line numbering please!

[size=200]May we have line numbering please? [/size]

I second that. Actually, I dislike line numbering but many editors, at least in science field, request them.

Crikey, no need to shout.

I’m afraid I don’t really see line numbering making it any time soon… It’s a whole new kettle of fish and very tricky to implement (it means inserting an extra view inbetween the text view and the scroll view… nasty).


[Sorry, I did’nt mean to shout :unamused: I am very happy to use Scivener.

Crikey, no need to shout.

I’m afraid I don’t really see line numbering making it any time soon… It’s a whole new kettle of fish and very tricky to implement (it means inserting an extra view inbetween the text view and the scroll view… nasty).


Actually, after reading this post, I have looked into this… It would be quite nice to have line numbering for poets, I guess. I can’t promise anything, because it could be very awkward to implement, and I certainly can’t say when such a feature would make it in if it did, but, hypothetically, if I did look at this, should the line numbers count every line (even blank lines) or only lines with actual text on them?


No blanc lines, only lines with actual text on them. In my writing I prefer to count by 5.
Line numbering is very usefull if you need to discuss or point out texts to others, for instance in a group of students.

Hmm … I can see all sorts of issues involved for non-poetry numbering of lines, least of all the fact that what you are looking at on screen almost certainly has different line-breaks from what you export. But I’m sure Keith doesn’t need to be told that. :blush:

I would have thought that line numbering was something you would apply to your finally formatted document, not during the drafting process, and from that point of view would be best applied while preparing your document in your preferred word-processor/page make-up app.

I can only speak for Nisus Writer Pro, which has good line numbering support. I know Word does too, but I can’t remember for Mellel, and I’ve never looked in Pages or NeoOffice … I would think the latter does.


I have been thinking of this in terms of Ulysses numbering, which is paragraph numbering, or literal line numbering. What would be the purpose of numbering soft breaks, as those are not really anything in either the editor or the export?

Tele-editing. I just ended a call with a “person” who kept refering to the “line right there in the middle of the page”. If there was a clear XXX line designation then my time would not have been wasted. For the record this was a tech call and we were refering to a manual, not a Scriv doc, but the reasoning applies. Music does this all the time. The bars are numbered and you refer to a specific phrase or note using bar, beat, fraction syntax (my folks 22.3.1/16 but there are other methods as well that all boil down to the same thing).

My personal use of this is on the compile or export, not the working display. My edit-aughter has requested numbers on the line so she can just give me a post it instead of marking up the pages. Apparently she likes to reread and finds the markup tough to deal with. I thought about a perl filter, but doing it in scriv would be much easier.

Oh, I get the point of referencing deeper than a paragraph. I guess I’m just used to ¶32.3 to mean 32nd paragraph, 3rd sentence. That seems more reliable than Line 492, which is based on soft returns and is highly unstable depending upon editor width, font size, margins, and so on. If Scrivener numbered paragraphs, then that would solve the most difficult part of locating, and those aren’t going to drift because one person is viewing the file on a Mac with Lucida Grande and another on a PC with Lucida Sans.

I see your point. I guess I am used to the slightly more fine grained approach from music. In retrospect I think that the music notiation that we use is closer to your paragraph notation than my line numbered notation. 13.6 would be line 13 word 6. I guess that could be 2.3.3 using paragraph, sentance, word… I think my habits come from looking at too much code…

i think that the other difference that I have is that I will not be sharing digitally unless it is a PDF. Also a throwback to my profession where only one person makes changes at a time. either way,

I guess what I am saying is that if Keith adds it I will use it no matter which numbering scheme is used.

BBedit shows a nice line numbering feature for reference.

But I truly see this as an EXPORT feature when compiling a final draft and not so much as a Creative feature since font, screen width, text wrap, and soft returns would dynamically changes these “references”

Well, I guess that is my point. If the reference in the creative interface were via numbered paragraph (and nothing further), then it would have definite use in progress. Soft breaks and fonts make no difference whatsoever when it comes to numbering paragraphs.

What would you propose for a method of numbering all lines in export? You would have to hard-break each line at the wrap point, and insert the number in text with a tab stop set to the width of the largest number (or a soft-tab in the case of plain text export). It would be possible, with a lot of font metric calculation, but somewhat unweildy. Maybe I am missing something obvious; but I cannot think of any applications that exports line numbers embedded in the text (BASIC excepted, ha). It is always a print option, or something like PostScript/PDF generation—neither of which are done by Scrivener, internally.

