Line numbering skips table

Writer has a great line numbering feature. This is typically used for legal documents, where every line gets a number in the margin, for easy cross reference. However, the minute you insert a table in the document, the table, which may contain many rows, gets no number, even if the paragraphs within the table are expressely set to be included in line numbering. By the way, this works exactly the same way in Microsoft Word 2010. Writer matches Word’s behavior.

While you can add a column to the table and manually stick in numbers, this is not the same, as they will not be in sequence with the rest of the line numbers on the page.

Is there a workaround, or do I need to request this as a feature?

A table is not part of the main text flow. Consequently it will not be numbered.

A table is an object attached to some location and follows yhis location when text is edited. Apart from this, there is no relation between an object (a table, drawing, frame, picture, etc.) and the text.

If you request the feature, describe precisely what you want. To illustrate the difficulty, think of a simple 1-row x 2-column table where each cell contains text composed of several paragraphs. There is not the same number of paragraphs, nor the same number of lines in the paragraphs. To complicate matters, spacing between paragraphs is not the same (in short, paragraph styles are different).

How do you number the lines? A common global numbering is not possible. Then do you number separately each cell? What is the concept of margin in a cell context?

Thanks. I was afraid that would be the case. The feature would indeed be complicated to write. As you point out, because of the different paragraph styles, the lines in a multi-column table may well not themselves line up. So, line numbering for the whole table could not be guaranteed to unambiguously reference each line in the table’s text.

I would write the feature as two properties of the table itself. First, “include table in line numbering”, second “line height of line numbering” defaulting to the line height of the default paragraph style. That would require the user to decide how much precision is needed. But this would be continuously numbered with the line numbering from surrounding text. If we can’t achieve that then the feature would not achieve a key desired goal, to enable unambiguous reference to a page and “line”.
Again, thanks.

I think the line-numbering feature is not a reasonable way of unambiguously reference a line. IMHO, it is restricted to 1-column text. With multi-column text, you’re heading into difficulty because of “unalignment” of lines across columns (unless you force alignment with register-true in page and paragraph styles). The reference, if possible (see my remark about registering), must include the column number unless you have per column numbering.

However, I think (this is personal, YMMV) reference to tables is not as critical because in well designed documents tables have captions and captions can be numbered in various lists (table, figure, drawing, illustration, …). Thus, you can refer to one as “see table 4.2 line 5 column 4”.

Text frames can have line numbering, although it’s not numbered with the rest of the document.