Mastering the § Symbol in Minecraft – Easy Guide

If you’re an avid Minecraft player, you may have come across the elusive § symbol and wondered how to type it without a numpad.

This article explores different methods to input the § symbol in Minecraft, whether you’re using a laptop, a gaming keyboard, or even a virtual numpad on your phone.

Learn why this symbol is crucial for formatting text in chat, signs, and command blocks, and discover other symbols like & and %. Let’s dive in!

What is the § Symbol in Minecraft?

In Mojang’s Minecraft, the § symbol, called the section sign, serves as a text-formatting control character. Put before special formatting parameters such as color codes to indicate when and how they should impact text. It is not only visible in-game for all players to see when used in chat, books, game rules, world names, etc., but also hangs around in all related configuration and text files such as

Thanks to Mojang‘s dedication to detail in all parts of the game and strong developer instance on backwards compatibility, the section sign is honored on all platforms including the basic PC edition, advanced JAVA edition, consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo), and mobile devices (iOS, Android). Some Education Editions may have limited, removed, or additional text formatting features.

The section symbol got its name because ISO 2022, a specification from the International Organization for Standardization and other standards for computer systems, included it as a way to separate control functions or as a way of indicating special uses of the characters that follow it.

The section sign (§) is not natural to the English language’s alphabet but features prominently in the full Latin 1 character set and ISO-8859-1 to which ASCII is shorthand. It is located in the center of ASCII by holding down the Alt Gr + shift + 6 keys (not on the numpad).

How to Type the § Symbol in Minecraft?

The § symbol in Minecraft is neither a necessity nor a regular feature, but is often used for color coding, customized numbering, or as an invisible character due to its ability to take on special meanings. To type the § symbol in Minecraft, enter Alt + 2 1 on the numeric keypad for Windows, Alt + 0 1 6 7 for copy / paste features, and `Fn + iiiM` for macOS. If the alphanumeric method of `§` is desired, one can use the copy / paste function to insert it into a book and quill for easy access later.

Using the Chat Command

Enter /key key.all in the chat window. This will make all of the keyboards keys work in the window you have open. The section button will be the § key. So to write the § symbol, simply hit the section button on your keyboard. Besides the § symbol, you can also use all of the other keys on your keyboard.

Using the On-Screen Keyboard

The On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) is a pre-installed program on Windows computers for users to interact with a mouse, touch, and other pointing devices. The OSK shows a visual keyboard on the screen and helps users who are typing in languages which are not easy to use a physical keyboard for (e.g. typing in Japanese if you have a keyboard with a QWERTY layout). This makes it easy to symbol characters such as § that are not part of the main keys.

Some versions of Mac OS, such as Catalina 10.15 and earlier, have a similar program called the Keyboard Viewer. To use the OSK in Windows, just press the Win key, type in “On-Screen Keyboard” in the search bar and press enter. In the On-Screen Keyboard, you can click on a key with your mouse pointer to use it. The Character Map of Windows computers is another helpful tool to generate symbols like §. Templates of symbols can be searched, clicked, copied, and then pasted into a document or form field. The CharMap or Run / charmap from the Start Menu or Taskbar search can be used to open the Character Map.

Changing Your Keyboard Layout

If you have a physical keyboard without a numpad and are using windows internal English (United States) keyboard to type, changing the layout of your internal keyboard to German (as per example below) could be the most effective solution to type the § symbol without using your physical numpad. Note that in Minecraft itself you would still prefer the number way on laptops.

What if You Don’t Have a Numpad?

If you do not have a numpad, there are three main ways to type § in Minecraft:

  1. On laptops and rare keyboards that have a number lock function to enable a hidden-key number pad
  2. Assign Section Sign keybinding (e.g. never-used keys like J) via an edit to options.txt and a new key override in the in-game menu
  3. Find an unused key combination involving common keys for the section sign (for instance Alt, Shift, Ctrl plus a specific key)

If your laptop or keyboard has a touchpad rather than a numpad, then you can enable a secondary normally hidden numpad with extra functions on the right side of existing letter keys on your keyboard. Do a search for your specific device. If you have a notebook computer, you can try using the section sign (not exactly the same but close) which has a keycode of 0x2117.

Use the following sequence for Windows in Word or other text apps:

  1. Hold Alt
  2. Type 2117 on the numeric keypad or the number row above the letters (do not use the number row above the letters if you are using a laptop and your Caps Lock is on)
  3. Release the Alt key

Unfortunately, this is only supported on Windows computers and not on Macs.

