How to Use "Smileys" in E-mail

By Techwalla Internet Editor

Although e-mail is primarily text-based, you can use "smileys" (also called "emoticons") to add both fun and an emotional context to your messages. (For example, a smiley can convey that a joke is meant simply in good fun.) Try these easy examples and experiment with your own designs.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer Desks
  • E-mail Accounts
  • Computers
  • E-mail Software

Step 1

Type a colon and a closed parenthesis for the standard smiley :)

Step 2

Type a semicolon and a closed parenthesis to wink at someone ;)

Step 3

Type a colon and an uppercase P to stick your tongue out at someone :P

Step 4

Type a colon and a lowercase o to indicate shock or surprise :o

Step 5

Use a hyphen to add a long nose to your smiley :-)

Step 6

Use a lowercase o to add a round nose to your smiley :o)

Step 7

Use a colon and open parenthesis to indicate sadness :( or add a "greater than" symbol to indicate anger >:(

Step 8

Play around with these and other keys to create various faces of your own.

Tips & Warnings

  • Letters and standard text symbols can be used to create more than faces. For example, the @ symbol is commonly combined with hyphens and a curved bracket to create a "rose" @-}--
  • Make sure your smiley is understandable. People often get carried away with various smiley modifiers with disastrous results. For example, anger, surprise and a round nose >:oo don't mix very well.