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Chrome to work better with Windows 10 emoji picker, virtual keyboard

Thanks to the changes made by both Microsoft and Google, it’s very fast to launch the emoji panel in Google Chrome. As you may be aware, there are two ways to insert emoji in Chrome – bring up Windows 10’s built-in emoji picker using Win + period keyboard shortcut or right-click in a textbox.

However, there’s a rare bug where the emoji window or virtual keyboard could be placed in the wrong location. According to Microsoft, the “browser zoom factor” is currently not applied to the control bounds when converting from CSS pixels to the viewport.

As a result, the emoji window is placed in the wrong location on some websites and services. This bug also affects other text input services including the virtual keyboard on certain touch devices.

In a new Chromium code commit, Microsoft has confirmed that it wants to make that picker or virtual keyboard more convenient to reach by enabling support for a new API. This new API is able to fetch the control bounds of the element, which should improve emoji picker behaviour in Chrome.

“The API fetches the bounding box of the element that has the browser zoom factor applied and also converts the coordinates from root frame to visual viewport,” Microsoft noted.

After the change is applied, you’ll notice that Google Chrome opens the native emoji selector near the caret (textbox, content-editable element). The code commit description notes the feature is available for Windows and it won’t be applied to Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS.

It’s also worth noting that the bug only affects some websites and you can always change the location of the emoji picker manually.

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In addition to these improvements, Microsoft is also working on a set of new Windows APIs to dramatically improve the inking experience in Chromium-based Chrome and Edge. It’s likely that the new APIs will be introduced with Windows 10 Sun Valley update, which is expected to launch this fall.