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 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.
Text can be formatted using the section sign (§) followed by a character. A § symbol followed by a hex digit in the message tells the client to switch colors while displaying text. In Bedrock Edition, the § symbol can be used in any text input, while in Java Edition, it may be used in server.properties, pack.mcmeta, world titles, and server names.
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:
Messages sent from the server to the client can contain color codes, which allow coloring of text for various purposes.
|Code||Name||Foreground color||Background color|
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.
§r resets the styles of following characters; e.g.,
§nXXX§rYYY displays as XXXYYY.
To enter "§" on Windows with most US/UK English keyboards type Alt+NUMPAD2NUMPAD1 or Alt+NUMPAD0NUMPAD1NUMPAD6NUMPAD7.
EnableHexNumpad is enabled in the Windows registry, and the keyboard used has a hexidecimal numpad, type Alt+NUMPAD+NUMPADANUMPAD7.
On a Mac with a US keyboard, type ⌥ Option+6 (or ⌥ Option+5 for US Extended).
On Linux with the compose key activated, type Composeso.
The symbol can also be typed by using Unicode shortcuts: Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u00a7.
When part of JSON text, the symbol can be written as
\u00A7 (capitalization does not matter).
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 everything (e.g. chat, command blocks, world names).[Java Edition only]
The following text can be pasted into a Book and Quill (prior to 1.14) 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 §rk §kMinecraft §rl §lMinecraft §rm §mMinecraft §rn §nMinecraft §ro §oMinecraft §rr §rMinecraft
Use in server.properties and pack.mcmeta
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.
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.
Compatibility with older versions
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 replaces it with
Â§); 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
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
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
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 or alter 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, 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
- 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 value for color 6 in Minecraft – #FFAA00 – differs from that made for CGA – #AA5500.