How to Create a Number Line in Word

Updated April 17, 2017

A number line is a visual aid used in math to show the distance of negative and positive numbers from zero and from each other. The line begins with zero in the centre. When making a number line, you list the positive numbers in equal integers along the line to the right of zero and the negative numbers to the left. You can create a precise number line using your version of Microsoft Word.

Open a blank Word document. Go to the "Table" menu in Word 2003, point to "Insert" and select "Table." In Word 2007 or 2010 go to the "Insert" tab, click on "Tables" and select "Insert Table." The "Insert Table" dialogue box will open.

Enter a digit that is two numbers higher than the number of integers you want on your number line into the "Number of Columns" box. This should be an odd number, since zero will be in the centre of the number line and an equal amount of numbers will be on either side of the line. If you want the number line to show "-6 to 6," for example, you would enter "15" into the "Number of Columns" box. Type "2" into the "Number of Rows" box. Make sure "Fixed Column Width" is selected and set to "Auto." Click "OK." A table will appear in your Word document.

Click on the "Move Handle" at the upper left side of the table to select the entire table. Right-click the selected table and click "Borders and Shading." The "Borders and Shading" dialogue will open. Click "None" in the "Setting" section of the "Borders and Shading" dialogue to remove the current border formatting. Click the middle horizontal line button on the left and the middle vertical line on the bottom of the "Preview" section. Click "OK." Your table will now be a horizontal line with evenly spaced vertical lines.

Click "AutoShapes" on the "Drawing Toolbar" in Word 2003, or go to the "Insert" and click "Shapes" in Word 2007 or 2010. Select a triangle shape. Draw a triangle at each end of the number line so that it looks like a double-headed arrow. This shows that the number line goes on infinitely.

Go to the "Insert" menu in Word 2003 or the "Insert" tab in Word 2007 or 2010 and select "Text Box." Draw a text box beneath the centre vertical line on the number line. If the text box has a border, right-click it and go to "Format Text Box." Change the "Line" colour to "No Line" and click "OK."

Type "0" into the text box. Copy the text box and paste text boxes below each remaining vertical line. Type the corresponding number into each text box. Save your Word document.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word 2003, 2007 or 2010
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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.