Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Line Numbering and Tables.

Line Numbering and Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 20, 2019)

1

Word includes a feature that allows you to number all the lines in a document. Certain information, however, is not numbered as a matter of course. For instance, graphics are not numbered, and neither is information within text boxes. Word also doesn't number footnotes or endnotes, or information within tables.

It is this last item—tables—that may cause a problem for some documents. Tables are widely used to organize and present information on a page. Many people use tables for positioning regular text, not just tabular material. If you use a lot of tables in your documents, particularly to present regular text, then you may be eliminating the utility of line numbers within the document.

The obvious solution to text within tables not having line numbers is to take the text out of the tables. This is not as frivolous a suggestion as it may seem. If you are using tables to simply organize two columns of data, you can often organize the information using regular text with tabs defining your columns. More complex tabular information can also be formatted using more creative approaches that don't require tables. (The exact approach depends on the type of information and how you want it presented.)

If converting your tables to regular text equivalents is not an option, your options are limited. There are no switches or settings you can use to force line numbers in tables. You could, however, utilize the approach that Microsoft has used in some of their document wizards—create a text box that is included in the header of each page. The text box would extend the length of the page and have a series of SEQ fields in it that would "simulate" line numbers. All you need to do is make sure that the line heights used in the text box exactly match the line heights used in the main document, including the line heights used in the tables. Obviously, this approach would take some trial-and-error testing to make sure you get the desired results.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8475) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Line Numbering and Tables.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Disabling Shift Key Use when Opening a Workbook

Open up a workbook, and Excel normally runs the macros associated with that workbook. You can disable the automatic ...

Discover More

Grabbing a Screen Shot

There are times that a picture is worth a thousand words. When you need to capture a picture of what is on your screen, ...

Discover More

Replacing and Converting in a Macro

When you use a macro to process data you always run the risk of making that data unusable by Excel. This is especially ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Turning Off Line Numbering

Need to have line numbering turned off for a paragraph or two? You can accomplish the task by following these steps.

Discover More

Numbering Only Certain Lines

Need to add line numbers to a document? Word provides an easy way to add them, but some of the controls that configure ...

Discover More

Positioning Line Numbers

Line numbers can be added to a document, and is typically done in legal documents. The line numbers appear to the left of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

2015-01-30 14:11:16

Sheri

I numbered rows in a table by highlighting the column where I wanted the row numbers then selecting Numbering from the Paragraph in the Home tab.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.