An Introduction to emojifont package

knitr::opts_chunk$set(tidy = FALSE,
           message = FALSE)

emojifont: using emoji font in R

The emojifont package is designed to bring emoji font to R users and is created for users that are impatient and relutant to learn.

The package is very simple, pack some emoji fonts (currently only EmojiOne.ttf) and use showtext to render the fonts, then we can use the font in either base plot or ggplot2.


Get the released version from CRAN:


Or the development version from github:

## install.packages("devtools")

Emoji characters

To use emoji, we need to use their corresponding unicode. Emoji unicode can be found in, or searched using search_emoji function. The search_emoji function will return emoji aliases which can be converted to unicode by emoji function.



Emoji in R plot

base plot

x <- rnorm(10)
y <- rnorm(10)
plot(x, y, cex=0)
text(x, y, labels=emoji('cow'), cex=1.5, col='steelblue', family='EmojiOne')


d <- data.frame(x=x, y=y,
     label = sample(c(emoji('cow'), emoji('camel')), 10, replace=TRUE),
     type = sample(LETTERS[1:3], 10, replace=TRUE))

ggplot(d, aes(x, y, color=type, label=label)) +
    geom_text(family="EmojiOne", size=6)

To make it easy to used with ggplot2, I implemented a very simple layer, geom_emoji, to visualize emoji with ggplot2.

ggplot() + geom_emoji("rose", color='steelblue') + theme_void()
x = seq(0, 2*pi, length=30)
y = sin(x)
ggplot() + geom_emoji('heartbeat', x=x, y=y, size=10)

Font Awesome

The emojifont package was initially designed for using emoji font. I found that FontAwesome is quite interesting especially in technical world.

The usage is quite similar as using emoji.

fa <- fontawesome(c('fa-github', 'fa-weibo', 'fa-twitter', 'fa-android', 'fa-coffee'))
d <- data.frame(x=rnorm(20),
                label=sample(fa, 20, replace=T))

ggplot(d, aes(x, y, color=label, label=label)) +
    geom_text(family='fontawesome-webfont', size=6)+
    xlab(NULL)+ylab(NULL) +

To make it easy to used with ggplot2, a corresponding geom_fontawesome is also provided.

ggplot() + geom_fontawesome("fa-github", color='black') + theme_void()


Creating phylomoji is possible using emojifont and ggtree, please refer to the Phylomoji session in the treedata book.


RStudio using a different way to open graphics device and showtext is currently incompatible with it.

Since emojifont use showtext as backend to parse emoji font, it also incompatible with RStudio.

The solution is to manually open a window by calling X11() in Linux, quartz() in Mac or windows() in Windows, and create plots on top of that, instead of the built-in device offered by RStudio.


Currently, this package support Emoji Font and Font Awesome.

Feel free to fork this package to add your favorite iconic fonts.

Bugs/Feature requests

If you have any, let me know. Thx!

Session info

Here is the output of sessionInfo() on the system on which this document was compiled:


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emojifont documentation built on April 20, 2021, 5:09 p.m.