Unicode symbol as text or emoji21 Apr 2015
I had recently researched a bit on the inner-working of the new emoji skin tone modifiers1 in Unicode 7.0.2 The basics: if a emoji skin tone modifier immediately follows certain characters they should be rendered as a single glyph.
See Unicode technical report #51 for more info.
“Combining characters; in conjunction with the preceding character these indicate a predetermined choice of variant glyph”
— Unicode Consortium U+FE00 code chart
The basic functionality of variation selectors are comparable to the emoji skin tone modifiers in that they choose a certain variation of the preceding character.
Currently only VS-1, VS15 and VS16 have been defined and implemented, check out a list of
VS-1 variant glyphs.
Unfortunately it’s a little hard to demonstrate these things since OS and browser support varies so much.
I’ve used the Unicode converter on rishida.net quite a lot to convert to/from different Unicode representations. Taking another look at the solution by Jason and running it through the converter we see that the
↩ vs ↩︎ corresponds to:
U+21A9 vs U+21A9U+FE0E - notice the
U+FE0E at the end of the converted string.
Update 1: Anil Dash brought up a good point that the text style version of symbols should be in the options flyout on emojis on iOS.
Update 2: Michael Harry showed that Google were also having problems with symbols being rendered as emojis in their search results.