Formatting codes

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A book showing the possible formatting options with the character that performs them.

Formatting codes, also known as color codes, add color and modifications to text in-game.

Text in Minecraft can be formatted with the section sign (§). In normal gameplay, the section sign can only be entered into book and quills. However, external programs can be used to insert it in other locations.

Color codes

Hex digit to color mapping. Use § followed by the corresponding color letter/number; e.g. §e will give you yellow.

Messages sent from the server to the client can contain color codes, which allow coloring of text for various purposes.

A section sign (§) followed by a hex digit in the message tells the client to switch colors while displaying text.

Code Official Name Technical Name Foreground Color Background Color
R G B Hex R G B Hex
§0 Black black 0 0 0 000000 0 0 0 000000
§1 Dark Blue dark_blue 0 0 170 0000AA 0 0 42 00002A
§2 Dark Green dark_green 0 170 0 00AA00 0 42 0 002A00
§3 Dark Aqua dark_aqua 0 170 170 00AAAA 0 42 42 002A2A
§4 Dark Red dark_red 170 0 0 AA0000 42 0 0 2A0000
§5 Dark Purple dark_purple 170 0 170 AA00AA 42 0 42 2A002A
§6 Gold gold 255 170 0 FFAA00 42 42 0 2A2A00
§7 Gray gray 170 170 170 AAAAAA 42 42 42 2A2A2A
§8 Dark Gray dark_gray 85 85 85 555555 21 21 21 151515
§9 Blue blue 85 85 255 5555FF 21 21 63 15153F
§a Green green 85 255 85 55FF55 21 63 21 153F15
§b Aqua aqua 85 255 255 55FFFF 21 63 63 153F3F
§c Red red 255 85 85 FF5555 63 21 21 3F1515
§d Light Purple light_purple 255 85 255 FF55FF 63 21 63 3F153F
§e Yellow yellow 255 255 85 FFFF55 63 63 21 3F3F15
§f White white 255 255 255 FFFFFF 63 63 63 3F3F3F

Formatting codes

Text can be formatted using the § symbol followed by a character. The § symbol can only be used in book and quills in Minecraft without using an external program. The § symbol may also be used in the file and the Minecraft Server text box.

If a color code is used after a formatting code, the formatting code will be disabled beyond the color code point. For example, §cX§nY displays as XY, whereas §nX§cY displays as XY. Therefore, when using a color code in tandem with a formatting code, ensure the color code is used first and reuse the formatting code when changing colors.

§r can be used to reset all texts format beyond it, e.g. §nXXX§rYYY displays as XXXYYY

Code Official Name
§k Obfuscated
§l Bold
§m Strikethrough
§n Underline
§o Italic
§r Reset

Note: The random characters placed after §k will always be the same width as the original characters, except if using [ and ] in 1.4.5 - 1.5.2. For example, any random character cycled through where the letter "m" would be wide characters while any random character in the spot of an "i" would be narrow characters.


To enter "§" on Windows with most US/UK English keyboards type Alt+21, or Alt+0167 , and under some circumstances Alt+A7 (In all cases, you must use the Number Pad). On a Mac US keyboard, ⌥ Option+6 (⌥ Option+5 for US Extended). On Linux with the compose key activated, type Composeso.

Alternatively, you can copy the character from this page, and press Ctrl+V to paste the character into a book. Note that this does not work on the Minecraft chat bar or Command Block GUI.

Sample Text

The following text can be pasted into a Book and Quill to produce what is shown in the picture at the top of the page:

§nMinecraft Formatting

§r§00 §11 §22 §33
§44 §55 §66 §77
§88 §99 §aa §bb
§cc §dd §ee §ff

§r§0k §kMinecraft
§rl §lMinecraft
§rm §mMinecraft
§rn §nMinecraft
§ro §oMinecraft
§rr §rMinecraft

Use in and pack.mcmeta

In order to get a MOTD colored or formatted you need to put \u00A7 instead of the §. So for example, §5 would turn into \u00A75. The full list of them is listed below. You can use colors in conjunction with formatting. You must do the formatting after the color.

Code Official Name
MOTD code
§0 Black \u00A70
§1 Dark Blue \u00A71
§2 Dark Green \u00A72
§3 Dark Aqua \u00A73
§4 Dark Red \u00A74
§5 Dark Purple \u00A75
§6 Gold \u00A76
§7 Gray \u00A77
§8 Dark Gray \u00A78
§9 Blue \u00A79
§a Green \u00A7a
§b Aqua \u00A7b
§c Red \u00A7c
§d Light Purple \u00A7d
§e Yellow \u00A7e
§f White \u00A7f
§k Obfuscated \u00A7k
§l Bold \u00A7l
§m Strikethrough \u00A7m
§n Underline \u00A7n
§o Italic \u00A7o
§r Reset \u00A7r
\n Extra line \n

Compatibility with older versions

Formatting codes can be used in the motd line in a file, but the section signs must be escaped as \u00A7. If a section sign is entered directly, the server will replace it with \u00C2\u00A7 (§); clients will display the \u00C2 character as a question mark. Delete the \u00C2 character in the MOTD if it comes with a bunch of question marks. This will happen if you are using minecraft version 1.2.5 or below, or something is not compatible.

Use in custom language packs

Formatting codes can be used to color names and description in language files by using § then any of the numbers/letters displayed above. This is also used in end.txt and credits.txt. An example of this is §bDiamond§r to make the name of a diamond appear as Diamond.

Use in world names

With the use of external tools, such as NBTExplorer, world names can have custom colors and formatting codes. To modify the name, you can choose the LevelName tag in the world's level.dat. In this example, LevelName is set to:

§1R§2e§3d§4s§5t§6o§7n§8e §9C§ar§be§ca§dt§ei§fo§1n§2s


Additionally, you can rename the world's folder to contain one of the codes. In the world selection menu, the specified color or effect will appear.

You can also use a resource pack with a § already in the world name when creating a world and all the user has to do is to change the color code after the §.

Use in server names

With the use of a third party tool such as NBTExplorer, server names can have custom colors. To utilize this functionality you select the Name attribute in the servers.dat file in your .minecraft directory using your third party tool. In the following example the Name tag is set to:

§4§lMinecraft §6§lServer



  • The color codes almost exactly match, in order, the 16 colors available using a Color Graphics Adapter (CGA), as released in 1981. Only color 6 differs; the formula exception for color 6 in Minecraft –
    #FFAA00 – differs from that made for CGA –