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Text in StarCraft can be formatted to a certain extent. By placing control characters in front of text, you can modify the way that text is displayed. Most control characters affect color, though some affect alignment. Their effects tend to stop when a line break, word wrap point, or other control character is encountered. Third-party map editors allow mappers to insert these control characters into various places.

Comprehensive list

Colorlistdo6.png 15ppilt.png

In-game formatting

These are the control characters in-game. They affect all in-game text, including Mission Objectives. Notably, the "Grey" and "Invisible" characters will override all subsequent control characters until their effects are stopped by a line break.

Line breaks do not stop control characters in Mission Objectives. Among other things, this means that invisible and grey control characters in Mission Objectives will affect all text that comes after them, up to the end of the string.

Mimic color is initialized to the default blue color (2), and every time the text color is changed the current text color is saved. E.g. In "<3>Hello <4>World <1>!!" the "!!" would be yellow, because yellow was saved as the mimic color when <4> changed the color. The color itself is saved and not the control character used, so "<3>Y<4>W<1>Y<4>W<1>Y" would alternate yellow and white and "<6>R<4>W<1>R<4>W<1>R" would alternate red and white.

0x01 - Mimic
0x02 - Cyan (#B8B8E8)
0x03 - Yellow (#DCDC3C)
0x04 - White (#FFFFFF)
0x05 - Grey (#847474)
0x06 - Red (#C81818)
0x07 - Green (#10FC18)
0x08 - Red (P1, #F40404)
0x09 - Tab
0x0A - Newline
0x0B - Invisible
0x0C - Remove beyond (large font), newline (small font)
0x0E - Blue (P2, #0C48CC)
0x0F - Teal (P3, #2CB494)
0x10 - Purple (P4, #88409C)
0x11 - Orange (P5, #F88C14)
0x12 - Right Align
0x13 - Center Align
0x14 - Invisible
0x15 - Brown (P6, #703014)
0x16 - White (P7, #CCE0D0)
0x17 - Yellow (P8, #FCFC38)
0x18 - Green (P9, #088008)
0x19 - Brighter Yellow (P10, #FCFC7C)
0x1A - Nothing (does not change color, does not do anything)
0x1B - Pinkish (P11, #ECC4B0)
0x1C - Dark Cyan (P12, #4068D4)
0x1D - Greygreen (#74A47C)
0x1E - Bluegrey (#9090B8)
0x1F - Turquoise (#00E4FC)

Menu formatting

These control characters are for the pregame lobby. Note that due to patch 1.14, alignment characters and line breaks in map titles make games unjoinable, and no control codes function in Force names.

0x01 - Mimic
0x02 - Cyan (#A4B4F8)
0x03 - Green (#4CC428)
0x04 - Light Green (#B4FC74)
0x05 - Grey (#585858)
0x06 - White (#FFFFFF)
0x07 - Red (#FC0000)
0x08 - Black*
0x09 - Tab
0x0A - Newline
0x0B - Invisible
0x0C - Remove beyond
0x0E - Black*
0x0F - Black*
0x10 - Black*
0x11 - Black*
0x12 - Right Align
0x13 - Center Align
0x14 - Invisible
0x15 - Black*
0x16 - Black*
0x17 - Black*
0x18 - Black*
0x19 - Black*
0x1A - Nothing (does not change color, does not do anything)
0x1B - Black*
0x1C - Black*
  • Black colors are technically a buffer overflow, and may therefore appear as colors other than black.

Third-party map editors

Though third-party map editors support the insertion of control codes, their implementations vary. X-tra Edit shows the characters next to text windows; they must be copied and pasted into fields manually. StarForge uses buttons to insert the characters. SCMDraft 2 uses small codes consisting of the control character's hex code (such as 0E) wrapped in angle brackets (<0E>).

Extended player colors

In addition to text colors, some third-party map editors allow the use of abnormal player colors in maps. SCMDraft 2's implementation is particularly easy; simply type a number into the player color fields, instead of selecting a color name.

Unfortunately, these color palettes vary between patches and operating systems (because they're technically not color palettes at all; they're random data that the game is being tricked into reading as color palettes). Because of this variability, programs have been made that allow mappers to preview and save colors. One such utility is PColor [1], by FaRTy1billion. PColor allows mappers to choose a unit, a tileset, and a player color. It then displays what that unit will look like when the map is played with the currently installed version of StarCraft. Another utility (with fewer features) is Colors 1.14 [2], which allows a color to be picked, copied, and pasted into SCMDraft 2 and StarForge.

One of the most popular extended player colors is black. However, due to differences in how these colors look on different operating systems, nearly all black colors will only appear black for some players, while appearing as a broken color for many other players.

The player color 138 is the only known color which appears as a perfect black across all operating systems.