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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 Ubuntu, you can type AltGr+⇧ Shift+S. In normal gameplay, the section sign can only be entered into book and quills. In Bedrock Edition, it can also be entered into signs, world names, renaming items and in the chat. However, external programs can be used to insert it in other locations.
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|
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 server.properties 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
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 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.
Alternatively, you 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 other than books (e.g. the chat bar, command block GUI, world names, signs, etc.)
The following text can be pasted into a Book and Quill to produce what is shown in the picture:
Use in server.properties and pack.mcmeta
In order to get an MOTD colored or formatted you must put
\u00A7 instead of
§. 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.
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 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 using Minecraft 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
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:
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:
- 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 – #AA5500.