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Line numbering in Word

If you are looking for quick help to show or insert line numbers in Word:

  • Go to the Page Layout Tab
  • In the Page Setup category, click on the Line Numbering Button.
  • A list of line numbering option will appear
  • Select the Continuous option to number all lines consecutively
  • Select the Restart Each Page option to restart line numbering on every new page.

These are the steps you may use to insert line numbers in Word.

However, if you want more details, keep sliding down this page to learn everything about line numbering in MS Word.

This term can be a bit confusing for many.

A great number of MS Word users don’t even think that it is interesting to them, let alone relevant.

The case is different for others: attorneys to be specific. People working with legal documents do in fact need to know the answer to “What is the Line Number?”. I’m not an attorney though, but I do know that legal documents do require line numbers running down the pages.

What are Line Numbers in Word?

Line numbers (not to be mistaken with numbered list) are numbers that count the number of lines in a Word document while showing the appropriate number beside each line of text.

Line Numbering in Word

By default, Word automatically counts and number every line in a document (except those in endnotes, footnotes, text boxes, tables, headers, and footers. However, you may not see these numbers because they are hidden. And until you take some steps to display it, you’ll never see it.

NOTE: Line numbers are different from a numbered list.

How to insert line numbers in word

Word automatically performs line numbering in your Word document; however, it doesn’t show the numbers. This means that if you want to see your document numbered line after line, then you need to take some action to display it.

Without further ado, below are the steps on how to insert line numbers in Word:

  • Click on the Layout tab.
Go to the Layout Tab
  • In the Page Setup category, click the Line Numbering button

The Line numbering shortcut menu appears from which you can select the numbering options. By default, the None option is selected in all MS Word documents, which means “don’t show line numbers”.

Click the Line Numbering button
  • Choose the line numbering option you want.
Continuous Line numbers in Word
  • Continuous option will number all lines in the document consecutively from the first page to the last page.
  • Restart Each Page option will restart the line numbering on every new page in the document.
  • Restart Each Section (for multi-section document) will restart the line numbering on every new section in the document. If the document has only one section, then the Restart Each Section option will work just like the Continuous option.

PRO TIP: If you need only a portion of the document numbered, use section breaks to set those portion or pages into their own sections and apply the line numbering to that section only by using the Restart Each Section option.

  • Suppress for Current Paragraph can be used if you’ve inserted the line numbers already, but would like the current paragraph unnumbered.

How to remove line numbers in Word

To remove line numbering in Word:

  • Go to the Page Layout Tab
  • In the Page Setup category, click on the Line Numbering Button.
  • A list of line numbering option appears
  • Select None to remove the numbering completely
  • Or select Suppress for Current Paragraph to remove line numbers for the current paragraph only.

How to format line number in Word

If you desire to format line numbering in Word, you first need to display the line numbers dialog and then set some options, like how far away from the text the numbers should appear.

To format line numbers, obey the following steps:

  • Click on the Layout tab
Go to the Layout Tab
  • In the Page Setup group, click the Line Numbering button.
Click the Line Numbering button
  • A shortcut menu appears, click on the Line Numbering Options.
click on Line Numbering Option

The Page Setup dialog will appear.

Page setup Dialog appears
  • On the Page Setup dialog box, click on the Layout Tab
  • Now click on the Line numbers… button.

The Line Numbers dialog appears.

Line Numbers dialog

Almost all the options on this dialog box are already in the Line Numbers shortcut menu. The only item that isn’t there, however, is the From Text option which can be used to adjust the distance between the text and the line numbers.

Basically, this is all about line numbers in Word you should know.

If you have any questions, you can post them in the comment section below this article.