Turn text with emoji into text with accessible emoji
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Emojificate is a Python implementation of a concept of using fallback images, alt text, title text and aria labels to represent emoji in HTML code in a more accessible method.


To convert a string from the command line:

$ python3 -m emojificate "I 💜 emoji 😊"
I <img src="https://twemoji.maxcdn.com/36x36/1f49c.png" alt="💜" title="Purple Heart"
aria-label="Emoji: Purple Heart"> emoji <img src="https://twemoji.maxcdn.com/36x36/1f60a.png"
alt="😊" title="Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes" aria-label="Emoji: Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes">

Or, if you've got a Django project, put emojificate into your INSTALLED_APPS, and then use the following in a template:

{% load emojificate %}
This is some {{ user_content|emojificate }} that has emoji in it.

{% emojified %}
This is some template content that 💜 emoji as well.
{% endemojified %}


TL;DR: Take a string, split it into token, and if a token is emoji, process it into a nice format.

Splitting the string is a problem, because at the moment it does not handle Zero Width Joining sequences. However, native Python string tokenization does work for the most part.

Given a list of tokens, we can leverage the native unicodedata to:

  • see if a token is a unicode Symbol (an emoji)
  • get the codepoint for the emoji, and
  • get the name of the emoji

From there, we construct an <img> replacement for the emoji:

  • Use images from twemoji, Twitter's emoji set
  • Have an alt parameter containing the original emoji. This allows for copying-pasting.
  • Use the name of the emoji in the title parameter. This allows for hover-tooltips.
  • Add an aria-label for screen-reader accessibility.

For more information, see Solve For Emoji.

Implementation in other languages


require 'gemoji' # requires gemoji 3.0.0, released late Dec 2016

def cdn

def emojificate(string)
  string.split("").each do |s|
      e = Emoji.find_by_unicode(s)
      if e then
           u = s.ord.to_s(16) # e.g. 1f431
           d = e.description  # e.g. "cat face"
           img = "<img src=\"#{cdn}/#{u}.png\" alt=\"#{s}\" title=\"#{d}\" aria-label=\"Emoji: #{d}\">"
           print img
           print s


  • Does not handle Zero Width Join Sequences; for example: 🖐🏽, 👩‍👩‍👧