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Rofimoji: A character picker for rofi

Do you want to use one of those fancy emojis? Or one of those other interesting characters Unicode offers? But you haven't found a good picker yet?

Fear no more, rofimoji invokes the power of rofi (and other dmenu-derivatives like wofi or fuzzel) to give you exactly the picker you always wanted.

Main features

How does it look?


Screenshot of rofimoji

With a grid theme

Screenshot of rofimoji with a grid theme



Call rofimoji as a standalone tool.

  1. Run rofimoji
  2. Search for the character you want
  3. (optional) Select multiple emoji with shift+enter
  4. Hit enter to for the default action or use one of the shortcuts to do something else.
    alt+1 directly chooses the most most recently used character (alt+2 for the second most recently one etc.)
  5. Maybe select a skin color
  6. ๐Ÿฆพ

As a rofi mode

Integrate rofimoji as just another rofi mode.

  1. Call rofi with rofi -modi "emoji:rofimoji" -show emoji
  2. Search for the character you want
  3. Hit enter to execute your default action;
    Alt+Shift+1 for copying to the clipboard
    Alt+Shift+3 for the "clipboard" insertion method
    alt+1 inserts the most recently used character (alt+2 for the second most recently one etc.)
  4. Maybe select a skin color
  5. ๐Ÿ‰

Caveats when running rofimoji as a rofi mode

There are some limitations to this approach, though: Running as rofi mode has several drawbacks that cannot be changed:

  • Because rofi is the main process, rofimoji cannot directly type to any window. Only copying the character works, so set the --action accordingly.
  • You can only select one character at a time.
  • The custom keyboard shortcuts are still there, but mapped to Alt+Shift+1 (on a Qwerty keyboard) etc.

The configuration still works as described. You can have several modes in a combi for different character sets, for example, or set a default action and skin tone.


You can configure rofimoji either with cli arguments or with a config file called $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rofimoji.rc. For the file, use the long option names without double dashes.


long option short option possible values default value description
--action -a type, copy, clipboard, unicode, copy-unicode, print, menu type Choose what rofimoji should do with the selected characters. See Actions below for details.
--files -f all, <yourfile> or any of the files in data emojis Define which file(s) to load characters from. A file name without extension (f.e. emojis_smileys_emotion) is enough for the distributed ones or any in ${XDG_DATA_HOME}/rofimoji/data. Globbing with * is possible.
all is a shortcut for all default files at once. Use with caution, that is a lot.
--skin-tone -s light, medium-light, moderate, dark brown, black, as well as neutral and ask ask Define the skin tone of supporting emojis. ask will always ask the user.
--max-recent 0-10 10 Show at most this many recently picked characters. The number will be capped at 10. Set to 0 to disable the whole feature.
(no-frecency=True in the config file)
- <false> By default, rofimoji shows frequently used items first. With this option, they're shown in the order of the file.
(hidden-descriptions=True in the config file)
- <false> Only list the characters, but not their description. This is useful for grid themes. Note that they're still searchable, even though the description is not shown.
--prompt -r any string ๐Ÿ˜€ Define the prompt text for rofimoji.
--selector-args Define arguments that rofimoji will pass through to the selector (rofi, wofi or fuzzel).
Please note that you need to specify it as --selector-args="<selector-args>" or --selector-args " <selector-args>" because of a bug in argparse
--selector rofi, wofi, fuzzel (automatically chosen) Show the selection dialog with this application.
--clipboarder xsel, xclip, wl-copy (automatically chosen) Access the clipboard with this application.
--typer xdotool, wtype (automatically chosen) Type the characters using this application.
--keybinding-copy, --keybinding-type, --keybinding-clipboard, --keybinding-unicode, --keybinding-copy-unicode Alt+c, Alt+t, Alt+p, Alt+u, Alt+i Choose different keybindings than the default values.

Example config file


action = copy
files = [emojis, hebrew]
skin-tone = moderate


The --action (-a) option defines what action will be taken when a character is selected. Multiple actions can be specified with a space character in between (for example: -a type copy). The options are:

name shortcut description
type alt+t Directly type the characters into the last active window. This is the default
copy alt+c Copy them to the clipboard.
clipboard alt+p Insert the selected characters through pasting from the clipboard, instead of directly typing them. See Insertion Method.
unicode alt+u Type the unicode codepoints of the selected characters.
copy-unicode alt+i Copy the codepoints to clipboard.
print Print the chosen characters to stdout.

