I'm looking for a stable, user-friendly and flexible way to add marginal numbers / "recitals" to word processing documents. With "marginal numbers" i mean numbers appearing on the page margin, similar to line numbers, but not assigned to each line of a paragraph. Instead, each paragraph should receive a consecutive number on its own. Ideally, with a print layout that differentiates between "left" and "right" pages, the margin number should be placed on the outer margin.
Up to now, i found different solutions, each with pros and cons:
"blind table" solution: put the complete text into the inner column of a two-column table, giving each paragraph its own row, so a margin number can be placed in the outer column of each paragraph. Pros: most users know how to handle tables; placing the margin number isn't too complex. Cons: not very flexible, changing between "left" and "right" pages has to be done manually (is there a concept of inner / outer columns)? No way to insert the margin number automatically? How to handle header lines?
"numbering" solution: use the numbering functionality and use negative indenting so the number would be placed on the page margin. Pros: very easy to implement, elegant solution by defining a paragraph style with numbering, very easy to use (just apply the paragraph style). Cons: numbers can't be placed on the "outer" margin, they will appear on the left margin in any case.
"frame" solution: add a frame to each paragraph that can be placed anywhere on the page. Pros: Flexibility, frame can be placed on the "outer" margin. Cons: quite complex, usability (needs a macro to insert the frame), needs user interaction for every paragraph.
All those solutions should work with the major word processing applications. Are there more / other / better solutions? Is there a "best practice" to follow?