How to Show Line Numbers in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Showing line numbers in Word is a simple task that can be accomplished in just a few clicks. By turning on this feature, you’ll be able to see the numbers next to each line of text in your document, which can be especially helpful for referencing specific parts of your content or for collaborative editing.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Show Line Numbers in Word

Before we dive into the steps, know that adding line numbers to your document can help you keep track of your content, making it easier to discuss and review. It’s a handy feature for writers, editors, and anyone who works with lengthy documents. Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Open the Layout Tab

Open the Layout tab in the ribbon at the top of your Word document.

The Layout tab is where you’ll find most of the page setup options, including margins, orientation, and line numbers.

Step 2: Click on Line Numbers

Within the Layout tab, find and click on the ‘Line Numbers’ drop-down menu.

This menu will give you several options related to line numbering, including the choice to add them continuously or restart numbering on each page.

Step 3: Select the Line Numbering Option

Choose your preferred line numbering option from the drop-down menu.

You can select ‘Continuous’ to number lines straight through the document, ‘Restart Each Page’ to start numbering from 1 on each new page, or ‘Restart Each Section’ if you have multiple sections in your document.

After completing these steps, you’ll see line numbers appearing on the left margin of your document. They’ll update automatically as you add or remove text, so you don’t need to worry about manually adjusting them.

Tips on How to Show Line Numbers in Word

  • If you want line numbers to appear in print, make sure the ‘Print Layout’ view is active.
  • You can customize the line numbering by selecting ‘Line Numbering Options…’ in the drop-down menu to open the Page Setup dialog box.
  • If you’re working on a collaborative document, consider using line numbers to make it easier to reference specific parts of the text.
  • Remember that line numbers won’t appear on blank lines or in headers, footers, or footnotes.
  • If you’re using Word’s ‘Track Changes’ feature, the line numbers will adjust to reflect the changes made in the document.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove line numbers from a Word document?

Yes, simply go back to the ‘Line Numbers’ menu and select ‘None’ to remove the line numbers.

Do line numbers appear in the final printed document?

They can if you want them to. Just make sure you’re in ‘Print Layout’ view and that line numbers are turned on before you print.

Can I add line numbers to only a specific section of my document?

Yes, section breaks allow you to apply line numbering to individual sections rather than the entire document.

Will line numbers affect my document’s formatting?

No, line numbers are added to the margin of your document and do not impact the main text formatting.

Can I change the interval of line numbers in Word?

Yes, through the ‘Line Numbering Options…’ you can set custom intervals for your line numbers.


  1. Open the Layout Tab
  2. Click on Line Numbers
  3. Select the Line Numbering Option


Now that you know how to show line numbers in Word, you’re all set to manage your documents like a pro. Whether you’re working on legal documents, scripts, academic papers, or any project that requires precise referencing, line numbers can be incredibly beneficial. They help maintain clarity and streamline the editing process, especially when collaborating with others. So, go ahead and give it a try—watch as your document organization reaches new levels of efficiency. If you have any further questions or need more advanced tips, plenty of resources are available online to enhance your Word skills. Happy numbering!

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