Unicode variation selectors

Some unicode characters (like ↩︎) get automatically transformed to Emoji in WebViews on iOS, Firefox on macOS, and web apps like Mastodon.1 Although the defaults differ across browsers, the rendered character can be chosen through Unicode’s variation selectors.

To enforce text-style (preventing the character from being replaced with an Emoji) place the variation selector 15 character (U+FE0E) immediately after the symbol.2, 3 To always replace characters with their Emoji counterparts, use variation selector 16 (U+FE0F).

  Example Selector HTML
Text style ↩︎ U+FE0E ↩︎
Emoji style ↩️ U+FE0F ↩️

  1. There are undoubtedly more, but these are just the ones I’ve seen ↩︎
  2. To insert a unicode character in Emacs, press C-x 8 RET, then select “VARIATION SELECTOR-15”

  3. https://stackoverflow.com/a/71858998