Easy handling of emoji icons in Meteor.
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Emojis for Meteor 😄

This package makes it easier to manage 💖💥🌈 in your Meteor app.


  • Renders unicode emojis from shortnames (😄).
  • Adds an Emoji collection to the client and server filled with over 800 emojis. Suitable for autocompletions and similar.
  • Includes emoji template helpers for easy rendering of emojis inside your Meteor templates.
  • Parses arbitrary strings and replaces any emoji shortnames with emoji unicode representations.
  • Parses common ASCII smileys and maps to corresponding emoji.
  • Detects unicode emojis support and fallbacks to images.
  • Customizable base directory for the emoji images. Suitable for CDN usage.


meteor add lookback:emoji

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Get up and running

This package exports a single namespace: Emojis. It's a Mongo.Collection, and includes some custom methods (see API below).

Emoji images

Some browsers on some systems still don't support native unicode emojis. Read more here: caniemoji.com. So we need to fallback to image representations in that case.

This package does not include the actual images for the emojis. You can however checkout the images in these emoji projects:

This package assumes the images are in PNG format and named with their hexadecimal unicode name (like 1f604.png for the smile emoji).

You would typically put the emoji images in the public/images directory, in an emojis folder. If not, be sure to call Emojis.setBasePath() with the custom path (see the API functions below).

Using the collection

All emojis are initially parsed from the emojis.json file in this repo. The emojis collection is seeded on application startup if the collection is empty.

Having all emojis in the collection lets you implement things like autocompletions for emojis, where you can query the alias and tags fields for the given keyboard input.

The emojis in the collection is not published by default. To do so, you need to add this somewhere on your server:

Meteor.publish('emojis', function() {
  // Here you can choose to publish a subset of all emojis
  // if you'd like to.
  return Emojis.find();

And subscribe on the client:

Meteor.startup(function() {

Now you can run arbitrary queries for any emoji on both the server and the client.

  alias: 'smile'

That call returns an emoji object with this structure:

  // This is the canonical shortname
  alias: "smile",
  description: "smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes",
  // Unicode symbol
  emoji: "😄",
  tags: ["happy", "joy", "pleased"],
  // Path to emoji image
  path: '/images/emojis/1f604.png'
  // Creates an `img` element for this emoji
  toHTML: function() {...},
  // The Hex representation of this emoji
  toHex: function() {...}

This package always assumes this data structure when reasoning about an emoji object.

Parsing text

The Emojis.parse function takes this:

A text with some emojis or smileys :D :boom: :smile:

and outputs this:

A text with some emojis or smileys <span title="smiley" class="emoji">😃</span> <span title="boom" class="emoji">💥</span> <span title="smile" class="emoji">😄</span>

Template helpers

For everyday usage, you would use the built-in Blaze templates instead of calling Emojis.parse manually:

{{ ! A block of text. Works similar to the built-in Markdown block helper. }}
  A text with some emojis: :boom: :smile:


{{ ! Or inline helper }}
{{ > emoji ':speech_balloon:'}}

Full API

Emoji object methods

Called on an emoji object fetched from the database.


The full path for this emoji:

var emoji = Emojis.findOne({alias: 'smile'});
// => "/images/emojis/1f604.png"

emoji.toHTML() -> String

Shortcut function that returns the HTML representation of the emoji.

This depends on these parameters:

  • Emojis.useImages - force use of image emojis.
  • Emojis.isSupported - if unicode emojis is supported in the browser or not.
  • if the emoji is custom (not in standard unicode).

If emojis aren't supported, toHTML() will fallback to images.

// Default behavior.
var emoji = Emojis.findOne({alias: 'smile'});
// => <span title="smile" class="emoji">😄</span>

var custom = Emojis.findOne({alias: 'trollface'});
// => <img src="images/trollface.png" title="trollface" alt="trollface">

You can use Emojis.useImages (defaults to the inverse of Emojis.isSupported) to force use of images.

emoji.toHex() -> String

Returns the hexadecimal representation of the unicode emoji:

var emoji = Emojis.findOne({alias: 'smile'});

// => "1f604"

Static properties


Defaults to the inverse of Emojis.isSupported. Set to true to force use of images.


