Featured - How to strikethrough in excel

Strikethrough is seen as unprofessional at times, but it has its place. You can essentially use it in place of a checkbox to signify when a task has been completed or that text should be ignored. Unfortunately, it’s not immediately obvious how to strikethrough text in Excel, but today we’re going to be showing you several ways of doing it.

Can you strikethrough text in Excel?

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Though the functionality is hidden away, you can indeed strikethrough text in Excel. You can do so using the Excel strikethrough keyboard shortcut, through conditional formatting, and with the regular formatting options.

We’re going to go a step further, though, additionally showing you how to add a strikethrough button to your Excel ribbon for easier access in the future. Let’s get on with the guide:

How to Cross Something Out in Excel with the Excel Strikethrough Shortcut

The easiest and most foolproof way to draw a line through text is with the dedicated Excel shortcut for strikethrough. This works on both single and multiple cells, so it’s quite handy:

  1. The Excel strikethrough keyboard shortcut is “Ctrl + 5”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Keyboard - Ctrl+5

  2. Select a single cell and press “Ctrl + 5” to cross it out

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - Ctrl+5

  3. OR: Click and drag to select a range of cells and press “Ctrl + 5” to cross them all out

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Range - Ctrl+5

  4. You can also select no adjacent cells with Ctrl + Click

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Non-Adjacent Cells - Ctrl+5

  5. Or even click in a cell and select part of to cross out specific words or parts of words

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Part of Cells - Ctrl+5

How to Strikethrough in Excel via Formatting Options

If you keep forgetting the keyboard shortcut, one alternative is to use Excel’s formatting options instead. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Right-click the cell you want to strikethrough and press “Format Cells…”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - Format Cells

  2. Open the “Font” tab and tick “Strikethrough”

    Press “OK” to apply the changes.

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - Format Cells - Font - Check Strikthrough - Accept

How to Cross out Text Automatically with Conditional Formatting

We can get a bit more advanced with our strikethrough in Excel by making the program cross out text when it meets certain criteria. This is called conditional formatting. Here’s how you can use it to power your strikethrough:

  1. Select your cells, then click “Conditional Formatting > New Rule” in the Home tab of the ribbon

    Windows 11 - Excel - Sel Cells - Home - Conditional Formatting - New Rule

  2. Select “Use a formula to determine…” as the rule 

    Enter the criteria that activates the strikethrough in the “Format value where this formula is true” box.

    In our case, this is when the status cell next to it, D3, has the text “Finished”.

    Once you’re done, press “Format…”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Sel Cells - Home - Conditional Formatting - New Rule - Use Formula - Format Values - Format

  3. Open the “Font” tab and tick “Strikthrough”, then press “OK”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Sel Cells - Home - Conditional Formatting - New Rule - Use Formula - Format Values - Format - Check Strikethrough - Accept

  4. Press “OK” again in the “New Formatting Rule” window

    Windows 11 - Excel - Sel Cells - Home - Conditional Formatting - New Rule - Use Formula - Format Values - Format - Check Strikethrough - Accept

  5. Excel will only cross out the cells that meet your criteria will be crossed out

    Windows 11 - Excel - Home - Conditional Formatting - New Rule - Format -Strikethrough - Result

How to Add a Strikethrough Button to Quick Access Toolbar

If you’d like easier access to Strikethrough in the future you can add it to your Quick Access toolbar. It’s not as quick as the shortcut, but you’ll still be able to get to it in one click.

  1. Click the Quick Access dropdown and choose “More Commands…”

    Windows 11 - Excel - More Commands

  2. Add the Stikethrough action from the “Commands Not in the Ribbon” column to your Quick Access toolbar

    Press “OK” to apply the changes.

    Windows 11 - Excel - More Commands - Not in the Ribbon - Strikethrough - Add - Accept

  3. Click the strikethrough button in your Quick Access toolbar to use it

    Windows 11 - Excel - More Commands - Not in the Ribbon - Strikethrough - Add - Accept - Result

How to Add a Strikethrough Button to the Excel Ribbon

You can also add the strikethrough command to the ribbon if you wish. It’s not as quick to use as the Quick Access toolbar, but it is tidier.

  1. Right-click the ribbon and press “Customize the Ribbon…”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Customize Ribbon

  2. Expand click on the “Font” section of the “Home” category and press “New Group”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Customize Ribbon - Font - New Group

  3. Select the new group and press “Rename…” down the bottom

    Call the group something memorable and press “OK”.

    Windows 11 - Excel - Customize Ribbon - Font - New Group - Rename - My Formats

  4. Look for “Strikethrough” the left-hand column and press “Add”, then “OK”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Customize Ribbon - Font - New Group - Rename - My Formats - Strikethrough - Add - Accept

  5. Press the “Strikethrough” button in your ribbon to use it on text 

    Windows 11 - Excel - Customize Ribbon - Font - New Group - Rename - My Formats - Strikethrough - Add - Result

  6. Optional: Adjust the position of the button in the customize menu 

    You can move the button left or right by selecting it in the right columns and pressing the up and down arrows to the right of it.

    Windows 11 - Excel - Excel Options - Strikethrough - Move

How to Remove Manually Added Strikethrough

If you or somebody else added strikethrough to the wrong part of a document, there are several ways to fix it:

  1. Select the text with strikethrough and press “Ctrl + 5”

    The Excel shortcut for strikethrough will toggle the line off again. You can select multiple cells at once by clicking and dragging or pressing Shift and clicking.

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cells - Remove Strikethrough Ctrl+5

  2. OR: Select the text, right-click, and press “Format Cells…”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Format Cells

  3. Untick “Strikethrough”

    Windows 11 - Excel - Format Cells - Uncheck Strikethrough - Accept

How to Remove Strikethrough Added with Conditional Formatting

If you added your strikethrough with conditional formatting, you won’t be able to get rid of it with the regular keyboard shortcut. Instead, you’ll want to follow the steps below:

  1. Select your Cell(s) and press “Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Selected Cells” in the Home tab

    Windows 11 - Excel - Home - Conditional Formatting - Clear Rules - From Selected Cells

How to Cross Something Out in Excel Online

So, we’ve talked a lot about the Excel app, but you may be sitting there wondering “How do I strikethrough text in Excel Online?”. The function, surprisingly, is easier to do than in the dedicated app. Here’s how:

  1. Select the cell you want to strike through, press the three dots in the “Home” tab and click “Strikethrough”

    Windows 11 - Excel Online - Home - More - Strickethrough

  2. OR: Select individual words and do the same thing

    Windows 11 - Excel Online - Home - More - Strickethrough - Result

Extra: How to Strikethrough Text in Word

Now that you know how to strikethrough text in Excel, you may want to do the same in Word. Thankfully, our how to strikethrough text in Word guide already has you covered.

Extra: How to Strikethrough Text in Google Docs

If you’re more of a G-suite user, you can check out our guide on how to strikethrough text in Google Docs guide instead. Pro tip: It’s basically the same process for Google Sheets.

Featured - How to strikethrough on Google Docs

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