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Touch Bar Emojis app 👆

Touch Bar Emojis is a small app (written in Swift) which displays a permanent emoji input view for any app (see below for more info), providing a faster access to emojis, including in apps that don't have an emoji button.

Updated (v1.1) for macOS Mojave (10.14) support.


  1. Make sure you have a Mac with a Touch Bar (or a virtual Touch Bar)

  2. Download the app here


  • Display your most frequently used emojis (on 10.12: the most recently used emojis — MacOS 10.12 doesn't keep track on how many times an emoji is used — and starting in 10.13 your most frequently used emojis)

  • Add/remove apps that should show the permanent emoji view (for example apps such as Spotify shouldn't display the emoji view):

  • A button to display the emoji picker (it feels more natural than using the keyboard shortcut control + command + space)

  • A close button to temporarily display an app's original Touch Bar view

  • (to display the esc key in an app that displays the permanent emoji view, you can use the fn key (which displays the F keys as well as the esc key))

How the App works

The app uses a private API for the Touch Bar (discovered by Alexsander Akers:, which allows us to show/hide a custom view in top of the regular Touch Bar view.

+ (void)dismissSystemModalFunctionBar:(id)arg1;
+ (void)presentSystemModalFunctionBar:(id)arg1 systemTrayItemIdentifier:(id)arg2;

The view we show/hide consists of your most frequently used emojis. This list is retrieved from a preferences file. In 10.12, from:


and starting in 10.13, from:


(From 10.13, MacOS will start keeping track of how often we use emojis, unlike 10.12 and prior which was only keeping track on the latest emojis used)

When switching app, TBE gets a notification and automatically show/hide the view depending on the apps you've added to the list.


The app is a regular app — not a Menu Bar app or a system preference pane. It needs to stay open for the emoji custom view to be displayed (this is a beta version).

MacDown logo

Emoji shortcuts

I also created another app, to create emoji shortcuts (faster than using the Touch Bar):


Gabriel Lorin (


Aaron ( 🙌


This project is licensed under the MIT License


Touch Bar Emojis is a small app (written in Swift) which displays a permanent emoji input view for any app.






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