add line numbers in word

Microsoft Word is one of the leading word processing applications that is used globally in almost every discipline, thanks to its intuitive User interface, ease of use, and a myriad of powerful tools used for text formatting. One of the least known formatting techniques is adding line numbers.

Line numbers help in easy identification of a particular sentence or paragraph. you can add line numbers in a selected text of the whole document. Usually, Microsoft Word numbers every line in a document except for; headers and footers, endnotes, and footnotes.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn on the steps which we can use to add line numbers to a document in word.

NOTE: The following steps will apply for Word 2007, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2016 and 2019, Microsoft 365, and Word 2019.

Add Line number to Word

The procedure used to add a line number, in Word for Mac is quite similar to Windows. Let's now look into the steps.

At the top bar on your window, click the "Layout tab ." On the page setup dialog, click on "Line numbers."
But, if your document is divided into sections. Press Ctrl + A to select the whole document and then, add a line number you need.

2. On the drop-down menu, choose on any option of your numbering options.

  • Continuous - this option will number the text consecutively all the way through the document.

add line numbers

  • Restart Each Page - Each page will restart with one same number throughout the document.

Restart each page

  • Restart Each Section - To add a new section break, select the Breaks option located above the line numbering menu still on the page setup dialog box. on the dropdown menu select continuous, to insert a section break and start a new section on a new page.

add line numbers

  • Suppress for Current Paragraph - This applies when you want to hide line numbers from a particular paragraph.
  • Line numbering options - When you click this option, a page setup window will pop up having the numbering format.line numbering Select the Page Layout tab at the top of the window. Click on the section you want to add a line number. Select the Line numbers option at the bottom of the window. Then, add line numbering. When done click ok to make changes and also to close the Line numbers dialog box. On the page set up window click ok or you can set the changes as default if you like.

add line numbering

NOTE: The line numbers only appear on the print layout view. When working on other views the numbers are usually hidden.

Insert line numbers in a table in Word document

To add line numbers in a table in Word document simply do the following:

First, select the cells you want to add a line number. Click the border of the column.

select the cell

On the Home tab menu, head to the paragraph dialog box and click numbering. Click on the drop-down arrow on the numbering option. Select the numbering format of your choice.

inserting lines in table

How to remove line numbers in Word

Sometimes, you might want to undo what you have done. In this case, in Word documents, you might want to remove whatever numbered lines added completely to replace them. It is very simple. You can select one of these three ways to use.

To remove line numbers added in the whole document.

  1. Select the part of the document or paragraph you want to remove the line numbers.
  • If you want to remove line numbers from divided or multiple sections, just select the sections.
  • In the layout tab, on the page setup dialog box, select line numbers.
  • On the resulting options, click the first option which is NONE.

NONE option

2. To remove line numbers in a particular paragraph.

  • Follow the same procedures in step { 1 }.
  • On the line numbers dialog box, on the displayed options click, Suppress for Current Paragraph.

suppress for page paragraph

3. Lastly, you can use the usual way to undo the changes you've made. After you have added aline numbers. On your keyboard press Ctrl + Z to undo the changes. However, this method works when you undo the changes before you leave the page.

Add line number to a portion

To add line number to a portion, follow the following steps;

  1. To add a line to a portion, head over to the Home tab bar and activate the paragraph and formatting marks.

formatting tools

2. On your document, click on the portion you want to add a line and insert section breaks.

3. Click at the beginning of the word which,  you want to add line number. Then on the layout tab, select Breaks option, then click Continuous option.  You'll see a section break above on the selected text.

4. Again, place your cursor at the end of the text that,  you want to add line number and then follow the in step [ 3 ].

add line numbers

5. Now on the page layout tab again, select line numbering option. Then click on the last option which is, line numbering options. On the pop-up window at the bottom, on the Apply to option, select This section, next click Line numbers. On the line number window. Click inside the box Add line numbering. And choose the numbering format you want then click on the Continuous option.

6. Click OK to exit the page. The numbering format you have selected will show on your text, as shown in the above picture.

How to format line number

On the Home tab,  styles menu, at the bottom right corner, click on the vertical arrow button.

add line number

Click the Options button at the bottom.

add line numbers

On the select style to show option, click on the drop-down menu to All styles and then click Ok. This will enable you to edit the line number font style.

All styles

Back in the styles window, select the Line number option and then select Modify.

modify option

On the pop-up window, head over to the formatting option. Put the formatting style you want.

formatting option

Click OK, at the bottom of the window to apply the selected style for the line number.


We trust that you can now comfortably add lines number on your Words documents, and track every line without a hitch. Feel free to weigh in your feedback about the tutorial. We hope this has been useful to you.