Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Emoticons in Word.

Emoticons in Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 19, 2015)

Emoticons are those funny little faces people love to put in their e-mails. You know the type, made with colons, dashes, and other characters. For instance, :-) is an emoticon for a smiley face. (Look at it sideways and you see two eyes, a nose, and a smiling mouth.)

If you type an emoticon Word, it is automatically transformed into a "dingbat" character that shows the smiling face, frowning face, or neutral face. The following are the different emoticons and how they are converted:

Emoticon Equivalent Dingbat
:) smiling face
:-) smiling face
:( frowning face
:-( frowning face
:| neutral face
:-| neutral face

The actual conversion of the emoticons to their dingbat equivalents is done through the AutoCorrect feature of Word. If you don't want the conversion to take place, you can do the following:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Make sure the AutoCorrect tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. In the list of replacements at the bottom of the dialog box, choose the emoticon you don't want converted. (Hint: All the emoticons are near the beginning of the replacement list.)
  5. Click the Delete button. The emoticon replacement is deleted.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for any other emoticons you want deleted.
  7. Click on the OK button.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (71) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Emoticons in Word.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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