Word tricks: adding line numbers to an extract

Word tricks: adding line numbers to an extract

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I love Word sometimes. Its headers, tables of contents, and line numbering features save loads of time – when you’re writing example papers, or booklets, they’re so helpful! I mentioned this on Twitter (ages ago admittedly) and a few people asked about it, so here’s how to do it:

The screenshots are Word 2016 – if you have an older version it’s still under Page Layout in a similar way


    1. Paste the extract into the document. Choose the font and size – it’s easiest to do this at the beginning. I usually just highlight it all and click “Normal” to get it all looking the same. 
    2. With the extract highlighted, go to the top bar and click “Layout”. From the drop down list click “Line Numbering Options”


  1. To create an exam-style layout, change the count to 5 (otherwise it’ll put a number on every page) Leave it on continuous. 


Sometimes Word does every line including titles etc, rather than just the highlighted section. If that happens, then highlight the bit you DON’T want, and go to Layout  / Suppress numbering for current paragraph.

If you’ve included a section break, then choosing “continuous” will keep numbering throughout the document. If you choose “this section only” any page break will restart the numbering.

Sometimes changing the font size after you’ve done the line numbering messes it up and you need to add it again

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