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Formatting Line Numbers

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Formatting Line Numbers.

Word allows you to add line numbers to your documents, as you have learned in other issues of WordTips. You might be wondering how to change the formatting of the line numbers. Word makes it quite simple by relying on styles for its line numbers. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles pane.
  3. Hover the mouse pointer over the Line Number style. Notice that a drop-down arrow appears at the right side of the style name. (If the Line Number style is not visible, use the Options link at the bottom of the Styles pane to change which styles are displayed in the pane. You'll want to display all styles.)
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow and choose the Modify option from the resulting menu. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  6. Click on Format and choose the portion of the style you want to change. The options available through the Format button utilize dialog boxes with which you are already familiar.
  7. Click on OK to save your modifications.
  8. Close the Styles pane, if desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6272) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting Line Numbers.

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Comments for this tip:

Richard Brown    31 Mar 2016, 08:08
I need some assistance with line numbers. I am writing up my final draft of my dissertation where I'm looking at a transcript and I need to analyse extracts. However, all but one extract fit nicely on to one page, and this one extract has the line number reset on the second page. I know I can have the line numbers continuous, removing the problem. But I can't have continuous line numbers and must be reset for each new extract. So, how can I have continuous line numbers for one extract (without it moving it onto one page and messing with the structure of the document) and keep the rest of the extracts as they are? Please help with this. I've been tearing my hair out with this and been searching everywhere for a way round this but so far I have not found a way
Stephen Gray    20 Feb 2016, 01:17
I want to promote subnumbers to main numbers, e.g.
1.xxx
2.yyy
   a. whhh
   b. fheqp
I want the next item to be number 3, not c.
 I know there's a simple way but don't know what it is.
 
 

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