Line Numbers

Display Line Numbers in InDesign

The original and best line-numbering add-on for InDesign

Manually adding line numbers to an InDesign document is error-prone, labor-intensive, and essentially impractical.

Display Line Numbers can number all or part of an InDesign document in moments, and beats all other line-numbering scripts and plug-ins hands down, because (a) it does not slow InDesign down by creating thousands of anchored objects, and (b) it has the widest range of customization options out there.

Main Features

  • Add line numbers to all lines of text in a document, or filter by paragraph style.
  • Add numbers to every line, or only at user-selected intervals: e.g., 5 … 10 … 15 … 20 or 3 … 6 … 9 … 12 etc.
  • The line numbers are placed in a text frame with their own object style, and the line numbers are given their own paragraph style – so you can quickly and easily change all aspects of the line-number formatting.
  • Supports multi-column layouts.
  • Number consecutively throughout a document, or restart the numbering with each page.
  • Works with footnotes and even with continued footnotes!
  • New in version 4: Works with tables!
  • Automatically restart the numbering whenever a particular paragraph style is reached (for instance, a “Poem Title” style).
  • Opt to number paragraphs rather than lines.
  • Optimized for speed.
  • One-click undo.
  • Works with CS4 upwards, including the very latest Creative Cloud version!
  • … and much more!

Demo Download

Click here to download a trial version of this script.


  • For printWith the ability to style the line numbers any way you like, Display Line Numbers creates numbers that will look great in the final, published product. Poetry, academic editions of classic texts and legal publications, to name a few, require printed line numbers in the margins. Display Line Numbers has all the options you need to make this happen.
  • For communicating: Use with the new CC 2015 “Publish Online” feature for a new review-cycle paradigm: Add line numbers to your document, click the “Publish Online” button, and share the online document with clients, editors, or authors. The embedded line numbers will make it simple for everyone to communicate clearly and concisely where they are referring to in the document.
  • For proofing: As a publisher or book designer, you may often receive long lists of corrections from authors and editors that say something like: “23rd line from bottom, please add a comma.” Apart from the time wasted in counting lines, the instructions are not as clear as they seem: Does 23 include footnotes? Subheads? With Display Line Numbers, everyone involved in the correction and proofing cycle can communicate clearly what they mean and where they are referring to.



How To Use the Script

In the script dialog box (shown below), select whether you wish to add numbers to the entire document, the current story, or the selected text frame only.

Choose whether you wish to add numbers to each line or at intervals (between 1 and 20) – simply select your desired interval from the dropdown menu.

Choose whether you would like the numbering to restart on each page, or whether an entire story should be renumbered consecutively.

Choose where you’d like the numbers to be placed. There are 4 options in the dropdown menu: “Outside Margin” will place the numbers in the left margin on a left-hand page, and in the right margin on a right-hand page. “Inside Margin” will place the numbers near the binding edge. The other two options will force the numbers to always be placed in the left or right margin, respectively, regardless of which page they appear on.

Choose whether you want to number paragraphs instead of lines. If you select this option, you can then choose whether to display the paragraph number next to the first line of the paragraph or next to the last line.

Choose which paragraph styles you’d like to number: double-click on a paragraph style in the list on the left to select/deselect it, or use the “Select All” and “Deselect All” button at the bottom of the list.

If you are using consecutive numbering (that doesn’t restart at 1 on each page), enter the number you would like numbering to commence at in the “Start at” field.

Finally, you can choose to restart the numbering whenever the script reaches a certain paragraph style. For instance, in a book of poetry, you may want the numbering to restart whenever the script reaches a paragraph style called “Poem Title” so that the numbering in each poem restarts at 1. To do this, select the desired paragraph style in the list, and click on the Restart button. The paragraph style will be marked with a {RESTART} tag in the list. To remove the tag, simply click on the Restart button again.

