Formatting codes

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Information icon.svg
This feature is exclusive to Bedrock Edition and Java Edition.
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 (§). To type it on Windows, press Alt+NUMPAD2NUMPAD1 or Alt+NUMPAD0NUMPAD1NUMPAD6NUMPAD7. On macOS, press ⌥ Option+6. On Linux, press Compose+S+O. In Bedrock Edition, the section sign can be entered into signs, world names, renaming items and in the chat. However, external programs can be used to insert it in other locations.

In Java Edition, section signs can no longer be used inside book and quills.[1]

Color codes[edit]

Hex digit to color mapping. Use § followed by the corresponding color letter/number; e.g. §e gives 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 Name Foreground color Background color
R G B Hex R G B Hex
§0 black 0 0 0 000000 0 0 0 000000
§1 dark_blue 0 0 170 0000AA 0 0 42 00002A
§2 dark_green 0 170 0 00AA00 0 42 0 002A00
§3 dark_aqua 0 170 170 00AAAA 0 42 42 002A2A
§4 dark_red 170 0 0 AA0000 42 0 0 2A0000
§5 dark_purple 170 0 170 AA00AA 42 0 42 2A002A
§6 gold 255 170 0 FFAA00 42 42 0 2A2A00
§7 gray 170 170 170 AAAAAA 42 42 42 2A2A2A
§8 dark_gray 85 85 85 555555 21 21 21 151515
§9 blue 85 85 255 5555FF 21 21 63 15153F
§a green 85 255 85 55FF55 21 63 21 153F15
§b aqua 85 255 255 55FFFF 21 63 63 153F3F
§c red 255 85 85 FF5555 63 21 21 3F1515
§d light_purple 255 85 255 FF55FF 63 21 63 3F153F
§e yellow 255 255 85 FFFF55 63 63 21 3F3F15
§f white 255 255 255 FFFFFF 63 63 63 3F3F3F

Formatting codes[edit]

Text can be formatted using the § symbol followed by a character. The § symbol can be used in any text input in Bedrock Edition and may be used in the and pack.mcmeta files and world/server names in Java Edition.

In Java Edition, if a color code is used after a formatting code, the formatting code is 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.

In Bedrock Edition, formatting codes persist after a color code. Furthermore, if an obfuscated code is used and a reset code is not used before the end of the line, the client GUI continues to obfuscate text past the MOTD and into the version number display:

Motd scramble bug.png

§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 is always the same width as the original characters. 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+NUMPAD2NUMPAD1, Alt+NUMPAD0NUMPAD1NUMPAD6NUMPAD7, or if EnableHexNumpad is enabled in windows registry, Alt+NUMPAD+NUMPADANUMPAD7(You should also have a hexadecimal numpad to be able to press NUMPADA). On a Mac US keyboard, ⌥ Option+6 (⌥ Option+5 for US Extended). On Linux with the compose key activated, type Composeso. The player can also type it by using Unicode shortcuts: Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u00a7.

Alternatively, the player can copy the character from this page (§), and press Ctrl+V or ⌘ Cmd+V to paste the character into a book. Note that pasting does not work on anything (e.g. chat, command blocks, world names, etc.).‌[Java Edition only]

Sample text[edit]

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

§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

Minecraft Formatting.gif

Use in and pack.mcmeta[edit]

In order to get an MOTD colored or formatted, \u00A7 must be used instead of §; for example, §5 would be \u00A75. The full list of them is listed below. Colors can be used in conjunction with formatting. The formatting must be done after the color.

Given that pack.mcmeta files accept raw JSON text as descriptions, the usage of § can be replaced by text components with different color and style, though using § still works.

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[edit]

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 replaces it with \u00C2\u00A7 (§); clients 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 happens if something is not compatible.

Use in custom language packs[edit]

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 §dDiamond to make the name of a diamond appear as Diamond.

Use in world names[edit]

With the use of external tools, such as NBTExplorer, world names can have custom colors and formatting codes. To modify the name, 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, the player can rename the world's folder to contain one of the codes. In the world selection menu, the specified color or effect appears.

The player 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[edit]

With the use of a third party tool such as NBTExplorer, server names can have custom colors. To utilize this functionality, select the Name attribute in the servers.dat file inside the .minecraft directory using a 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 –