Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Formatting Line Numbers.

Formatting Line Numbers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 17, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. Choose Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. Word displays the Styles and Formatting task pane.
  2. In the list of styles, hover your mouse pointer over the Line Number style. (If the Line Number style is not visible, use the Show drop-down list to choose All Styles.)
  3. Click the down-arrow at the right side of the Line Number style and choose Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  5. Make your formatting changes, as desired.
  6. Click on OK to close the Modify Style dialog box.
  7. Close the Styles and Formatting task pane.

If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, you should follow these steps, instead:

  1. Choose Style from the Format menu. Word displays the Style dialog box.
  2. In the list of Styles, choose the Line Number style.
  3. Click on the Modify button. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box.
  4. Make your formatting changes, as desired.
  5. Click on OK to close the Modify Style dialog box.
  6. Click on Cancel to dismiss the Style dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (619) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Formatting Line Numbers.

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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