Use an Emoji as the Mouse Cursor on a Website

Recently I saw this tweet by Marco Denic fly by:

To use an emoji as the cursor you can’t simply type in the emoji though.

/* ❌ This won't work */
html {
	cursor: 👻, auto;
}

What you’ll have to do instead is embed the emoji inside an SVG and then successively embed that SVG in the CSS file by passing it as a Data URL into the url() function.

/* ✅ This will work */
html {
	cursor: url('data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf8,<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 32 32" height="64" width="64"><text y="28" font-size="32">👻</text><path d="M0,2 L0,0 L2,0" fill="red" /></svg>'), auto;
}

See the Pen
Emoji Cursor
by Bramus (@bramus)
on CodePen.

If you’re on a device that does not show a pointer, here’s a recording of what the demo looks like:

In the code above I’ve also added a little triangle in the top left corner of the SVG, as that’s where the actual tip of the pointer is. Omitting it makes up for a really weird experience.

To customize the color of the tip you can change its fill value to any color you like. Although not recommended you can remove the entire <path> if you don’t want it.

Update 2020-01-27: As reader Louis Houbregts points out it’s also possible to set the X/Y coordinates to indicate where the tip of the pointer is.

html {
	cursor: url(…) 10 0, auto;
}

For emoji this isn’t an ideal option though, as emoji differ per platform/vendor.

To change the overall size of the emoji cursor, change the height and width attributes of the SVG. Best is to leave the other attributes (such as viewBox and font-size) alone, as those have been carefully tweaked.

🔥 Using this same technique you can set an emoji as the favicon.

~

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Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium, working as a Chrome Developer Relations Engineer at Google. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

Unless noted otherwise, the contents of this post are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License and code samples are licensed under the MIT License

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