I came across a map and when I was playing I found some coloured and bolded item names. I thought it isn't possible as at most you can only use the custom name tag to rename things! Is there a way to colour and bold item names in vanilla Minecraft? External programs are OK. Oh, and the wiki page of formatting codes doesn't really do much.

5 Answers 5


You can use this page about formatting codes.

TL;DR use this in the name for colors

  • §0 Black
  • §1 Dark Blue
  • §2 Dark Green
  • §3 Dark Aqua
  • §4 Dark Red
  • §5 Dark Purple
  • §6 Gold
  • §7 Gray
  • §8 Dark Gray
  • §9 Blue
  • §a Green
  • §b Aqua
  • §c Red
  • §d Light Purple
  • §e Yellow
  • §f White

For example world name:

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

Which results into:

enter image description here

You can use INVedit to edit your savegame and edit the characters in.

  • 2
    I need to rename an item. I can't input § in anvils or anything that rename things in vanilla Minecraft, so this answer does not really address the question.
    – 54D
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 12:18
  • Correct, I updated my answer to include the answer you were (hopefully) looking for.
    – Inferno IV
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 12:25
  • ...Well, I think you misunderstood what I am asking. I am asking for renamed, coloured, bolded item names. Not world names and server names. An example will be an enchanted diamond sword with the name "The baddy sword" coloured dark red and bolded.
    – 54D
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 12:37
  • Correct, I was confusing MCEdit with INVedit. My bad. I only don't know for sure if INVedit can rename (and recolor) items.
    – Inferno IV
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:01
  • INVedit also works!
    – 54D
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 7:24

In Minecraft 1.13, item names are now JSON, meaning that this no longer requires the use of the section sign symbol. For example:

/give @s stone{display:{Name:"{\"text\":\"Foo\",\"color\":\"green\"}"}}

will give you a piece of stone with the custom name of Foo colored green.

  • The specific commands in this answer no longer work as of Minecraft 1.20.5. The concept is still valid.
    – pppery
    Commented Apr 26 at 2:06

OK. Found an answer on the Internet while I was surfing. In Vanilla Minecraft, even with commands, you cannot colour item names. Instead... use MCEdit! There is a new MCEdit version created by TKTech and an modify item name string filter that can colour and bold stuffs by SethBling.

Source: SethBling's video


If you don't want MCEdit and just want to edit them (Even in anvils) use Text Formatting. It's a mod that allows you to paste the "§" Section Symbol (And other symbols you can't use in Minecraft). Here's a link for the mod:


  • For me, when I put Text Formatting in my mod directory, up to the launcher everything works fine, and then Minecraft itself won't launch. No crash, no nothing. I've been monitoring what happens with Task Manager, and the javaw.exe of the launcher is present as usual, when I press Play Minecraft's javaw.exe appears as well, and a few seconds later both of them just vanish. EDIT: Turns out I don't have SpaceCore yet. Weird that Forge didn't simply complain as usual.
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 9:43
  • Update: With SpaceCore, same behavior. Seems like Spacechase's mods cannot be loaded via Forge.
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 10:51

Unlike what everyone assumes, apparently it's possible in game, without any extra stuff. As it seems, NBT-formatted signs are able to inject § into commands by escaping it with \u00a7.

This online tool takes any command that uses § and converts it into a command that creates an NBT-formatted sign above the command block, with a click event that pastes the desired command into the command block. Totally crazy, but confirmed to work, at least up to 1.8 (broken in 1.9 and later, but only because of the strict JSON feature, that can easily be fixed manually by adding a couple of \" into the final command).

Note: The command that is being generated also omits all " characters, because the creator thought they are impossible to get in via signs. However actually they are easy to get in. Just find your escaped command in the generated command and add in \\\" where you want a " in the resulting command.

For everyone who doesn't like external tools much: The tool I linked doesn't modify your world saves. It's a command generator much like MCStacker. You get a command and paste it into your command block. Then you activate the command block, click on the sign that appears, and your command has the correct formatting.

(If you've done everything right, the text you wanted to format should have the formatting you chose inside the command block as well. If you didn't include §r at the end of the formatted section, the remainder of the command will be formatted as well. As long as no non-formatted text passages are meant to follow, this doesn't break anything.)

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