Another uncommon alternative is to use the Hidden Numeric Keypad Access program by using the following steps in Windows:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click on Run or press Win + R
  3. Type osk then click OK or press Enter

Opt into Numeric Key Pad by clicking Options and ticking Turn on numeric key pad. This program can be used to type the section sign § with a numpad by following the steps as described above.

Using a Laptop without a Numpad

On a laptop you type § by holding down the Function (Fn) key and the ALT key while you type 2 and then 1. This brings up the code for §.

Refer to this How-to Type Special Characters guide as needed when searching for the best way to type these special characters on different devices. This website provides additional information on most operating systems. On up-to-date versions of Mac OS and Windows, users can search for emojis in the UI to choose from.

Using a Gaming Keyboard without a Numpad

A Gaming Keyboard is much like a standard computer keyboard but with some special-built design tailored to enhance and improve the gaming experience. Amongst other features, gaming keyboards have superior build quality, faster processing, LED lighting, and macro keys which can be customized for frequently used actions.

When using a gaming keyboard, especially tenkeyless gaming keyboards, the number of keys becomes less of an issue as specialized keys the original keyboards don’t have can be remapped to the keypad zone.

The tenkeyless HyperX Alloy Origins and similar models have a Game Mode that allows disabling of the Windows key preventing any interruptions from the Start menu. You could benefit from programmable buttons with a mouse like the Razer Naga X or for a wealth of other shortcuts. In Keyboard Shortcut settings, you may create a custom input action. This function is available on both Windows and Mac. Using the text symbols when chatting or streaming is essential.

Control the lighting with the WASD or F-Pad keys. To most people, the keypad section is not mandatory.

Using a Virtual Numpad on Your Phone

A virtual numpad is the same as using an external numpad in that it allows one to input numbers using a visual layout that mirrors the physical layout on standard keyboards. To use a virtual numpad, one can either find an on-screen numpad image from a search engine or get an app on one’s phone or an on-screen keyboard on his desktop that features a numpad as well as a § key.

If you do not have an external physical numpad, a similar effect can be achieved by using this virtual numpad on a smartphone to mimic typical § input using a numpad. However, this is a more complex and time-consuming way to type § in Minecraft than the alternatives.

Why is the § Symbol Important in Minecraft?

The § symbol is important in Minecraft for styling of text elements such as player names above player’s avatars represented by icons and the text posted in the comments section. The § color and format codes allow for style adjustments in a way that the standard gameplay instructions do not. This can help in visual organization, to draw a player’s attention to a specific message, and to create visually pleasant parameters. It can also allow for adding creative stylization in adventure maps. The official Minecraft website indicates that translated unicode characters other than those on a standard keyboard can be added to the chat. However, § appears to be an exception as it serves as a syntax character in the game.

Used for Formatting Text in Chat

In Minecraft, the section symbol § generator is used for formatting text in chat. If you want to make the text bold, italic, underlined, small, bigger, higher, set a different chat color, a different background color, insert a link, etc., you will need to use the § character. But the § character is not located on a typical keyboard (not on a QWERTY layout) and does not have an Alt-code associated with it.

Some gamers utilize External Keyboard Emulators and Unicode Character Map to insert it, and the Windows High-Contrast hotkeys for quick copy and paste to bypass the need for an alternate code. The following are some of the most commonly used codes for formatting the chat for the Java Edition of Minecraft.

  • §l: – Makes text bold.
  • §k: – Adds a ‘random’ effect to the text.
  • §m: – Adds strikethrough to the text.
  • §b: – Adds a border to the text.
  • §n: – Underlines the text.
  • §o: – Makes text italic.
  • §r: – Resets the text to default values.

Used for Formatting Text on Signs

The § symbol in Minecraft is used primarily to style metadata on signs and books. The § signifies the start of a minecraft-formatted field, followed by a character representing the specific rules, such as the color of the text. Here is an example of choosing the color red for text using § in-game. The result of this is shown in the image below.

  • [{red text}] §4Hello World! §r [unred text]

Used for Formatting Text in Command Blocks

The § symbol, pronounced as Section Sign and sometimes as Section Mark, is used in Minecraft for formatting text. Two different features of Minecraft where text can be formatted with the Section Sign are Books and Command Blocks.

According to the official Minecraft Wiki, the Section Sign is a control character used to define the color or style of text on books, signs, and in the chat. Text that is surrounded by the Section Sign is known as Formatted Text. Slash-editing and the /color command are two other methods for applying formatting to text in the game. However, the first is more effective and widely used.

