Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: What Line Am I On?.

What Line Am I On?

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word provides you a number of informational items on the status bar, all designed to help you know where your insertion pointer is located within your document. You can, if desired, cause Word to display the current line number on the status bar. This can be helpful in some types of documents.

To turn on the line number display, just right-click on any blank portion of the status bar. Word displays a bunch of customization options for the status bar. The fifth such option is "Line Number," and it is disabled by default. You can turn on the option by simply clicking it. The current line number is immediately displayed in the status bar and a checkmark is placed next to the option in the customization list.

Even with the line number display turned on, the line position indicator doesn't show up all the time in Word, however. For instance, the line counter never shows up if you are in Web Layout view. In addition, you won't see a line indicator if you have background pagination turned off in Word.

You should also be aware that the validity of what you see in the line indicator is affected by various settings and conditions. Most notably, the number will not be valid if Word is in the middle of repaginating your document. If you have a very large document that you just opened, then Word can take quite a while to do the repagination, depending on the speed of your machine and how many other tasks the machine is performing.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11789) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: What Line Am I On?.

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. ...

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