Line Numbers InDesign Script Screen Capture

Once you have set all the options (which are stored with the document so it is not necessary to set them more than once) simply click on the Replace Numbers buttons. You may also click on the Add Numbers buttons. The difference between these two buttons is as their name suggests: The Replace Numbers button will delete any existing line number frames before applying the new line numbers, whereas the Add Numbers button will simply add a new set of numbers on the page and not delete any previous number frames. Although this behavior can be useful on occasion, you will normally want to use the Replace Numbers button because this avoids inadvertently creating two sets of line numbers on the same page.

To remove numbers from the document, you can click on the Remove Numbers button. Alternatively, you can delete the special layer created by the script (in the Layers panel) to remove all the line numbers throughout the document.


  • To choose the distance you would like the numbers to be from the main text frame, there are two options:
    (1) Via the Line Numbers Object Style. Edit the style: Under the Text
    Frame General Options tab, modify the value of the Right (or Left) Inset
    Spacing field as needed.
    (2) Via the Line Numbers Paragraph Style. Edit the style: Under the
    Indents and Spacing tab, modify the value of the Right (or Left) Indent
    field as needed.
  • Hover the mouse over many of the controls in the dialog box to see a brief explanatory note.

For the technically minded: The script adds a new text frame or text frames alongside the selected frames. In this new text frame it adds the line numbers and then adjusts their baseline shift so that they line up precisely with their corresponding line of text. The new text frame is placed on a special layer created by the script. The script creates an object style which is applied to the numbers text frame, as well as a paragraph style which is applied to the numbers paragraphs. A new RGB swatch is also created.

Instant Download

To purchase the full version of Display Line Numbers for only $49 USD, click the “Buy Now” button. Your product and serial numbers will be available for instant download when you complete the purchase.

Money-back Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with the Display Line Numbers script for any reason, simply let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

“… not only a great time-saver for us, but also a guarantee that the numbering is rightly done and error-free, and this is priceless!”


Buy Now

Display Line Numbers: $49.00

For multiple licenses (5 or more), please contact us to arrange a discount.


System Requirements

  • InDesign CS4 or higher (including the latest version: InDesign 2021)
  • Windows or Mac computer

Trial Download

Click the button to download a demo version of “Line Numbers.”

Article Comments
  1. Jennifer BulmerApril 17, 2018 4:17 pm

    I have a unique situation. My 300 page book for a client is Pi written to the billionth digit – so really the entire book is one giant “word”. No spaces anywhere.
    So your demo script did not give me any line numbers at all.
    Any solutions for me??

    • Jennifer BulmerApril 17, 2018 4:55 pm

      Never mind!! I got it to work. I had to choose apply to Story instead of Entire Document and it works great! Buying the full license right now :-))

    • ArielApril 17, 2018 4:55 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Sounds like an interesting book! How would you proofread something like this? 🙂
      In fact, though, Line Numbers should have no problem dealing with this. I tried it (on a 10-page number) and it worked.
      Could you perhaps send me some of the file so I can test it my end?

  2. AmyMay 31, 2019 5:53 pm

    Hi! Is it possible to skip lines in the counting? There are some lines that are not supposed to be counted.

    • ArielMay 31, 2019 6:14 pm

      Hi Amy,
      Yes, you can skip numbers in various ways with this script: (1) Simply number every (say) 5th line, or (and I think this is what you’re looking for) (2) tell the script not to number lines that have a certain paragraph style applied to them. In that case, the lines that you don’t want to number will have a separate paragraph style applied to them, and in the left-hand pane of the script you will uncheck that paragraph style. This way, any lines that have that paragraph style applied to them will be skipped completely and not counted.

  3. neilJuly 29, 2019 12:34 am

    Can the script be modified to number line breaks?

    • ArielJuly 29, 2019 3:15 am

      Hi Neil,
      What sort of line breaks? Hard returns (Enter), or soft line breaks (Shift+Enter)?
      If you mean hard returns, then that means numbering paragraphs rather than lines, and that’s something the script does already.
      If you mean soft line breaks, then yes, it probably could be modified to do this. Get in touch by email if you’d like a quote for the modification.

