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Rofimoji: A character picker for rofi

How often did you want to insert one of those Unicode emoji only to learn that there is no nice picker for Linux? Fear no more, this script uses the power of rofi (and other dmenu-derivatives like wofi) to present exactly the picker you always wanted. Insert the selected emoji directly, or copy it to the clipboard. And you can use it to pick any weird character someone got into Unicode, too.

How does it look?

Screenshot of rofimoji



  1. Run
  2. Search for the character you want
  3. (optional) Select multiple emoji with shift+enter
  4. Hit enter to insert the emoji directly
    Hit alt+c to copy it to the clipboard
    alt+t or alt+p can be used to select a specific input method
    alt+1 inserts the most recently used character (alt+2 for the second most recently one etc.)
    alt+u inserts the Unicode codepoint, alt+i copies it to the clipboard
  5. Maybe select a skin color

As a rofi "mode"

  1. Call rofi with rofi -modi "emoji:<path to>" -show emoji
  2. Search for the character you want
  3. Hit enter to exexute your default action;
    Alt+Shift+1 for copying to the clipboard Alt+Shift+3 for the "clipboard" insertion method alt+1 inserts the most recently used character (alt+2 for the second most recently one etc.)
  4. Maybe select a skin color

Insertion method

By default, rofimoji types the characters using either xdotool or wtype (see Display server support). You can enforce this behavior with --action type (-a type).

For some applications (f.e. Firefox), this does not work. To work around this, rofimoji can copy the emojis to your clipboard and insert them from there with shift+insert. Afterwards, it will restore the previous contents. Unfortunately, it depends on the receiving application whether shift+insert uses the clipboard or the primary selection. Therefore, rofimoji uses both and also restores both. To choose to spam your clipboards, you can either use the keybinding alt+p or start it as rofimoji --action clipboard (-a clipboard). If you want to use typing, you can hit alt+t, even though it was started with --action clipboard. Note that you can change the keybindings.

Finally, with --action copy (or -a copy) you can also tell rofimoji to only copy the selected characters to your clipboard.

Display server support

rofimoji supports both X11 and Wayland by using either rofi, xsel/xclip and xdotool on X11 or wofi (or some adapted rofi), wl-copy and wtype on Wayland. It chooses automatically the right one for the currently running session. If you want to manually overwrite this, have a look at the --selector, --clipboarder and --typer options below.

Please note that wofi does not support custom keyboard shortcuts or recent files at the moment.

Most recently used characters

By default, rofimoji will show the last ten recently used characters separately; you can insert them with alt+1, alt+2 and so on. It will use the default insertion Method. If you don't want this, you can set --max=recent to 0.

The characters are saved in $XDG_DATA_HOME/rofimoji/recent.


You can configure rofimoji either with cli arguments or with a config file called $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rofimoji.rc. For the file, use the long option names without double dashes.


long option short option possible values description
--action -a type, copy, clipboard, unicode, copy-unicode, print Chose what rofimoji should do with the selected characters. See Insertion Method.
type: Directly type the characters into the last active window.
copy: Copy them to the clipboard.
clipboard: Insert the selected characters through pasting from the clipboard, instead of directly typing them.
unicode: Type the unicode codepoints of the selected characters.
copy-unicode: Copy the codepoints to clipboard.
print: Print the chosen characters to stdout.
--files -f all, <yourfile> or any of the files in data Define which file(s) to load characters from. You can define your own files, or use any of the default ones.
If set to all, all default files are used. Use with caution, that is a lot.
If no file is set, the default emoji list is used.
--skin-tone -s light, medium-light, moderate, dark brown, black, as well as neutral and ask Define the skin tone of supporting emojis. ask will always ask the user.
--max-recent 1-10 Show at most this many recently picked characters. The number will be capped at 10.
(no-frecency=True in the config file)
- By default, rofimoji shows frequently used items first. With this option, they're shown in the order of the file.
--prompt -r any string Define the prompt text for rofimoji.
--selector-args Define arguments that rofimoji will pass through to the selctor (rofi or wofi).
Please note that you need to specify it as --selector-args="<selector-args>" or --selector-args " <selector-args>" because of a bug in argparse
--selector rofi, wofi Show the selection dialog with this application.
--clipboarder xsel, xclip, wl-copy Access the clipboard with this application.
--typer xdotool, wtype Type the characters using this application.
--keybinding-copy, --keybinding-type, --keybinding-clipboard, --keybinding-unicode, --keybinding-copy-unicode Choose different keybindings than the default values (Alt+c, Alt+t, Alt+p, Alt+u, Alt+i).

Example config file


action = copy
files = [emojis, hebrew]
skin-tone = moderate

Custom character files

You can define additional character files and load them with -f (see options). In each line, one 'character' can be defined, followed by a single space character (). After that, you can write whatever description you want.

If you think your file is useful to others, please open a PR to include it in a future version of rofimoji.

Caveats when running rofimoji as a rofi "mode"

(This needs rofi in version 1.6.0 or later.)

Running as rofi mode has several drawbacks that cannot be changed:

  • Because rofi is the main process, rofimoji cannot directly type to any window. Only copying the character works, so set the --action accordingly.
  • You can only select one character at a time.
  • The custom keyboard shortcuts are still there, but mapped to Alt+Shift+1 (on a Qwerty keyboard) etc.

The configuration still works as described. You can have several modes in a combi for different character sets, for example, or set a default action and skin tone.


From Distribution Repositories


A kind soul has packaged it as rofimoji. To, install, use sudo pacman -Syu rofimoji.

From PyPI

rofimoji is on PyPI. You can install it with pip install --user rofimoji (or sudo pip install rofimoji).

From Github

Download the wheel file of the latest release and install it with sudo pip install $filename (or you can use pip install --user $filename to only install it for the local user). Afterwards, there should be a rofimoji on your $path. This also installs the python dependency configargparse.


What else do you need:

  • Python 3.7 or higher
  • A font that can display your scripts, (for emojis, EmojiOne or Noto Emoji work)
  • rofi (in version 1.6.0 or higher if you want to use the mode) or wofi
  • A tool to programmatically type characters into applications. Either xdotool for X11 or wtype for Wayland
  • A tool to copy the characters to the clipboard. xsel and xclip work on X11; wl-copy on Wayland

Examples for X11

For Ubuntu focal: sudo aptitude install fonts-emojione python3 rofi xdotool xsel
For Arch: sudo pacman -Syu emoji-font python rofi xdotool xsel

Updating the characters

If you really, really need to update the characters and cannot wait for the official update:

  1. Install Python 3 and pip install -r requirements.txt in the extractors directory.
  2. Still in the extraactors directory, run python This downloads several large lists from, so please don't do it too often!
  3. The data files should have been updated. You probably need to install rofimoji again from source.

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