The Curious Case of Strikethrough in Word and Excel


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I often find myself using the strikethrough feature in both Word and Excel to mark items as completed. This feature is fairly straightforward in Word, as a strikethrough icon appears prominently on the Home tab in Word 2007 and later. Conversely, in Excel this feature doesn't have its own icon, but it does have a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl-5. Yet there's no built-in shortcut for strikethrough in Word. In this article, I'll describe a couple of ways that you can streamline access to this – and pretty much any feature – in both Word and Excel.

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Try F4 in Word. :)

Yes, F4 will repeat the action, but won't create the initial strikethrough. Thanks for contributing, though!

does the shortcut work? it didn't work on mine! Do you mean Ctrl and then minus 5 or simply Ctrl and 5.

You have to use the 5 across the top of your keyboard. You may be trying the 5 on your numberpad, which won't work.

command + Shift + X works on mine for strikethrough. On word version 14.3.9

Thanks for contributing. Although that works on the Mac platform, there's not a equivalent keystroke in Windows.

Thank you very much for this short tutorial. I have been using Ctrl+5 for quite some time, but I get sick of doing it that way in Excel. Too difficult to stretch those fingers. Though when adding the command to Quick Access Toolbar, and moving it to "Alt+2" or to the "Alt+3" spot, it make its so much easier. Thank you.

I'm so glad you found my article helpful! The Quick Access Toolbar is one of my favorite features in Excel/Word. I'm constantly rotating icons through there based on whatever repetitive tasks surface on a given day.

Just a tip, if strike-through is needed for sticky notes on Win7, CTRL+T works for me (along with the standard CTRL+B/I/U for bold, italic and underlined).

However, I haven't found an easy shortcut in Outlook 2010 to get strike through format...

Nils, thanks for bringing Sticky Notes to my attention. I wasn't aware of that Windows 7 feature. I don't have Outlook 2010 installed on any of my computers at the moment, but you can add Strikethrough in almost exactly the same fashion as I described above. What's different is Outlook as multiple Quick Access Toolbars, so open an appointment or message window, follow the steps described above to access the More Commands option, and look for Strikethrough in the All Commands list.