How to Strikethrough in Excel

To adjust formatting to apply a Strikethrough in Excel, users can either adjust the cell formatting options or apply the keyboard shortcut CTRL + 5. Both options will apply a strikethrough or remove strikethrough formatting if it has already been applied. Excel is an incredibly versatile tool that provides a variety of ways to adjust formatting.

Strikethrough formatting in Excel can be applied using keyboard shortcuts, the format cells menu, VBA, and conditional formatting.

We will explain some best practices and tips and tricks when working with text formatting to boost your productivity.

Let’s jump in!

How to Strikethrough Text in Excel

The Excel Ribbon is the top tool bar that contains many of the most popular commands in Microsoft Excel. To apply strikethrough formatting, select the cell you want to apply strikethrough formatting to, then navigate to Home, and click the small arrow at the bottom right corner of the Font section. The Format Cells screen will appear where you can select strikethrough formatting among many other popular text formatting options.

Step 1.) Select the Cell to Apply Formatting To

Step 2.) Navigate to Home and click the arrow in the bottom right of the Font section to see additional formatting options.

Screenshot of the Format Cells menu button on the Excel Ribbon

Step 3.) Click on Strikethrough in the effects section of the Format Cells screen.

Screenshot of the Strikethrough option under Format Cells in Excel

Step 4.) Click OK and the Strikethrough formatting will be applied to the selected cell or cells

Let’s take a look at a quicker way to apply strikethrough formatting.

How to Strikethrough Using the Excel Contextual Format Option

Strikethrough formatting in Excel is applied using the Format Cells screen. You can access the Format Cells screen by right clicking on a cell and selecting Format Cells from the contextual menu. The pop window provides the option to apply strikethrough formatting along with many other formatting options.

Step 1.) Right click on the cell you want to apply strikethrough formatting to, and select Format Cells from the contextual menu.

Right click on a cell to select it and choose Format Cells to add Strikethrough formatting

Step 2.) Select Strikethrough under the Effects category, and press OK to apply formatting to the selected cell.

Screenshot of strikethrough options under Format Cells in Excel

Right clicking a cell to apply formatting and adjust other options is a great time saver and prevents you from having to go back to the Excel Ribbon each time you want to make a formatting change.

An even quicker way to apply strikethrough formatting is with the use of a keyboard shortcut.

Apply Strikethrough Formatting Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel

To apply Strikethrough Formatting in Excel using a keyboard shortcut, select the desired cell to apply formatting to and press CTRL + 5 at the same time on Windows or COMMAND + SHIFT + X on a Mac. Excel Keyboard Shortcuts are an essential skill for people who want to improve productivity and prepare spreadsheets at an expert level of speed.

How to Select Multiple Cells at Once in Excel

Microsoft Excel allows users to select multiple cells at the same time. Using this feature allows you to apply formatting to multiple cells and avoid repetitive tasks like updating formatting. To select multiple cells at on time hold down CTRL on Windows or COMMAND on Mac. As you click on cells they will become highlighted.

Example of multi-select cells in Excel using CTRL + Left Mouse

If you accidentally select an incorrect cell, you can also hold down CTRL or COMMAND and click on a previously selected cell to remove the selection without impacting the other previously selected cells.

Unselecting a cell that was previously multi-selected without unselecting everything

If cells are continuous such as being in a single row, column, or table you can drag across them with your mouse by holding down the left mouse button and moving over them.

You can also hold down SHIFT on Windows or Mac and use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select additional cells.

Using the keyboard to select continuous cells by holding down SHIFT

Once Multiple cells are selected, you can apply strikethrough formatting using one of the options above.

We recommend using keyboard shortcuts like CTRL + 5 whenever possible to improve speed and productivity in Excel.

Using the Format Painter to Copy and Paste Formatting in Excel

The Format Painter in Excel allows users to copy and paste formatting from one cell to another. It’s a massive time saver and lets you apply formatting to a single cell or to multiple cells at the same time.

The Format Painter button is located under Clipboard options of the Home Tab on the Excel Ribbon

Screenshot of the Excel Format Painter option to copy and paste strikethrough formatting

To use the Format Painter, first select a cell that already has formatting the way that you want it. This will Copy the formatting of that specific cell.

Next, click on the Format Painter button.

Then click on a cell that you want to apply formatting to.

Screenshot of utilizing the Format Painter to apply strikethrough formatting in Excel

The results will be formatting from the first selected cell being applied to the newly selected cell.

Excel Tip: You can double click on the Format Painter after selecting a formatted cell to apply formatting to a number of different cells. The Format Painter will remain active after clicking on each cell and it will have the copied formatting applied to it. Press the Esc to exit the Format Painter and return your mouse actions to normal.

How to Add Strikethrough to the Excel Ribbon’s Format Option

To add a Strikethrough or other formatting options to the Microsoft Excel Ribbon that are hidden under a menu by default, users can customize the Ribbon to add buttons for functions they commonly use. To Customize the Excel Ribbon, Right-Click on the Ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon, create a custom group, and add the Strikethrough option to the custom group.

Here are the step by step instructions.

Step 1.) Right click the Ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon

Screenshot of the Customize Ribbon options in Excel

Step 2.) The Excel Options screen will become available. Before you can add a Command Not in the Ribbon You have to create a Custom Group.

