How to Download and Customize Microsoft’s Open-Source Emoji

How to Download and Customize Microsoft’s Open-Source Emoji

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Don’t we all love emoji? They’ve become like the perfect visual language to express your joy and gloom, pleasure and pain, affection and dislike, suggestions and opinions, and more.

An emoji lover like you will be excited to know that Microsoft has made its 3D emoji library open source for developers, creators, and everyone. Yes, you can now download and customize these Fluent emojis to jazz up your work, play, and conversations. Let’s explore how.

Microsoft’s Fluent Emoji are Now Free to Edit and Use

On August 10, 2022, Microsoft announced that it is making over 1,500 emoji in its library open source for developers and creators.

These Fluent design emojis have been made available on GitHub so you can download and tweak them to create your versions. They’re also available on Figma, a collaborative web application for interface design acquired by Adobe.

But if you’re a fan of the paper clip mascot Clippy, you’ll be disappointed that Clippy is not a part of the open-source emoji set. Some other emoji, including those with the Windows and Microsoft logos, are also not available. As Jon Friedman, Microsoft CVP, Design & Research puts it:

Clippy isn’t included in the open-source emoji set. I know, and I’d personally love to but due to (legal speak, legal speak, legal speak), we can’t open-source trademarks. For the same reason, our country flags, video game, and technologist emoji also won’t be available.

As per Microsoft, emoji must exist as a SVG, PNG, and JPG file to allow for true versatility. And each of the open-source Fluent emoji comes with the fully 3D version, complete with texture and gradients, a flat color version, and a monochromatic high contrast file.

Microsoft is hoping that the creator community takes these emoji and remixes and customizes them to create never seen before designs.

But you don’t need to be a developer or creator to customize and use Fluent emoji. Let’s explore how you can download and edit Microsoft emojis to use in work meetings or social chats.

How to Download Microsoft Fluent Emoji From GitHub

To download the emojis:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Fluent emoji page on GitHub.
  2. Click on the Down Arrow on the green Code button to open the menu
  3. Then click on Download ZIP and the Fluent emoji ZIP file with all the emoji will be downloaded on your computer.
  4. Now extract the files from the fluentui-emoji-main folder with an archiver extractor tool like WinRAR.
  5. Open the unzipped folder and then the assets folder in it. You will find all the Fluent emoji in separate folders. Each emoji folder will have a PNG file of the 3D emoji, and SVG Color, Flat, and High Contrast files of the emoji. Plus the People emoji feature files in various skin tones.

If you are a developer or designer, you might find it convenient to download the Fluent emoji from Figma—the GitHub repository link is there too.

How to Customize the Fluent Emoji and Create Your OwnDesigns

You can use many good design apps like Canva and emoji editors to customize Microsoft’s open-source emoji. Professional designers would prefer Figma as the Fluent emoji set is available there so they could tweak it on Figma.

Both Canva and Figma are popular with designers, however, for this tutorial, we’ve used the Canva online graphic design tool as amateur designers or even those new to design can use it easily. Let’s see how.

  1. Download the Microsoft Store Canva app and install it on your desktop.
  2. Then sign up with Google, Facebook, or your email and you’re ready to use Canva.
  3. Click on the purple Create a design button on the Canva home page. Choose what you want to create from the drop-down menu. We’ll be creating a social media sticker using one of the Fluent emoji so I’ve chosen the Logo option with the size 500 x 500px, which would be suitable. Custom sizes can be created if you upgrade to the Canva Pro version.
  4. The new design page with the selected size will open. First, upload the emoji you want to use. For that, click on Uploads in the menu on the left. Now click on the purple Upload files button.
  5. Once the File Explorer windows opens, navigate to the assets folder in the fluent-emoji-main folder on your PC to choose an emoji. The Cowboy Hat Face 3D emoji is chosen here. With it, we’ll be creating a fun Halloween-themed sticker.
  6. Once the emoji uploads, you can just drag and drop it on the empty design canvas—as you can see in the screenshot below.

Now that we’ve got the emoji ready and waiting, it’s time to add a personal flair to it:

  1. You can search from the menu on the left to add Templates, Elements, and Text. Plus, the More button gives you access to Photos, Styles, Backgrounds, and other cool stuff. You can also subscribe to the Canva Pro version for more elements.
  2. Or you can search for what you want like Halloween graphics, backgrounds, bats, cats, ghosts, and a lot more. So first I chose a Pumpkin Face and dragged and dropped it on the Cowboy Hat Face emoji’s hat. Then added two Circle graphics to put around the emoji.
  3. Then various elements like the Happy Halloween text, bats and a ghost, and a nice colored background were added. Each of the elements can be moved around and made smaller or bigger to suit your design.
  4. And to amplify the fun I replaced the Happy Halloween text with a cool Happy Haunting text and placed it just below the cowboy’s face. And your Halloween Sticker is done.
  5. Once your design is complete you can save it on Canva in your Projects folder or share its link, or share your sticker on social media. For that click on the Share button on the top right.
  6. Or click on the Download button to save it on your PC and use it as you please. You will get the suggestion to download as a PNG or you can choose other file options. Saving in SVG format is a Canva Pro feature.

In this way, you can use any Microsoft Fluent emoji and create new emoji, stickers, and new designs.

Another app you can check out to edit Fluent emojis is PiZap. Moreover, you can also create custom emojis in Windows 10 and 11.

Customize Fluent Emoji to Add a Fun, Personal Touch

Now that Microsoft’s Fluent emoji are all yours to customize, why not create a few signature emoji or stickers for fun or special occasions? And give a fun, personal touch to your chats, emails, and social media posts.

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