Windows 11 finally gets its killer feature with emojis for Notepad

In the latest feature update to Windows 11, you can insert emoji icons into a Notepad file, alongside other new features.

Notepad has not seen improvements since 2006, with a visual update to match Windows Vista. However, Microsoft has now added a dark mode, a new look to align it to other apps in Windows 11, and a redesigned menu to select different fonts.

These updates were released in a February feature update, which also brought the ability to try out Android apps in the Microsoft Store

In a detailed blog post by Murray Sargent, Principle Software Engineer at Microsoft, he speaks of the efforts in moving Notepad to a new engine in Windows 11, which brings, most importantly, emoji support.


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Notepad emoji picker in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Sure enough, pressing the Windows key and full stop key together in Notepad displays the emoji menu, where you can insert reactions, animals, signs, and more into a document.

Notepad has been a popular app for jotting down quick lists or thoughts for years, which you would then move to an office suite of your choice, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

But Microsoft is making a concerted effort to make Notepad a modern app for Windows 11. The updates are helping to make it a tool for writing more than simple lists and notes, and emojis can be a big appeal to users who haven't used Notepad in years.

The new RichEdit engine that Sargant speaks of in the blog posts allows for features like emojis to appear, but he also talks about what could be possible for the future, such as programming features and web files.

For some use-cases, such as a short report or a chapter to the book you've always wanted to write, the formatting options, thanks to the new engine, could mean that Notepad remains a mainstay on your taskbar for years to come.

But the next question is what Microsoft has in store for Notepad in future versions of Windows 11, or even Windows 12?

Via WindowsLatest

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Microsoft Teams emojis are getting a 3D makeover

If you're looking for a way to liven up those long Teams calls, then Microsoft may have just the thing: a whole load of refreshed (and colorful) emojis.

The new Fluent Emojis selection gives a whole new look to over 1,800 emojis on Microsoft Teams, which the company says will bring “a modern and delightful new version of the emojis we use every day”.

Along with a host of new additions and makeovers, the new icons will include at least six skin tone options for relevant emojis.

3D emoji in Microsoft Teams

“The emoji has steadily evolved alongside us, acting as essential communicators full of life and color,” Microsoft Art Director & Emojiologist Claire Anderson wrote in a blog post announcing the changes.

“Body language, subtle forms of humor, or environmental conditions — while we can see and respond to those cues those in-person, the loss of them in digital contexts impacts our communication greatly. With emojis, however, a few pixels can telegraph our thoughts and feelings in ways that are fun, clear, and emotionally resonant.”

Anderson noted that emojis are “playful communicators”, making them suitable for work communications, adding, “maybe the vulnerability or levity of emoji can not only open up our own creativity but also encourage space and agency for others in our organization.”

“This is especially relevant as we head further into a hybrid-work world where we meet new team members for the first time online,” she added, revealing Microsoft is also working on some new concept emojis that show hybrid working scenes such as “you’re on mute”, “no camera day”, and “parenting-while-working”.

The new emojis are available now on Microsoft Teams for desktop, web, mobile, and Meetings, and are are enabled by default, so you won't need to fiddle around to activate them.

Users should therefore see an immediate update to the new Fluent style, which also encompasses “delightful” animations on certain emojis. Microsoft adds that reactions in chat, channels, and live meetings will update to the new Fluent style.

The news follows a similar recent announcement that the company is working on a “Microsoft Teams Expanded Reactions” feature that will “allow users to apply any emoji as a reaction to chat messages”.

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This browser now lets your web addresses just be emojis

Following the release of its dedicated crypto browser, Opera is innovating once again by becoming the first browser to enable emoji-only based web addresses.

This marks the first time in the history of the internet that users will be able to navigate to websites by entering a string of emoji into the URL bar instead of letters and words.

The addition of emoji in Opera was made possible through a partnership with Yat which allows users to own personalized strings of emoji. EVP of Mobile at Opera, Jorgen Arnesen provided further details on this new partnership in a press release, saying:

“The partnership marks a major paradigm shift in the way the internet works. It's been almost 30 years since the world wide web launched to the public, and there hasn't been much innovation in the weblink space: people still include .com in their URLs. Through the integration with Yat, Opera users are able to ditch .com or even words in their links and use only emojis to be directed to websites. It's new, it's easier and more fun”

Opera emoji integration

Through its new emoji-centric integration, Opera has now made it easier for all Internet users to find and be directed to Yat pages which are unique domains generated when a Yat is created from a personalized string of emoji.

Users can customize their Yat page or have it redirect to anywhere else on the web. For instance, musicians around the world have already set up their own Yat pages including Lil Wayne whose page directs users to his record label or Steve Aoki who has his redirect to his website. Additionally, G-Easy, Kesha, Young Money, 3Lau and Disclosure are also using Yat as well.

Following this new integration, Yat emoji web addresses on Opera no longer need to be followed by “.y.at”. At the same time, strings of emoji embedded on web pages now link to the corresponding Yat page automatically.

As 90 percent of world's 4.6bn internet users worldwide already use emoji to express themselves according to Brandwatch, Opera's integration of Yats unlocks a new way for people to be present on the web. Interested users can find out even more about using emoji in Opera by checking out this blog post.

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