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The Curious Case of Strikethrough in Word and Excel

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Dec 12th 2013
Author/Presenter/Spreadsheet Consultant Accounting Advisors, Inc.
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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.

As shown in Figure 1, the strikethrough feature is a font setting that allows you to draw a line through text. In Word 2007 and later, you can select a block of text and then toggle strikethrough on or off with a mouse click. You can also access this feature from the Effects section of the Fonts dialog box shown in Figure 1. The traditional way to apply strikethrough in Excel involves carrying out steps A through C by way of the Format Cells dialog box.

Figure 1: Two different ways to apply strikethrough in Microsoft Word.

As noted previously, in Microsoft Excel you can bypass the Format Cells dialog box by pressing Ctrl-5. Yet, if you press Ctrl-5 in Word you'll change the line spacing of your paragraph to 1.5 instead of toggling strikethrough on or off. Fortunately, there are two easy ways to force both Word and Excel to use the same shortcut for strikethrough. Further, you can use either of these techniques to unify keyboard shortcuts for any feature that appears in both programs.

Create a Custom Keyboard Shortcut in Word

Microsoft Word offers the useful ability create custom keyboard shortcuts for any of its features. Thus, you can easily reassign Ctrl-5 in Word to the strikethrough feature so that you have a consistent shortcut in both Word and Excel, as shown in Figure 2. 

Figure 2: You can create a custom keyboard shortcut for any feature in Word.

If you later change your mind about a custom keyboard shortcut in Word, repeat steps 1 and 2 and then click the Remove button. The Remove button is disabled in Figure 2 because no keyboard shortcut has been assigned to the strikethrough feature. You can use the technique shown in Figure 2 with virtually any Word feature, even those that appear within a dialog box. Press Ctrl-Alt-+ anywhere in Word, click a command or feature, and then assign the keyboard shortcut of your choice.

Quick Access Toolbar

Although Excel doesn't allow you to remap keyboard shortcuts in the same fashion as Word, you can use the Quick Access Toolbar in Office 2007 and later to create your own keyboard shortcuts. In Word, you can simply right-click on a command and then choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar, as shown in Figure 3. Once a command appears on your Quick Access Toolbar, press the Alt key to reveal its keyboard shortcut. If a feature isn't present in the Ribbon, as with the strikethrough feature in Excel, you can still add the command to your Quick Access Toolbar, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 3: Right-click on any ribbon icon in Office 2007 and later to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Figure 4: There are many hidden commands you can add to the Quick Access Toolbar in Office 2007 and later.

Use these same steps in Microsoft Word to reposition the strikethrough command on your Quick Access toolbar to have the same shortcut in both applications. As an added bonus, you can use this same technique in any Office 2007, 2010, or 2013 application, which includes Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access. 

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By Quack doctor
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

Try F4 in Word. :)

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Replying to fschmidtAWEB:
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By David Ringstrom
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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

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By narayan
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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

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Replying to Hitendra:
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By David Ringstrom
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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.

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By guest
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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

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Replying to Michelle Rated:
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By David Ringstrom
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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

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By Kyle Danning
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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.

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By Nils
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

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...

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By megan704
Apr 26th 2017 02:49 EDT

I am a professional writer and I mostly interact with MS Office or Excel. When I was writing an assignment for Assignment Help On Web UK because I do the job here so by Clicking on strikethrough, underline then pick a color in addition to then type the word. It is done simply.

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By billyfowler
Apr 27th 2017 01:16 EDT

I am short on time here, but I think you can write a macro that would wait on input and that would solve your problem. dissertation help services uk In other words the macro would unhide your columns, then wait for you to click on a cell, then would hide the columns and then your other format condition would do the strike through. I would go to the MS support section on Excel and ask for VBA help for Excel. I have gotten a lot of VBA help through this community of pros.

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By dwyane
Aug 11th 2017 00:10 EDT

Strikethrough is a feature that can be enabled in both Word and Excel according to our requirements. The article clearly explains the importance and scopes of Strikethrough. I am expecting more posts on this blog. Thank you! www.make-up-by-cory-denver.com

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By stevelarsc
Aug 21st 2017 07:35 EDT

Understanding word and excel is not something hard. Thanks to you for helping us know about the Strikethrough in Word and Excel and what this indicates. I have to use both this daily for my office jobs, and reading your Martin International Enclosures Inc articles help me handle them better.

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By emiliabenjamin198
Nov 13th 2018 20:52 EST

I figure you can compose a large scale that would look out for information and that would tackle your concern. Dissertation Editors at the end of the day the full scale would unhide your segments, at that point trust that you will tap on a cell, at that point would shroud the segments and after that, your other arrangement condition would do the strikethrough. I would go to the MS bolster area on Excel and request VBA help for Excel. I have gotten a great deal of VBA help through this network of experts.

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By henryjones147
Feb 15th 2019 01:16 EST

Word and excel are now become a very important need for everyone. No matter what's the field is. If you are doing something and have to make a report, then simply you have use word and excel. Good share about curious case of strikethrough.

Regards
Henry Jones

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By nicki robert
Feb 21st 2019 07:25 EST

Strikethrough is a component that can be empowered in both Word and Excel as indicated by our prerequisites. The article unmistakably clarifies the significance and extents of Strikethrough. I am anticipating more posts on this blog. Much obliged to you!

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