Book and Quill

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Book and Quill
Book and Quill.png
Book and Quill

Manufactured items







First appearance

1.3.1 (12w17a)

Data value

dec: 386 hex: 182 bin: 110000010



Books and quills are items used to turn books into written books, which players may read or trade with villagers. When a player signs a book, the book may not be edited in any way whatsoever. However some modifications may be implemented to the game allowing the player to get a plain signed book signed by no one.



Ingredients Crafting recipe

Book +
Ink Sac +

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Book and Quill
Book Ink Sac

Grid layout Shapeless.png


Crafting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description

Written Book

Book and Quill +
Written Book

Book and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and Quill

Book and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and Quill

Book and QuillBook and QuillBook and Quill
Grid layout Arrow (small).png Written BookWritten Book2Written Book3Written Book4Written Book5Written Book6Written Book7Written Book8
Book and Quill Written Book

Book and QuillBook and Quill

Book and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and Quill

Book and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and QuillBook and Quill

Book and Quill
Grid layout Shapeless.png

The input written book is not consumed.
The new copies will be "Copy of Original" or "Copy of Copy", depending on whether the input written book is "Original" or "Copy of Original".
Copies of copies cannot be copied.
Copied books of the same generation ("Original", "Copy of Original", or "Copy of Copy") will stack.


By pressing the use key (right click by default) while holding a book and quill in their hand, the player can open a text editor GUI.

Using this GUI, the player can write a single book up to 50 pages long, with up to 256 characters per page (Note that line breaks, such as those created by pressing ↵ Enter, are counted as two characters). No page may be longer than 13 lines and each line can have, on average, 19 characters. (The amount of characters possible per line is determined by the width of the used characters, which varies) In Singleplayer, the world will pause while a book is being edited. The player has the ability to copy and paste into books. However, the paste will fail if the text being pasted is longer than a single page. Mac users should also note that pasting only works by typing Ctrl + v, and that ⌘ Cmd + v has no effect.

Note that you cannot yet move the cursor while writing into a book, so it's currently impossible to go back and fix a typo without deleting what you've written after it. Selecting text is also unavailable.

When signed, a book will have the name of the player who wrote it, or "Player" if signed while playing offline. The title of the book can be up to 16 characters long, and the player cannot paste into a title. Special characters can be used in the title, if typed from a keyboard which has them. Alt codes do not work, and the § character cannot be typed even using a keyboard which has it implemented, meaning titles cannot be colored or formatted in-game. However, using 3rd-party programs to insert the § character, you can create colors and other formatting.

Special codes (coloring)[edit]

Text in a book can be styled using codes starting with the § character (section sign), which may be copied and pasted into the book. In Windows, you can type it in a text editor by holding Alt and typing 0167 or holding Alt and typing 21 on your numberpad. It can also be typed using AltGr + ⇧ Shift + s on the US International keyboard, AltGr + o on the Canadian Multilingual Standard keyboard, ⇧ Shift + 3 on all German (QWERTZ) keyboard layouts, ⌥ Opt+6 on Mac, Compose + s + o for Linux systems with a key mapped to Compose, or varying other shortcuts depending on locale and operating system.

  • § + k creates randomly changing characters.
  • § + l creates bold text.
  • § + m creates text with a strikethrough.
  • § + n creates underlined text.
  • § + o creates italic text.
  • § + 0f (hexadecimal) creates colored text. See Formatting Codes.
  • § + r resets any of the previous styles so text after it appears normally.

To use multiple formatting codes, the color code must be used first: it will cancel out all preceding codes. If you use multiple codes, and continue typing past the end of a line, the next line will exhibit only the last formatting code used.

Most Unicode characters are available in books, and although Windows alt-codes do not work, they may be pasted in without issue. One notable use of Unicode is fullwidth and small caps characters: in Minecraft, these appear as a different font altogether, which can be useful for titles or chapter headings. Converters exist which can take normal text and output fullwidth text, which can serve as a large convenience for those wishing to use it. Note that the font used in books is packaged with Minecraft itself, meaning a user's installed fonts do not affect which Unicode characters can be used or how they appear.



Official release
1.3.1 12w17a Added book and quill.
1.7.2 13w36a Books and quills can now be crafted with a written book to clone the written book.
1.8 14w05a Copying written books will now mark them as "Copy of Original" or "Copy of Copy"
The copying status of a book is denoted in a separate line in the tooltip, beneath the author's name
Copies of copies cannot be copied.
14w25a Uses JSON text components instead of plain text with the new pages tag
Capable of using the clickEvent and hoverEvent tags.


Issues relating to "Book and Quill" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • In order to make the § symbol on Windows, hold down Alt and press 21 on your number pad (far right side). On Mac OS X, press Option+6. On Linux, with the Compose key enabled, press Compose key+o+s. Note, however, that you cannot do this in-game, so you must copy the character and paste it into the game. On azerty keyboards, one can just press ⇧ Shift and !.
    • Other keyboards may also use & instead of Alt and 21.
  • Even if your keyboard has a § key, you will need to copy and paste it.
  • Various in-game restrictions on books are not hard limits. Third party editors can make books have more than 50 pages, more than 256 characters per page, change author names, and have colored titles, among other things. These books will then function properly in vanilla Minecraft, meaning you may encounter such books on adventure maps or multiplayer servers.[1]
  • Although the name blank is only 16 characters long, you can give it a longer name using an anvil.
  • If you rename a book and quill in an anvil before signing it, it will keep the name from the anvil instead of taking the name from signing.
  • If you rename a book and quill in an anvil before writing in it, you will not be capable of writing anything in the book. If something is written in it before it is renamed, then it will function normally.



External links[edit]