Easy emojis for the blind with free Mac utility Rocket

Just because you're blind doesn't mean that, on this World Emoji Day, those expressive and oh-so ubiqutous emojis aren't for you. The problem for visually impaired texters and tweeters, however, is easily finding the one you want before frustration sets in and you give up and fall back on the good old X or :-)

Note – much to my chagrin, our website management software doesn’t support emojis (oh, the irony on World Emoji Day!) and so this article all about those lovely little images will be completely devoid of them *Sigh* (imagine that was a sighing face).

Enter Rocket

Even though every emoji is properly spoken (i.e. ‘Smiling pile of poo’) by a blind person’s screen reading software, because blind users are not mouse users and because you can’t summon emojis with a few simple keystrokes - instead you have to select the one you want from a vast array of items clustered into categories under several different pages taking upwards of several dozen keystrokes – us blind people have tended to forego the actual emojis for their antiquated text alternatives such as  XX and ;).

Now, on the Mac at least, that’s all changed thanks to the free and totally accessible Rocket utility. Rocket is a free utility that allows someone to type a few keystrokes and easily choose from emojis without the need to trawl through pages of different facial expressions, fruit, flags or food. 

How does Rocket work?

Wherever you can enter text on your Mac, Rocket will be watching your keystrokes waiting for you to type a ‘:’ followed immediately by other characters. When it spots this happening it pops up a list of different emojis to choose from. The more characters you type, the shorter the list of alternatives that match that phrase.

Check out this short audio demo if you want to hear how quick and easy it is for a blind person to insert emojis using Rocket and their screen reading software 'VoiceOver' on the Mac.

With thanks to Matthew Palmer (the developer) for being so receptive to my suggestions, Rocket is now fully accessible to blind users of VoiceOver and infinitely easier to use than any other method of entering just the right emoji for any occasion.

Why not download Rocket today and give it a go. It’s obviously not just for visually impaired Mac users and it’s a real blast!

Related links

Visit the developer’s website