Translation of Emoji short names
LibreOffice 5 has got a new AutoCorrect extension to simplify Emoji and other Unicode character input using Emoji short names, i.e. keywords surrounded by colons. For example, :keyboard: will be replaced by the keyboard symbol ⌨ (U+2328) in an English (recently, only in en-US) document using the AutoCorrect feature of Writer. There is no need to press space or Enter after the last colon, so this kind of replacement is comfortable for entering special characters within words, too:
:-: → − (minus, U+2212) :--: → – (n-dash, U+2013) :---: → — (m-dash, U+2014) :x: → × (times, U+00D7) :': → ’ (apostrophe, U+2019) :inch: → ″ inch (U+2033)
Or for repeated replacements:
:alpha::<=::sum::Phi::_i: → α≤∑Φᵢ
Colons and spaces
The surrounding colons skipped for the translations, and the keywords can contain spaces, too, i.e. the keyword yin yang in Pootle defines the :yin yang: → ☯ (U+262F) replacement.
Use simple, short and common names
Replace the direct translation of the English keyword with a better name, if it's possible. for example, instead of :evergreen:, it's normal to use :pine: (🌲, U+1F332).
Check Unicode name/code pages, pictures and other data
1. Check the full, upper case Unicode name of the character, too (listed in the Environment field of the translated item in Pootle). For example, :shell: is really SPIRAL SHELL (🐚, U+1F41A), and it needs different translation in some languages.
2. Check the Emoji/Unicode character symbol in the comment field of the translated item in Pootle, and in the list of Unicode Consortium here. For example, the symbols show, that ::bug: is not a “true” bug (insect of the order Hemiptera), but informally a land invertebrate, illustrated with a picture of centipede or a caterpillar (🐛, U+1F41B).
This is not a full list of Emojis, it's only a subset of Unicode 6.0 (supported by recent operating systems). You can add missing Emojis and other characters by extending the DocumentList.xml of your language, for example, see the patch for en-US language.
If you want to skip one of the Emoji/Unicode characters, don't translate it, or give the keyword nil in the translation area.