How to Add Line Numbers in Microsoft Word for Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding line numbers in Microsoft Word for Office 365 is a breeze. All you need to do is navigate to the “Layout” tab, select “Line Numbers,” and then choose the numbering format that works best for your document. Afterward, every line in your document will be numbered sequentially, making referencing and reviewing much simpler.

After you’ve added line numbers, your document will be easier to navigate and collaborate on, especially when working with others. It allows for precise reference to specific parts of the text, which simplifies the editing and revision process.


Have you ever found yourself trying to give feedback on a document and struggling to point out exactly where your comments apply? Or maybe you’re a legal or academic professional, where referencing specific lines is crucial. Whatever the reason, adding line numbers to your Microsoft Word document can be a game-changer.

Line numbering is especially important in environments where multiple people are reviewing or editing the same document. It offers a clear reference that everyone can see and use, streamlining communication and revisions. It’s not just for the pros, though. Even if you’re working on a personal project, line numbers can help keep you organized. They’re also a requirement for certain academic papers and legal documents, so knowing how to add them can save you a lot of headaches down the line.

In this article, we’ll walk through the step-by-step process of adding line numbers in Microsoft Word for Office 365. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a total newbie, this guide will have you numbering lines like a pro in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding Line Numbers in Microsoft Word for Office 365

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to know what we’re aiming for. Adding line numbers will provide a reference for every line in your document, which can be crucial for feedback and edits. It’s a feature often overlooked, but once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

Step 1: Open the “Layout” Tab

Firstly, open the “Layout” tab on the ribbon at the top of your Word document.

The “Layout” tab is where you’ll find all the options you need to structure your document. It includes settings for margins, orientation, and, of course, line numbers.

Step 2: Click on “Line Numbers”

Next, click on the “Line Numbers” dropdown menu.

Here you’ll see a few options, but for now, just click on the “Line Numbers” button to see what choices you have.

Step 3: Choose Your Line Numbering Option

Choose from the various line numbering options available.

You can opt for continuous numbering, which numbers every line in the document, or you can choose to restart numbering on each page or section.


Enhanced CollaborationAdding line numbers makes it easier to reference specific parts of the document during collaborative work, improving communication and efficiency.
Academic and Legal UseLine numbers are often a requirement in academic and legal documents, so knowing how to add them makes your document compliant and professional.
OrganizationFor personal projects, line numbers can help you keep track of your work and make navigation through long documents easier.


Aesthetic ImpactLine numbers can sometimes disrupt the visual flow of a document, which may not be suitable for final versions of creative work.
Limited CustomizationWord offers limited customization options for line numbers, which may not meet the needs of all users.
Potential for DistractionFor some readers, the presence of line numbers can be distracting and detract from the main text.

Additional Information

When you’re working with line numbers in Microsoft Word for Office 365, there’s a bit more to keep in mind. For instance, did you know that you can also exclude certain lines from being numbered? This can be handy for titles, headings, or any other lines that you don’t want included in the numbering sequence.

Moreover, if you’re printing your document, line numbers can help you keep track of text across printed pages—super useful if you’re editing or reviewing a physical copy. And if you’re dealing with a particularly long document, you might want to consider using the “Suppress for Current Paragraph” option to avoid numbering lines that don’t require it, such as page breaks or section titles.

Remember to use line numbers wisely. While they can be incredibly useful, they might not be necessary for every project. It’s all about assessing your needs and making the most out of this nifty feature.


  1. Open the “Layout” tab.
  2. Click on “Line Numbers.”
  3. Choose your line numbering option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove line numbers once I’ve added them?

Yes, you can remove line numbers by going back to the “Line Numbers” menu and selecting “None.”

Will line numbers appear in the printed version of the document?

Yes, if you’ve added line numbers to your document, they will appear in the printed version unless you adjust the settings not to.

Can I customize the intervals at which lines are numbered?

Microsoft Word allows you to customize the counting sequence to some extent, such as numbering every fifth line.

Do line numbers count blank lines?

Yes, by default, Word numbers all lines, including blank ones. However, you have the option to exclude them.

Can I add line numbers to only part of a document?

Yes, you can select specific sections of your document to number by using the “Line Numbers” options within the “Page Setup” dialog box.


Knowing how to add line numbers in Microsoft Word for Office 365 is a skill that will serve you well in numerous scenarios. Whether you’re a student, a legal professional, or just someone looking to streamline your document-editing process, line numbers are a simple yet powerful tool. They enhance collaboration, satisfy academic and legal requirements, and keep your work organized, making them an invaluable feature for anyone who spends a lot of time in Word.

So go ahead, give it a try—your future self will thank you for taking the time to learn this useful feature. And who knows? It might just be the trick that takes your document-managing skills to the next level.

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