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Flycheck Status Emoji

flycheck-status-emoji replaces the standard Flycheck mode-line status indicators with cute, compact emoji that convey the corresponding information. For example, a buffer shows status 😔 while being checked, then 😱 to report errors, 😟 to report warnings, or 😌 if no problems were found. Personal tastes vary, but I find the emoji more intuitive than Flycheck’s native indicators, at least for the common statuses. The emoji indicators are also quite compact, which can be useful in a crowded mode-line with many minor modes.

Status Legend

Status Description Original Indicator Emoji Indicator Emoji Description
A syntax check is now running in the current buffer. FlyC* 😔 Pensive Face
The current syntax check finished normally with no errors or warnings. FlyC 😌 Relieved Face
The current syntax check finished normally with three errors, five warnings, and two informational messages. FlyC:3/5 😱3/😟5/💁2 Face Screaming In Fear, Worried Face, Information Desk Person
The current buffer was not checked. FlyC 😐 Neutral Face
Automatic syntax checker selection did not find a suitable syntax checker. FlyC- 😶 Face Without Mouth
The current syntax check has errored. FlyC! 😵 Dizzy Face
The current syntax check was interrupted. FlyC- 😲 Astonished Face
The last syntax check had a suspicious result. FlyC? 😒 Unamused Face

Note: you may see multicolored icons for several of the emoji faces above. This is your browser’s doing. The actual Emacs package uses monochrome emoji, not colorful icons.

Quick Start

Install flycheck-status-emoji from the fantastic MELPA repository: MELPA, MELPA Stable. Or save flycheck-status-emoji.el somewhere in your Emacs load-path, then use M-x load-library RET flycheck-status-emoji RET to load the package.

Now use M-x flycheck-status-emoji-mode to toggle this package on and off. When on, you should see Flycheck status using cute, compact emoji. When off, you will see the standard textual Flycheck status indicators instead. To enable status emoji permanently, set and save the flycheck-status-emoji-mode customization option.


flycheck-status-emoji builds upon flycheck-mode; you should already have Flycheck installed and working before adding flycheck-status-emoji into the mix. Visit the Flycheck home page or the Flycheck GitHub project page for information and instructions.

flycheck-status-emoji requires suitable fonts that support the emoji characters we use. I recommend the Symbola font by George Douros: it covers all emoji we need with a clean, consistent design. Symbola may also be available from your preferred Linux distribution. For example, Fedora provides this font as the gdouros-symbola-fonts package.

After installing an emoji-covering font, you may also need to configure Emacs itself to use that font where appropriate. For the Symbola font recommended above, add the following to your Emacs start-up file:

(set-fontset-font t nil "Symbola")

The Endless Parentheses blog has additional advice on Emacs Unicode fallback font configuration. See also Roland Walker’s unicode-fonts package for a more comprehensive approach to Emacs Unicode font management.