Strikethrough Excel Shortcut: Mastering Quick Text Formatting

Strikethrough is a formatting feature in Excel that allows you to cross out cell contents with a horizontal line. This can be helpful in many situations, such as keeping track of completed tasks, indicating obsolete data, or simply adding emphasis to specific text within your spreadsheet.

Excel offers several ways to apply strikethrough formatting, but one of the quickest and most efficient methods is by using a keyboard shortcut. By utilizing this shortcut, you can instantly apply the strikethrough effect on selected cells, text, or ranges in your Excel worksheet, saving time and allowing you to easily manage your data.

In this article, we will focus on the strikethrough keyboard shortcut in Excel. By learning and mastering this simple and handy technique, you can significantly boost your productivity and take your Excel experience to the next level.

Identifying the Relevance of Strikethrough

Strikethrough is a formatting option in Excel that can help you better organize your data, especially in tasks such as creating checklists or to-do lists. It enables you to draw a line through the text in a cell, making it easier to visually distinguish between completed and pending tasks. Utilizing strikethrough can significantly improve the readability and efficiency of your spreadsheets.

To apply strikethrough in Excel, simply select the cell or text you wish to format and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+5 for Windows or Cmd+Shift+X for Mac users. This shortcut acts as a toggle, meaning you can use it again to remove the strikethrough if desired.

In the context of a checklist or to-do list, strikethrough can be invaluable for keeping your tasks organized. For example, when you complete a task in your spreadsheet, you can quickly apply strikethrough to the corresponding cell, making it clear which tasks have been finished and which are still pending. This can help you stay on top of your work and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Excel tutorials often recommend using strikethrough as an effective way to manage your data. By incorporating this simple formatting technique into your daily workflow, you can streamline your tasks and become more efficient in managing your spreadsheets.

When working with cells that contain multiple points or items, applying strikethrough to specific parts of the cell content can also help you communicate which aspects of a given task have been completed. By only striking through the relevant words or phrases, you maintain the integrity and clarity of the overall cell data.

In conclusion, using strikethrough in Excel is a practical and straightforward way to improve the structure and organization of your spreadsheets. Whether you’re managing a to-do list or marking off items in a checklist, strikethrough can help you keep track of your progress and maintain clear, readable data.

Applying Strikethrough in Excel

Using the Excel Ribbon

To apply strikethrough in Excel, you can use the Ribbon located at the top of the program window. In the Home tab, navigate to the Font group. Click the small arrow in the bottom-right corner of the Font group to access additional formatting options. In the pop-up dialog box, you’ll find the Strikethrough checkbox under the Effects section. Check the box to apply strikethrough to your selected cell(s) or text.

Shortcut on the Keyboard

Another way to apply strikethrough in Excel is by using a keyboard shortcut. This is a quicker and more efficient method for those who prefer using keyboard commands. The keyboard shortcut for Strikethrough in Excel is Ctrl+5. To use this shortcut, you need to select the cell(s) or text where you want to apply the strikethrough. Then press Ctrl+5 and the strikethrough will be applied.

Format Cells Dialog Box

You can also apply strikethrough in Excel through the Format Cells Dialog Box. To access this box, right-click on the cell or range of cells you want to format, and choose Format Cells from the context menu. In the Format Cells Dialog Box, select the Font tab. Here, you will find a Strikethrough checkbox under the Effects section. Check the box and click OK to apply strikethrough to your selected cell(s) or text.

Alternative Methods to Apply Strikethrough

Using Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)

In addition to the Excel Strikethrough Shortcut (Ctrl+5), you can also apply strikethrough formatting using the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Microsoft Excel. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the top-left corner of the Excel window, click the down arrow next to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. In the dropdown menu, select More Commands....
  3. Choose Commands Not in the Ribbon from the Choose commands from dropdown.
  4. Scroll down the list and select Strikethrough, then click Add to include it in the QAT.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

Now you’ll see the Strikethrough icon in the Quick Access Toolbar. To apply strikethrough to a cell, simply click the icon.

Utilizing a VBA Code

Another method to apply strikethrough in Excel Desktop is by using a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F11 to open the VBA editor.
  2. Click Insert, and then select Module.
  3. Copy and paste the following code into the module:
Sub ApplyStrikethrough()
  Selection.Font.Strikethrough = True
End Sub
  1. Press Ctrl+S to save the module.
  2. Close the VBA editor.

Now you can run the macro to apply strikethrough. Select the cells you want to format, then press Alt+F8 to open the Macro dialog box. Choose ApplyStrikethrough from the list, and click Run.

The Format Painter Function

The Format Painter in Microsoft Excel is another useful tool to apply strikethrough, especially when you want to copy the formatting from one cell to another. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Select the cell with the strikethrough format you want to copy.
  2. Click on the Format Painter icon found on the Home tab of the Ribbon.
  3. Your cursor will change into a paintbrush icon. Click on the cell that you want to format with the copied strikethrough style.

