also online tools to make an animated GIF from a JPG, PNG, BMP, or other image formats. Still, those versed in Photoshop or similar image editing software might opt to make their own GIF entirely from scratch.

To make an animated GIF in Photoshop, do the following:

  1. Open a static image in Photoshop, go to the toolbar and use the “Crop” tool to single out the part you’d like to show in the GIF.

  2. Use the “Lasso” tool to select the parts you’d like to move. Since the final dimensions will be quite small, you don’t have to be extra careful with lasso selection.

  3. Copy the selection to a new layer, then return to the base layer and remove the background from the area of the selection.

  4. While still on the background layer, lasso-select the same part you’ve copied previously and hit “Delete.” You’ll see the “Fill” window – ensure it’s set to “Content-Aware,” “Normal blending,” and “100% Opacity.” Click “OK.”

  5. Now duplicate the new layer with the copied selection, then go to “Transform Controls” for the top layer. Here, you can rotate or move the selection around. Once it’s in the right position, hit “Enter.”

  6. Make sure the background and the first copied layer are visible. Enter the menu, go to “Window,” then to “Timeline,” and hit “Duplicate Selected Frames.”

  7. Repeat the previous step with the background and the second, edited copy layer visible. Then, choose how long each frame will last, depending on the type of movement.

  8. Export the GIF file following the steps explained in the section about moving emojis.

This method might take some time depending on how well you understand Photoshop, but with some tinkering, unique GIFs and Slack emojis can be created that will be the envy of the whole channel.

Additional FAQs

Q: How Do I Export Emojis to Slack?

A: In most cases, you won’t be able to export emojis directly to Slack, but rather add them from a device.

Q: How Do I Add Bulk Emojis to Slack?

A: To add bulk emojis to Slack, go to the Emoji section in the comment box, click “Add Emoji,” and in the new window, go to the Emoji packs tab. From there, you’ll be able to add the available packs in bulk.

Q: How Do I Make Custom Emojis in Slack?

A: Make custom emojis by uploading images or animated GIFs to Slack. All custom emoji will be under the tab with the Slack icon.

Q: How Do I Add Custom Emojis in Slack?

A: To add custom emojis in Slack, open the Emoji section, and click on “Add Emoji.” You’ll be able to upload any image – Slack will format it to the appropriate size. Name the new emoji and click “Save.”

Making the Slack Experience Your Own

Funny or interesting custom emojis can lighten the atmosphere on Slack. Now that you’ve learned how to make emojis in Slack, share your unique reactions with the whole channel and make the workday that much more fun.

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