How to make smiley faces with a computer keyboard

Updated February 21, 2017

E-mail messages are sometimes misunderstood by the recipient. Understanding the tone of the message is left up to the recipient, and so a friendly message can be read the wrong way. Learning to make a smiley face or other emoticons is one way to ensure your e-mails are read in the way they were intended. With a few simple clicks on the keyboard, you can show how you are feeling at the time the message was sent.

Press the colon, hyphen and right parenthesis keys to make a typical smiley face. :-)

Press the colon, hyphen and the right parenthesis key several times to make a very happy smiley face.


Make a winking smiley face by using a semicolon, hyphen and the right parenthesis key. ;-)

Press the colon, hyphen and left parenthesis key to make a sad face. :-(

Press the left parenthesis key, colon, hyphen and left parenthesis key again to make a sad face with a frowning forehead. (:-(

Press the lower case x, the underscore key and the lower case x again, to make a sad, dead face. x_x

Make a surprised face by hitting the colon, the hyphen and the number zero. :-0

Make a straight face to convey a serious tone. Use the symbol above the number 6 (caret), the underscore key and another caret symbol. ^_^

Use the plus key, the underscore key and the plus key again to show a face that does not care. =_=


When pressing some keys, you will need to hold down the "Shift" key. The "Shift" key is used when the symbol you are typing is at the top of the key. Several copyright symbols or registered trademark symbols are preprogrammed. Use the "Alt" key and the number-pad keys to produce these symbols. You will find a helpful site for this located in the "Resource" section.

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About the Author

Emma Lee owns a photography website and also works as a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, animals and photography. Her work can be found on various websites. Lee attended Charles County Community College located in Maryland.