In Command Blocks, just for when it was April Fool’s day in 2011, it is also possible to format the output by painting text characters with certain colors. The color-code of the `/say` command defines the chatting color with text within the Aperture Science Station. The color codes are numbers, letters, and prefixes of &. Three kinds of stenciling (uppercase, lowercase, or mixed) should be used when making chat rooms and naming objects.

Test by entering the above messages in command block `/say `, and observe that chat bubbles appear in color in the game (although not in this blockquote text) based on the color code you use in the name. This is similar to opening a book without the color code in which all characters show up in white but perform their stenciling, toggling, and camouflage function.

Are There Any Other Symbols Like § in Minecraft?

The § symbol is the only symbol like it in Minecraft. It is used for text formatting, assigning item codes, and normalize queued text. Normalizing queued text associates the formatting of one text item with another item. An example of this in Minecraft is that giving items via the /spawnitem command when triggering a switch from unmodded or modded copies will reproduce everything in the item except the colored name. This works because some data in the game refers to other data by string which references a ‘name’ attribute of an item. In Minecraft, each type of object has a line of data associated with it which includes information such as the texture that appears, sound effects, and a ‘name’ value which says what it is.

Mojang does not publicly explain the meaning of the § symbol and combining of § with other characters.

The & Symbol

The & symbol is not typeable in Minecraft except through creative copy and paste methods that involve an external text document. A similar symbol that can be substituted is the § symbol most similar to the & symbol in function, meaning they both denote formatting characteristics. Like with the & symbol, the § symbol is note typeable on any standard QWERTY keyboard, but can be added in via copying and pasting, chat commands, or external software remapping.

The % Symbol

The % symbol is Microsoft keycode in Windows systems. To print this character or any other special key without a numpad, the subsequent steps are required. Holding down the Alt key. The system is informed that a unique character will be entered if the following two stages are followed. The plus symbol should be typed or the left zero key should be held down. Executing one of these two procedures informs Windows of the forthcoming keyboard press to await the Microsoft code.

  1. To type percent symbol % after the Alt plus + start key this current symbol’s precise Microsoft code must be typed. This code is 37.
  2. Releasing each key after having entered this Alt plus one key combination will create the clickable %. If one wants to type a percent symbol % a whole extra percent symbol without the percentage on the first one because function does not work this is what should be done.
  3. To input this current special character’s accurate Microsoft code following the Alt plus the start key typed should be typed. This code is 037.
  4. Releasing each key following having typed the Alt plus one key combination should make reality for clicking of %. A whole extra percent symbol with without this function on the first one since it does not work, this should be followed. Press Alt + 0 to create an invisible Alt code with leading zeros. This combination is used in some applications where the leading zero is necessary.

This Microsoft code is used to enter unique keys on a Windows keyboard without a numpad. It is simple to use and simple to memorize Alt 037 and Alt 037. So users might use this approach while typing on a laptop or ‘tenkeyless keyboard, as its known in casual circles without the numpad when a numpad is not available on a regular laptop keyboard or ‘tenkeyless’ board. Users will definitely increase their typing speed by using this technique regularly. Try switching between keyboards that are standard, ‘tenkeyless or laptop.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Type § in Minecraft Without Numpad?

Can I type the § symbol in Minecraft without a numpad?
Yes, there are alternative methods for typing the § symbol without a numpad.

How to Type § in Minecraft Without Numpad?

What is the § symbol used for in Minecraft?
The § symbol is used for formatting text and adding color codes in Minecraft.

How to Type § in Minecraft Without Numpad?

How do I type the § symbol using a laptop keyboard?
If your laptop has a numeric keypad function, you can hold down the Fn key and press the Alt key on the numeric keypad to type the § symbol.

How to Type § in Minecraft Without Numpad?

What if my laptop does not have a numeric keypad function?
You can try using the on-screen keyboard, which can be found in the “Ease of Access” section of your computer’s settings. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the § symbol from another source.

How to Type § in Minecraft Without Numpad?

Are there any mods or plugins that can help me type the § symbol in Minecraft without a numpad?
Yes, there are several mods and plugins available that allow you to add the § symbol through a keyboard shortcut or command.

How to Type § in Minecraft Without Numpad?

Is there a specific key combination for typing the § symbol on a Mac computer?
Yes, you can type the § symbol on a Mac by pressing the Option + 6 keys simultaneously.

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