  4. sayed mohammedDecember 1, 2019 10:17 am

    does this script support Arabic or not>

    • ArielDecember 1, 2019 12:08 pm

      Essentially yes, it can work with Arabic. Of course, your question can be understood in two ways:
      (1) Does it work if the text is Arabic (or any other right-to-left language)? Here the answer is a straightforward yes, it works fine with RTL languages.
      (2) Can the line numbers be displayed in Arabic, that is, Hindi numerals (١, ٢, ٣…) as opposed to English numbers (1, 2, 3…) (which are, confusingly, called “Arabic” numerals)? The answer again is yes, but it requires an extra step. It also requires installing the Middle East version of InDesign (also knows as InDesign ME or InDesign MENA). This version is available freely with anyone who has a current Creative Cloud subscription, so no extra expense in involved. Once you’ve got the ME version installed (which you probably have already, I guess?), in InDesign’s regular Find/Change dialog, there is an extra tab called “Transliterate”. This allows finding Arabic numerals and changing them to Hindi numerals with a single click. So the extra step would be, after running the Line Numbers script, to open the Transliterate tab and do a find/change to replace the Arabic numerals with Hindi ones. That’s it!
      Hope that answers the question. Post back if anything is unclear.

  5. Melanie CampbellJanuary 23, 2020 2:40 am

    This is a wonderful script and a great timesaver, but I have a problem. When I launch the script, teh check boxes do not show nest to the list of styles making it a little tricky to figure out what I have selected. I am using Indesign CC2020 on a Mac. Can you help?

  6. Jan MarešJune 27, 2020 7:11 am

    I need take number of paragraph from paragraph (paragraph numbering) or use custom number line like ID. Example: ^H.^1. with number formating like 01, 02, 03

  7. ArielJuly 7, 2020 11:08 pm

    Hi Jan,
    I’m not 100% clear what you’re trying to do, but in any case, Line Numbers doesn’t provide custom numbering formats, just plain old arabic numerals.
    On the other hand, the numbers are given a special paragraph style in InDesign, so you could set up special numbering in that paragraph style. Play around with the demo and give it a try.

  8. aslanNovember 29, 2020 5:53 pm

    Hello, while creating the number, the paragraph and its preceding are counted as spaces, it should have been 4, but it was 5. Will this be fixed?

    • ArielDecember 1, 2020 10:52 pm

      With Line Numbers, blank paragraphs are counted as lines and are numbered.
      To avoid this, you have 2 options:
      (1) Use the “Space before” or “Space after” settings in InDesign to add space before or after paragraphs, rather than hitting the Return key a few times.
      (2) Apply a paragraph style to your blank lines, and deselect that paragraph style in the Line Numbers window so that it is skipped.

  9. DavidMarch 23, 2021 3:18 pm

    Is it possible to change the colors an the police of the numbers ? (Sorry for my english).

    Thank you.
    David (from France)

    • ArielMarch 23, 2021 4:58 pm

      Hi David,
      Sure. The script creates a paragraph style called “Line Numbers” and you can change anything you want there including colour (except the leading [line-spacing] value, which the script uses to space out the numbers).

  10. Laura GarciaMarch 24, 2021 12:26 pm


    I dowloaded the script to use in tables. I have positive and negative figures (in parenthesis).
    I want to line numbers to the left and also line the last figure of the positive number with the last figure from the negative number. Currently the last figure of the negative number is lined up with the last parenthesis.
    I dont seem to find a way to do this with this script.

  11. AlejandroJune 18, 2021 3:57 am

    ¿El script está en español?

    • ArielJune 25, 2021 12:39 am

      Hola alejandro
      No, lamentablemente solo está en inglés por ahora.

      Hi Alejandro,
      No, unfortunately it’s in English only for now.


  12. MatthewJuly 13, 2021 9:02 pm

    Hi, since upgrading to ID 2021, the color of numbers is always black, even if the style is reset to red or something else. Anyway to fix this? Thanks!

    • ArielAugust 5, 2021 11:40 am

      Hi Matthew,
      No changes in ID 2021. So one of the Line Number styles has been modified. I would recommend deleting the Line Numbers paragraph style, the Line Numbers layer, and the Line Numbers object style in your document, and then rerunning the script so that it can rebuild them all.

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