# Write yourself an emoji picker for fun and profit

I recently transitioned from elementary OS to Manjaro with KDE as the desktop manager. The experience has been great so for, but I was very much dissatisfied with the KDE emoji picker. Watching Luke Smith’s videos, I became familiar with his personal emoji picker, so I knew right off the bat that was what I wanted to use.

This may look like neat-picking, but the advantage of things like Luke
Smith’s emoji picker is that it is
*extremely* configurable: it’s just a shell-script that
calls dmenu (a suckless
tool for creating dynamic menus) on a text file with emojis in it. Hence
Luke’s emoji picker can be repurposed for other uses too.

For example, as someone who studies mathematics for a living I often find myself inserting mathematical characters in text. To avoid copying-and-pasting characters from sites like unicode-table.com/ I wrote an alternative version of Luke’s emoji picker that picks mathematical characters instead:

```
#!/bin/sh
# Select mathematical characters with dmenu
chosen=$(cut -d ';' -f1 ~/.local/share/math-symbols | dmenu -i -l 20 | sed "s/ .*//")
[ -z "$chosen" ] && exit
printf "$chosen" | xclip -selection clipboard
notify-send "'$chosen' copied to clipboard" &
```

If you’re interested in knowing what is stored in
`~.local/share/math-symbols`

, here’s the
Python script I used to generate it:

```
import re, unicodedata
from pylatexenc import latexencode
def uni_name(c: str) -> str:
try:
return unicodedata.name(c).lower()
except ValueError:
return None
def tex(c: str) -> str:
try:
l = latexencode.utf8tolatex(c, brackets=False, fail_bad_chars=True)
except ValueError:
return None
l = l.replace('boldsymbol', 'mathbf')
m = re.match(r'\\ensuremath{(\\.+)}', l)
if m:
return m.group(1)
elif l.startswith('\\text') and l.endswith('arrow'):
return l.replace('text', '')
else:
return l
math_chars = set()
# Operators
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2200, 0x22FF + 1)}
# Alpha numeric symbols
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x1d400, 0x1d7ff + 1)}
# Suplemental operators
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2a00, 0x2aff + 1)}
# Miscellaneous symbols (A)
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x27c0, 0x27ef + 1)}
# Miscellaneous symbols (B)
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2980, 0x29FF + 1)}
# Greek and Coptic
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x0370, 0x3ff + 1)}
# APL symbols
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2336, 0x237a + 1)} | {chr(0x2395)}
# Letterlike symbols
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2100, 0x214f + 1)}
# Superscripts
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2070, 0x207f + 1)}
# Subscripts
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2080, 0x2093 + 1)}
# Arrows
math_chars |= {chr(c) for c in range(0x2190, 0x21ff + 1)}
math_chars = {(c, uni_name(c)) for c in math_chars}
math_chars = {(c, name, f'{ord(c):X}') for c, name in math_chars
if name}
for char, name, code in sorted(math_chars, key=lambda x: (x[1], x[0])):
print(f'{char} {name}; {code};')
tex_equivalent = tex(char)
if tex_equivalent:
print(f'{char} {tex_equivalent}; {code};')
```

To finish-off, notice you can set keyboard shortcuts for both this scripts, so that you can launch them with a single key-chord. Hope this helps someone 😌