BBEdit does it but first you have to apply a hard wrap measurement then apply line numbering. Then it can be exported or printed.

The drawback would be that you would have to have a default hard wrap measurement that is adjustable then you would have to apply numbers to each line before printing or exporting which seems rather cumbersome for a limited feature where as you suggest the paragraph numbering would seem to be more helpful. Imagine a small interface that would list the paragraph numbers in a small window (like page anchors) and when you click on a paragraph number you could “jump” right to that paragraph.

As to the line numbering you can always view the text as one long text document, copy it, paste it into BBedit and figure out the hardwrap measurements, then number the lines and print for a hardcopy reference file or PDF (maybe this could be an Apple Script?)

I like the paragraph numbering idea better because it seems it would be very useful for many different reasons.

If you work that out, would it be possible to use it to indicate the last line on a page in Screenplay documents? There could be a pref that lets you specify how many lines on a page (54 usually, but 50-56 too).

Or have you worked out the page break for Screenplays, and maybe I missed the post?

Scrivener is a wonderful screenwriting tool. Showing me where my pages end would make it truly professional-grade.

As always, thanks for considering the request.

For what it’s worth, I don’t know how they do it, but Nisus Writer Pro has line numbering, with a range of options, restarting each section, restarting each page and so on. I have found it useful when calculating how long a commentary for a video is going to take … with my standard margin settings, recording works out at 6 seconds per line, or 5 with wider margins, so knowing the number of lines makes it easy to calculate total recording time accurately enough for my purposes.

On the other hand, I don’t think I need it, and would probably not use it in Scrivener.


Can I just say that I discovered Scrivener during the last six months and I love it … fab … wonderful.

Line count facilities, as some kind of poet, that I would love in order of preference:

  1. Add it into the word/character count in the footer
    a - displays the number of the line the cursor is on
    ~ or ~
    b - total lines on the page - a line being a line whether it had text in it or not.

  2. Highlight a section of text (eg a verse) and see a select-specific line count in the footer. Would be just sooooooo helpful.

Number 2 is much more involved but even just number 1a would be great.

Thanks again for all your care and hard work. It is very much appreciated.

It’s also useful for coding. When I get back into working on my song review blog, I plan to code my posts in Scrivener. (I write them in HTML.) If Scrivener had line numbering, I wouldn’t have to switch to other programs for writing the actual site code.

Blank lines should be included, I think–if folk don’t want to include the space between paragraphs, that’s what paragraph padding is for.

EDIT: and a poet could use soft returns to keep lines in the same stanza.


digging out that older post.

First: I discovered Scrivener a few days ago and I love. A powerfool, but easy to use tool. I especially like the idea of having everything you need for your project in the programm itself.

But here is the problem: I use Scrivener for scientific writing. In my work I have to to take reference to sequences out of observing logs (with copy & paste). This sequences are identified over the line numbers, which are a part of the logs and therefore a part of the sequence and the final work.
So without the possibility to somehow implement line numbers for every line into the documents i am forced to switch between Scrivener and another Texteditor with Line numbering. This destroys the workflow and (one of) the idea(s) behind Screvener - and i realy want to keep working with Scrivener.

I read a few post about line numbers in that forum, but i would like to ask for an update: Are there any plans or maybe ideas about more line numbers (besides the available possibility to count the paragraphs in the ruler)? This enhancement would make Scrivener perfect - but without it i do not know if my admiration can last (I realy need that line numbers :frowning: ).

Thank you in advance.

I’m not completely sure on how you are using line numbers, but it sounds like you want what amounts to “fake” line numbers—that is, numbers on every word-wrapped line, rather than counting the true number of lines, what most refer to as paragraphs? If so, I’m not sure how portable that would really be, or useful as a way of referencing between documents. Trying expanding your editor window right or left to see what I mean—all of the line numbers would change because they aren’t actually line numbers, they are just counting the current word-wrap settings. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you are looking for, though. This is of course a good method for referencing a paper document, the word-wrapping is fixated to the size of the medium in that case, but in a digital environment where a paragraph can be 8 or 1 “line” depending on the width of the viewer—well it wouldn’t be of much use except internally (and then only if you never change the window width).