Insertion method

By default, rofimoji types the characters using either xdotool or wtype (see display server support). You can enforce this behavior with --action type (-a type).

For some applications (f.e. Firefox), this does not work reliably. To work around this, rofimoji can copy the emojis to your clipboard and insert them from there with shift+insert. Afterwards, it will restore the previous contents. Unfortunately, it depends on the receiving application whether shift+insert uses the clipboard or the primary selection. Therefore, rofimoji uses both and also restores both. To use this workaround, you can either use the keybinding alt+p or start it as rofimoji --action clipboard (-a clipboard). If you want to have it directly typed instead, you can hit alt+t, even though it was started with --action clipboard. Note that you can change the keybindings.

Finally, with --action copy (or -a copy) you can also tell rofimoji to only copy the selected characters to your clipboard.

Display server support

rofimoji supports both X11 and Wayland by using either rofi, xsel/xclip and xdotool on X11 or wofi/fuzzel/some other adapter rofi, wl-copy and wtype on Wayland. It tries to automatically choose the right one for the currently running session. If you want to manually overwrite this, have a look at the --selector, --clipboarder and --typer options above.

Please note that neither wofi nor fuzzel support custom keyboard shortcuts, recent files or a grid theme at the moment.

Most recently used characters

By default, rofimoji will show the last ten recently used characters separately; you can insert them with alt+1, alt+2 and so on. It will use the default insertion method. If you don't want this, you can set --max-recent to 0.

Additionally, rofimoji also remembers in general which characters are used more frequently and sorts the list accordingly. You can disable this behavior with --no-frecency.

Supported characters

Obviously, rofimoji is mostly used for emojis. However, it also supports all other Unicode blocks, for example mathematical symbols, Greek and Coptic or Linear B (Ideograms). Simply load them with -f (see options). If you miss something that should be there, please open an issue.

Custom character files and descriptions

If the predefined ones are not enough, you can define additional character files and load them with -f (see options). In each line, one 'character' can be defined, followed by a single space character ( ). After that, you can write whatever description you want.

If the character is also in another selected file, all descriptions will be combined. If you give it the same name as one of those included with rofimoji, yours will be preferred.

For added comfort, rofimoji will automatically load an "additional" file for predefined ones. This file needs to called <filename>.additional.csv and lie in ${XDG_DATA_DIR}/rofimoji/data/. For example, if you want to extend emojis_smileys_emotion, call the file emojis_smileys_emotions.additional.csv. This is helpful if you want additional descriptions: You can define such an additional character file, add the character and your description and your descriptions will now also be shown.

If you think your file is useful to others, please open a PR to include it in a future version of rofimoji.

Rofi theming

By default, rofimoji re-uses the existing rofi configuration, but you can pass your own using --selector-args (for example --selector-args="-theme ~/your-rofi-theme.rasi").

If you would like a more character-focused theme, you can use packaged grid.rasi together with the --hidden-descriptions parameter. This theme still imports the existing rofi configuration but moves the entries into a grid. Of course, you can base your own theme on this. (If you have improvements, please open a PR!) To use the arrow keys in rofi only for the grid and not the query, pass these -selector-args: -kb-row-left Left -kb-row-right Right -kb-move-char-back Control+b -kb-move-char-forward Control+f.

Screenshot of rofimoji with a grid theme


From distribution repositories

Packaging status

From PyPI

rofimoji is on PyPI. You can install it with pipx install --user rofimoji (or sudo pipx install rofimoji).

From Github

Download the wheel file of the latest release and install it with sudo pip install $filename (or you can use pip install --user $filename to only install it for the local user). Afterwards, there should be a rofimoji on your $PATH. This also installs the python dependency configargparse.


What else do you need:

  • Python 3.8 or higher
  • A font that can display your scripts, (for emojis, EmojiOne or Noto Emoji work)
  • rofi (in version 1.6.0 or higher if you want to use the mode), wofi or fuzzel
  • A tool to programmatically type characters into applications. Either xdotool for X11 or wtype for Wayland
  • A tool to copy the characters to the clipboard. xsel and xclip work on X11; wl-copy on Wayland