The strikethrough option in Customize the Ribbon screen to add a strikethrough formatting button to the Excel Ribbon

Step 3.) Create a Custom Ribbon Group by clicking New Group in the bottom Right and then Rename the Group.

Create a new custom group to add functions to in the Excel Ribbon

Step 4) Scroll to the option that you wish to add to the new group, select it by clicking on it, then press Add >> to move it to the newly created group.

The new option will appear under the newly created group.

Screenshot of the strikethrough option added to a custom Excel ribbon group

After pressing OK, the button will appear in the Excel Ribbon.

In our case, we have it at the far right of the ribbon and the button is extra large and easy to find as it is the only button in the group.

Screenshot of a Strikethrough button available in the Excel Ribbon

Adding functions to custom Excel Ribbon Groups can be a great way to boost productivity, especially if your use case for Excel differs from what Microsoft determines are the most widely used Excel features.

Microsoft also provides an in-depth guide to modifying the Excel Ribbon.

For a more permanent solution that’s not tied to a specific part of the ribbon, functions can also be added to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar.

How to Add Items to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar

An alternative to creating Custom Ribbon Groups in Excel is to add items to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar. These options appear in the top left of Excel at all times regardless of which section of the ribbon you have selected.

The screenshot below shows a strikethrough option added to the Quick Access Tooblar.

Screenshot of a strikethrough formatting button added to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar

The process to add items to the Quick Access Toolbar is similar to Customizing the Ribbon. Launch the Excel Options screen, and go to the Quick Access Toolbar. Navigate to Commands Not in the Ribbon, and select Strikethrough. Use the Add>> button to move it to the right side of the Customize the Quick Access Toolbar Screen.

Adding strikethrough to the QAT Quick Access Toolbar from the Excel Options screen

After adding the desired function, you can click OK and the option will appear at the top of Excel at all times. There are a number of functions that can be added, and it is a fast way to access them whenever you are working across different sections of the Ribbon.

Using Conditional Formatting for Strikethrough in Excel

Using Conditional Formatting for Strikethrough in Excel offers a dynamic way to cross out text based on specific conditions or criteria. This feature is especially useful for business users who want to automatically track completed tasks or highlight specific cells that are no longer relevant without having to manually update them every time the data changes.

Prior to starting, select the range of cells, column, or row that you want to apply conditional formatting to.

Step 1.) Navigate to Conditional Formatting – From the Home Tab of the Excel Ribbon, Select Conditional Formatting from the Styles Group.

Applying Conditional formatting from the Excel Ribbon

Step 2.) Create New Rule – Click on “New Rule” to open the dialog box, and then select “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.”

Creating a new conditional formatting rule to apply strikethrough in Excel

Step 3.) Enter Condition – Typically conditions are set based on values in different columns. However, for our example we will keep things simple and apply conditional formatting for any cell that is equal to Snickerdoodles after selecting “Format Only Cells That Contain”

Using the Format only cells that contain conditional formatting option to apply strikethrough formatting

Excel provides a number of different options for how to apply conditional formatting and is highly flexible.

Step 4.) Set Format – Click on the “Format” button, navigate to the “Font” tab, and check the “Strikethrough” box. Click “OK” to close the dialog boxes.

Screenshot of the Format Cells screen with strikethrough selected after setting up conditional formatting criteria

Step 5.) Press OK

After pressing OK Excel will apply conditional formatting to any cell that meats the new conditional criteria that was previously selected.

Excel Tip: You can use the Format Painter option to copy and paste conditional formatting if you need to apply it to a larger data set later on, or apply it to cells using the same criteria.

To learn even more about Conditional Formatting in Excel, the following video explains the concept and different use cases in great detail.

As you can see there are a number of use cases for conditional formatting and the number of options are almost limitless.

How to Remove Strikethrough Formatting in Excel

To remove strikethrough formatting in Excel, you can use the same options used to apply it. From the Font Options screen, you can uncheck the strikethrough box, or on windows you can press CTRL + 5 on the keyboard or COMMAND + SHIFT + X on a Mac to remove formatting. Another option is to use the format painter to select a cell that does not have formatting, copy the non-existent formatting and apply it to the cells that have a strikethrough.

How to Apply Strikethrough Formatting with Excel Macros

Excel Power Users can Automate strikethroughs in Excel with just a few lines of VBA code when creating an Excel Macro. This example targets cells in column B that contain the word “Snickerdoodles” and applies a strikethrough.

Sub QuickStrikethrough()
    Dim cell As Range
    For Each cell In Range("B1:B100")
        cell.Font.Strikethrough = (InStr(cell.Value, "Snickerdoodles") > 0)
    Next cell
End Sub

The code applies to the cell range B1:B100 and uses the cell.Font.Strikethrough command along with a condition that the word Snickerdoodles exists.

The cell.Font.Strikethrough property in Excel VBA is used to control the strikethrough formatting of a cell’s content. When set to True, the text within the specified cell will have a line through it. Setting this property to False will remove the strikethrough from the cell’s text.


We’ve covered multiple ways to implement and remove Strikethrough in Excel, each method provides a similar result, but can be applied in different ways. While the most straight forward way to apply Strikethrough formatting is to use the Excel Ribbon, the fastest way is to use keyboard shortcuts.

For more dynamic application of Excel strikethrough formatting, users can utilize conditional formatting or integrate the formatting change as part of an Excel Macro using VBA.

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