Checks browser support for unicode emojis.

Static functions

Exposed directly in the Emojis namespace.

Emojis.parse(text:String) -> String

Client and server.

Takes a string and returns the string with any emoji shortnames and ASCII smileys replaced with their image representations.

The emoji images will be on this format:

<img src="/<emoji-basepath>/<unicode-name>.png" title="<shortname>" alt="<unicode-version>" class="emoji">
<!-- IRL: -->
<img src="/images/emojis/1f4a5.png" title="boom" alt="💥" class="emoji">

Emojis.toUnicode(text:String) -> String

Parses a text and converts any shortcodes to unicode emojis.

Emojis.template(emoji:Object) -> String

Takes an emoji object and returns its HTML representation.

var emoji = Emojis.findOne({alias: 'smile'});
// => <span class='emoji' title='smile'>😄</span>

You can override this function with your own template function if you want to. The default one looks like this:

  The `emoji` parameter is an emoji object from the collection.
Emojis.template = function(emoji) {
  return '<span class="emoji" title="' + emoji.alias + '">' + emoji.emoji + '</span>';

Emojis.imageTemplate(emoji:Object) -> String

Same as Emojis.template, but for images.

var emoji = Emojis.findOne({alias: 'smile'});
// => <img src="/images/emojis/1f604.png" title="smile" alt="😄" class="emoji">


Client and server.

The base path is where the package shall put in front of the image name. Defaults to /images/emojis. Set this in some init routine of yours.

If you're using a CDN network like CloudFront or similar, you should call this function with the root CDN path in order to use the CDN niceties.

Sample usage:

// Assume:
Meteor.settings.public.cdnUrl = 'https://foobar.cloudfront.net';

// ...

if(Meteor.settings.public.cdnUrl) {
  Emojis.setBasePath(Meteor.settings.public.cdnUrl + '/images/emojis');

Emojis.basePath() -> String

Client and server.

Returns the current base path.

Emojis.seed() -> Number

Server only.

Wipes the emojis collection, and re-populates it from the emojis.json file. Returns the number of emojis inserted. Useful for when you've made changes to the JSON file and wants to update the collection.

Sample usage (on the server):

 * Expose a `emojis/reset` method for resetting the emojis collection.
 * For admins only.
  'emojis/reset': function() {
    if(!Meteor.userId() || !Meteor.user().admin) {
      throw new Meteor.Error(403, 'Access denied.');

    var count = Emojis.seed();
    return 'Inserted ' + count + ' emojis.';

Suggested styling

Style the .emoji class like this with CSS to achieve a nice vertical aligned position for the emoji images:

img.emoji {
  font-size: inherit;
  height: 2.7ex;
  /* prevent img stretch */
  width: auto;
  min-width: 15px;
  min-height: 15px;

  /* Inline alignment adjust the margins  */
  display: inline-block;
  margin: -0.4ex .15em 0;
  line-height: normal;
  vertical-align: middle;


Run tests with

make test

Watch mode:

make runner

Version history

  • 0.4.1 - Let Emojis.getAllTokens return an object with total, smileys, and emojis props.

  • 0.4.0 - Add Emojis.getAllTokens method for getting all raw matched tokens from a text.

  • 0.3.4 - Fix spacing issues when parsing smileys.

  • 0.3.3 - Fix testBD being parsed to test😎.

  • 0.3.2 - Fix testBDfoo being parsed to test😎. I.e. require whitespace between ASCII smileys.

  • 0.3.1 - Add polyfill for String.fromCodePoint.

  • 0.3.0 This release moves to using native unicode emojis as default. If native emojis are not supported in the browser, it'll fallback to the previous image solution.

    • Add Emojis.isSupported variable for checking for native unicode support.
    • Add Emojis.useImages for forcing use of images over unicode.
  • 0.2.0 - Add Emojis.toUnicode function.

  • 0.1.0 - Initial publish.

Made by Lookback.