Pilcrow PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Nov 29, 2021

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The pilcrow, ¶, is a typographical character that marks the beginning of a paragraph. It is also known as the paragraph mark (or sign or symbol), paraph, or blind P.

As Eric Gill did in his 1931 book An Essay on Typography, the pilcrow can be used to start individual paragraphs or to identify a new paragraph in a long piece of content. Before the concept of visually separate paragraphs became prevalent, the pilcrow was a sort of rubrication used in the Middle Ages to signify a new stream of thought.

The pilcrow is commonly drawn in the shape of a lowercase q, extending from descender to ascender height, with the bowl (loop) filled or empty. It can alternatively be rendered with the bowl extending further downwards, giving it the appearance of a reversed D; this is more common in earlier printing.

The word “pilcrow” comes from the Ancient Greek: παράγραφo, (parágraphos), which means “written on the side or margin.” This was originally written as paragraphe in Old French, but was subsequently modified to pelagraphe. The current term ‘pilcrow’ first appears around 1440, with the Middle English word pylcrafte.


The original (parágraphos), which was a horizontal line in the margin to the left of the main text, was the earliest technique to split sentences into groups in Ancient Greek. The horizontal line gradually turned into the Greek letter Gamma (,) and later into litterae notabiliores, which were bigger letters at the beginning of a paragraph, as the paragraphos grew more popular.

The traditional paragraph sign (rendered as 〇 ) in Chinese is a narrow circle approximately the size of a Chinese character. This is U+3007 IDEOGRAPHIC NUMBER ZERO in Unicode. This symbol only appears as a paragraph sign in ancient literature, such as the Chinese Union Version of the Bible. It is now commonly used as a “zero” character. However, it can also be present in various King James Bible and Book of Mormon editions.

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