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
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[note 1]||Foreground Color||Background Color|
- As used in Scoreboard and tellraw commands. (Note: For both commands you have to replace the space in the name with an underscore (_), and the first letter should be lower case.)
 Formatting codes
Text can be formatted using the § symbol followed by a character.
[INFO] The § symbol can only be used in Book and Quills in Minecraft without using an external program. Some Bukkit plugins allow you to use § to format other text. The § symbol may be used in the server.properties file and the Minecraft Server text box.
To enter "§" on Windows with most US/UK English keyboards type Alt+21, or Alt+0167 (In both 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.
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
Note: The random characters placed after
§k will always be the same width as the original characters, except if using
] 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 an "i" would be narrow characters.
 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 server.properties
Formatting codes can be used in the
motd line in a server.properties 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 (Â§); 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 minecraft version 1.2.5 or below, or something is not compatible. Aside from these color characters, in 1.7+ you are able to add an extra line to your MOTD via
 Use in custom language packs
Formatting codes can also be used to color item/achievement names/descriptions/block names by using
¬ß then any of the numbers/letters displayed above. This is also used in
credits.txt. An example of this is
¬ßbDiamond¬ßr 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:
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 an external tool such as NBTExplorer, server names can have custom colors. To modify this you can chose the Name attribute in the servers.dat file in your .minecraft directory. In the following example the Name tag is set to: