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

How to Show Line Numbers in Word

Showing line numbers in Microsoft Word is a handy way to keep track of text, especially if you’re working on a long document or collaborating with others. In just a few simple steps, you can turn on line numbers for your entire document or just specific sections. Here’s how you can do it:

How to Show Line Numbers in Word

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to enable line numbers in a Word document. This will help you keep track of lines for easier referencing, editing, and collaboration.

Step 1: Open Your Document

First, open the Word document in which you want to show line numbers.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new document or one you’ve been working on for ages. Just make sure it’s open and ready to go.

Step 2: Go to the Layout Tab

Next, navigate to the "Layout" tab at the top of the Word window.

The Layout tab is where you’ll find various settings for adjusting the appearance of your document. Look for it alongside other tabs like Home and Insert.

Step 3: Click on Line Numbers

Under the Layout tab, find the "Line Numbers" dropdown menu.

This is usually located towards the right of the toolbar. Clicking on it will reveal several options for adding line numbers to your document.

Step 4: Select a Line Numbering Option

Choose from the available options such as Continuous, Restart Each Page, or Restart Each Section.

Each option has its own use case. For example, "Continuous" will number lines from beginning to end, while "Restart Each Page" will start numbering anew on each page.

Step 5: Customize Line Numbering

If you need more control, click on "Line Numbering Options" at the bottom of the dropdown menu.

Here, you can fine-tune settings such as the starting number or the interval between numbered lines. This is useful for tailoring the line numbering to your specific needs.

After completing these steps, your document will now display line numbers according to your chosen settings. This can vastly improve the clarity and manageability of your text, especially in long documents or collaborative projects.

Tips for Showing Line Numbers in Word

  • Customize Intervals: You can set the line numbers to appear at intervals (e.g., every 5th line) instead of numbering each line. This helps if you need to refer to only specific lines.
  • Exclude Sections: If you want to exclude certain sections from line numbering, you can do so by selecting those sections and turning off line numbering for them.
  • Restart Numbers: Restart line numbering at the start of new sections or pages to keep your document organized and easy to navigate.
  • Print Preview: Always check the print preview before finalizing your document to ensure line numbers appear as expected.
  • Compatibility: Note that line numbers can affect layout and might look different when opened in different versions of Word or other word processors.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove line numbers once added?

To remove line numbers, go to the Layout tab, click on Line Numbers, and select "None."

Can I show line numbers only for specific sections?

Yes, you can highlight specific sections and turn on line numbers only for those parts by using the "Line Numbering Options."

Do line numbers affect the actual text?

No, line numbers do not affect your text; they’re just a visual aid.

Can I change the starting number for line numbering?

Yes, you can customize the starting number by going into "Line Numbering Options."

Will line numbers appear in the printed document?

Yes, line numbers will appear in the printed document unless you turn them off.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Go to the Layout tab.
  3. Click on Line Numbers.
  4. Select a Line Numbering Option.
  5. Customize Line Numbering.


Showing line numbers in Word is a simple yet powerful feature that can greatly enhance your document management. Whether you’re working on a lengthy manuscript, a research paper, or just a detailed report, having line numbers can help you and your collaborators stay organized and efficient.

Now that you know how to show line numbers in Word, why not give it a try on your next document? It’s a straightforward process that can make a big difference. And if you want to dive deeper into Word’s other features, there are plenty of resources available online to help you become a Word wizard. Happy typing!