How to Add Line Numbers in Word for Office 365

If you’ve ever tried to describe a location in a large document to someone then you may have struggled to do so.

You may have told them what page it was on and what paragraph, but even that can be confusing if people have different ideas about what a paragraph is.

It’s also possible that they are making changes t the document which is affecting its layout and making your descriptions less useful.

One good way to accomplish this involves learning how to add line numbers in Word for Office 365. You can then use these numbers instead, which is a much more precise manner of identifying the location of the content that you are referencing.

How to Add Line Numbers in a Microsoft Word Document

  1. Open your document.
  2. Select Layout.
  3. Click Page Setup.
  4. Choose the Layout tab.
  5. Click Line Numbers.
  6. Select Add line numbering, then click OK.

Our guide continues below with additional information on how to add line numbers in Word, including pictures of these steps.

Working on a document with others can be made easier in Microsoft Word with track changes and comments. But you may be wondering how to add line numbers in Word if you would like a simpler way to reference information.

While you may already have a system in place to reference particular parts of a document, it’s possible that you want to be even more efficient. Or perhaps you have seen a document that numbered each line and were curious about how to set it up.

Fortunately, this is a feature in Microsoft Word, so it doesn’t require you to manually add those numbers. Instead, simply adjusting a formatting option will place numbers at the start of each line.

Our article below will show you where to find this line numbering setting in Word so that you can apply it to your own documents. You can also check out our add ruler in Word guide if you want to use that tool as well.

Related Guide: Would your document look better if it was split into multiple columns? You can visit our how to make columns in Word Office 365 guide and learn how to set that up.

How to Add Numbers to Each Line in a Word Document (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Word for Office 365, but will work in many other versions of Word as well.

Step 1: Open the Word document to which you wish to add line numbering.

Step 2: Select the Layout tab at the top of the window.

click the Layout tab

Step 3: Click the small Page Setup button at the bottom-right of the Page Setup section in the ribbon.

click the Page Setup button

Alternatively you could click the Line Numbers button above the Page Setup button.

Step 4: Choose the Layout tab at the top of the Page Setup menu.

select Layout

Step 5: Click the Line Numbering button at the bottom of the window.

click the Line Numbers button

Step 6: Check the box to the left of the Add Line numbering option, then click the OK button at the bottom of the window.

how to add line numbers in Word

With the default settings, Word will start your numbering at “1” on each page. If you are looking for even more structural organization in your document then you can look into adding gridlines in Word as well.

If you would like to start with a different number you can change the “Start at” setting.

If you would prefer not to restart with “1” on each page then you can select the Continuous option under Numbering.

Google Docs is another useful document editing application that you may want to check out if you do a lot of collaboration.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy