[NB] Line numbers are actually paragraph numbers

When “Show Line Numbers” is activated the editor actually only counts paragraphs, not actual editor line numbers. Also genuine line numbers would change depending on editor width, indentation etc.

In case the intended behaviour is to count paragraphs then maybe the option should be labelled as such.

I would expect it to look like this (from another writer’s software):

Using Windows 10 and same result line numbers are actually paragraph numbers

This behavior is consistent with Scrivener 3 for Mac, and if you stop to think about it for a minute, I think it’s a reasonable behavior.

If you turn on “Show Invisibles” you see that each paragraph is a single line of text, terminated by the pilcrow. There are no additional linefeeds/carriage returns. What we see as lines is an artifact of the current editor configuration; you can resize the window, change the editor configuration, etc. and completely change the text-to-line alignment. This makes line numbers as you expect useful in only a certain number of use cases, but totally unworkable for other common use cases (like Scrivener projects being transferred between multiple devices).

Scrivener’s method provides consistent line references for the same project, wherever that project may be.

Yes, you’re right. Given that Scrivener is no WYSIWYG editor, the use cases might really be limited (screenshots, several people discussing in front of a screen, people using the exact same editor layout). Probably true line numbering would be more useful to include in compiled output - does the Mac version allow for that?

So then it is probably not a real bug but rather about the misleading term “line numbers”, because “lines” really are defined depending on the view port as everything on the same level from left to right margin. E.g. in Germany publishers often request texts to be formatted according to a “normal page” which means 30 lines height with 60 characters (fixed font) width. Counting paragraphs doesn’t help there. But again, this refers to the compiled output.

Yes, as others have already said, the feature is mainly intended for drafting poetry and counts hard lines, not soft lines. The latter would cause a lot of slowdown and wouldn’t be particularly useful in a program like Scrivener, where editing and compile are so distinct–the numbers in the final result are unlikely to match those in the editor.

Scrivener doesn’t have any way to insert line numbering in the margins of the compiled output, which I think is what you’re asking about . For that you’d want to take your compiled output to a word processor or other layout designer with support for that feature.

That Line Numbers are actually Paragraph Numbers is quite obvious and make sense of all the reasons listed here. Perhaps the easiest way to avoid confusion would be to re-name the feature accordingly.