Windows Mac
Ctrl5 X

About This Shortcut 

This shortcut toggles strikethrough formatting on and off for the current selection. Strikethrough formatting is one of four basic formatting options for text, which also includes bold, italic, and underline formatting. You can see what each option looks like in the samples below, which also include the shortcut to apply the formatting:

  • This example shows strikethrough formatting (Control + 5)
  • This example shows bold formatting (Control + B)
  • This example shows italic formatting (Control + I)
  • This example shows underline formatting (Control + U)

Applying Strikethrough formatting in Excel

In general, the best way to apply Strikethrough formatting in Excel is to use the keyboard shortcut Control + 5 in Windows and Command + Shift + X on a Mac. Note that the Windows shortcut will also work in more recent versions of Mac Excel. The first time you use the shortcut, Strikethrough formatting will be applied. The second time you use the shortcut, Strikethrough formatting will be removed. This is what is meant by the idea of "toggling" formatting on and off.

Removing Strikethrough formatting in Excel

As mentioned above, one way to remove Strikethrough formatting is just to use the shortcut a second time. The first time applies strikethrough formatting, the second time removes strikethrough formatting. Another way to clear strikethrough formatting is to use the Format Cells window:

  1. Select one or more cells.
  2. Use the shortcut Control + 1 to open Format Cells.
  3. Navigate to the Font tab.
  4. Clear the checkbox for Strikethrough under Effects.
  5. Click OK.

Format cells window with Strikethrough option enabled

If you select one or more cells, then open Format Cells and see that the Strikethrough checkbox is filled (i.e. not checked or unchecked), it means that some words in the selected cell have strikethrough formatting applied, and some words don't. When you clear the checkbox and click OK, you will remove strikethrough formatting globally in the cell.

Applying strikethrough  to specific cells

You can select one or more cells before you apply strikethrough and all selected cells will be formatted. First, select the cells you want to format:

Step 1: Select the cells to apply strikethrough to

Next, use the keyboard shortcut Control + 5 (Win) or Command + Shift + X (Mac) to apply strikethrough formatting:

Step 2: Apply strikethrough with Control + 5 (Win) or Command + Shift + X (Mac)

To select non-contiguous cells, hold down the Control key as you select different cells, then apply strikethrough. You can find more shortcuts for selecting cells here.

Applying strikethrough to specific words

When you apply strikethrough formatting to a cell, all words in the cell will be formatted. To apply strikethrough formatting to specific words only in a cell, first select the specific words you want to format:

Step 1: Select the specific words to apply strikethrough to

Next, apply strikethrough formatting with Control + 5 (Win) or Command + Shift + X (Mac):

Step 2: apply strikethrough with Control + 5 (Win) or Command + Shift + X (Mac)

You can apply and remove strikethrough formatting by working directly with text in the Formula Bar or with text in a cell. However, you will only see the strikethrough effect in the cell.

Excel has many shortcuts to help you select specific words in a cell.

Finding all text with strikethrough formatting

To find all text in a worksheet with strikethrough formatting applied you can use the Excel's Find and Replace feature. Use the shortcut Control + H to open Find and Replace, then click the Format button. When the Format Cells window opens, check the Strikethrough checkbox under Effects and click OK. You will then see the Preview area update to show the strikethrough effect. You can now use the Find All or Find Next buttons to locate text with strikethrough formatting applied.

Find and Replace to find all strikethrough text

Strikethrough does not appear on the Ribbon

Although you can find a variety of font formatting options on the Home tab of Excel's ribbon, these options do not include Strikethrough formatting, as seen in the screen below.

Excel font formatting controls on the Home tab of the Ribbon

Related videos

The videos below demonstrate this shortcut.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.