The Format Painter will transfer the strikethrough formatting from the source cell to the target cell. This method can save you time when you need to apply the same formatting to multiple cells.

Managing Strikethrough in Excel Documents

Checkout Box Usage

It’s simple to use checkboxes in Excel for marking items as completed. To insert a checkbox, go to the Developer tab, click Insert, and select Form Controls. Add the checkbox to a cell, and when you check it, you can use conditional formatting to apply strikethrough formatting to the related text.

Conditional Formatting Method

Conditional formatting can also be used for managing strikethrough in Excel documents. First, select the range of cells that you want to apply the formatting to. Then, go to the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting > New Rule, and choose Use a formula to determine which cells to format. In the formula box, enter a logical test and apply the strikethrough format by clicking Format > Font > Strikethrough. This way, based on your logical test, Excel will automatically apply or remove strikethrough from the cells.

Ctrl + 5Cmd + Shift + X

Remember to use these keyboard shortcuts to quickly apply or remove strikethrough from selected cells.

Macro to Apply and Remove

To create a macro for applying and removing strikethrough in Excel, open the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor by pressing Alt + F11 on Windows or Option + F11 on Mac. Create a new module by clicking Insert > Module and paste the following code in the module:

Sub Strikethrough()
    Selection.Font.Strikethrough = Not Selection.Font.Strikethrough
End Sub

Save your workbook as an Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook. Now you can run the macro to apply or remove strikethrough by selecting the cell(s) and pressing Alt + F8 (Windows) or Option + F8 (Mac).

Leveraging these methods and Excel keyboard shortcuts will enable you to efficiently manage strikethrough in your Excel documents, whether you’re working with Excel for the Web or in a desktop application.

Advanced Strikethrough Techniques

Partial Strikethrough

In some cases, you may want to apply a strikethrough effect only to a portion of the text within a cell, not the entire cell content. While Excel does not provide a direct way to do this, there is a workaround. Follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the cell to enter edit mode or press F2.
  2. Copy the text that you want to apply a strikethrough to.
  3. Open a text editor like Notepad or Microsoft Word.
  4. Paste the copied text in the text editor, and apply strikethrough using the respective application’s formatting option (usually Ctrl+5 or Command+Shift+X).
  5. Copy the text with the strikethrough effect, and return to Excel.
  6. Paste the formatted text back into the targeted cell by replacing the original text.

Now, you should see the partial strikethrough applied to the chosen text within the cell.

Using Strike-Through in Edit Mode

To apply strikethrough effects directly while editing a cell, press F2 to enter edit mode, or double-click the cell. Once you’re in edit mode, you can use the strikethrough keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows: Ctrl+5
  • Mac: Command+Shift+X

Remember that using the shortcut in edit mode will apply the strikethrough effect to the entire cell content.

Other formatting options can be accessed in the Excel Ribbon menu by heading to the Home tab and exploring the Font group within the tab. This allows you to access and edit font effects, including strikethrough, without the need for keyboard shortcuts.

Strikethrough Comparison: Excel vs. Other Microsoft Applications

When working with Microsoft applications, you may often find yourself using the strikethrough feature. This feature is available in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, among other applications. In this section, we’ll compare the strikethrough function in Excel with other Microsoft applications, focusing on the keyboard shortcuts and how they’re used.

In Microsoft Excel, the keyboard shortcut to apply strikethrough formatting is Ctrl + 5 for Windows or Command + Shift + X for Mac. This shortcut can be used on an entire cell, a certain part of the cell contents, or a range of cells. To apply the strikethrough format to a cell, simply select the cell and press the appropriate shortcut.

Using strikethrough in Excel is handy when you want to indicate the completion of tasks, or emphasize specific data points. For example, you can use strikethrough formatting to cross out completed tasks in a to-do list.

Compared to Excel, Microsoft Word also uses strikethrough formatting in a similar manner. However, the keyboard shortcut for Word is different. To apply strikethrough in Word, you use Ctrl + D for Windows or Command + D for Mac. This will open the Font section, where you can find and apply the strikethrough format.

In other Microsoft applications, such as Outlook, the strikethrough feature is also available. Though the way it’s implemented may differ, the general concept of crossing out text for emphasis or to indicate completion remains the same.

In summary, the primary difference between using strikethrough in Excel and other Microsoft applications lies in the specific keyboard shortcuts. Additionally, the context and use cases for this formatting option might also vary slightly depending on the application. Always remember the appropriate shortcut for each application to efficiently apply strikethrough formatting when needed.


  • James Davis

    Tech geek, excel super-user, software guru, and your go-to guy for all things digital. James has spent over a decade diving deep into the latest software and gadgets, making tech jargon easy for the rest of us. When he's not geeking out over the newest release, he's probably hunting for some new Excel tips as James spent 7 years perfecting his excel skills!

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