Apply or Remove Strikethrough Using Shortcuts in Word

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated April 30, 2023

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2023 and 365 (Windows)

You can apply strikethrough to text in Word to cross out or create a line through text. This can be effective to show that something has been removed or deleted. Although you can use Strikethrough on the Home tab in the Ribbon or use the Font dialog box, you can also write your own Strikethrough keyboard shortcut in Microsoft Word.

Recommended article: How to Insert a Line in Word (3+ Ways)

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Strikethrough is a character format that can be applied to text where a line appears through the selected text. Because it's a format, it can be removed easily.

In this article, we'll review 4 ways to apply Strikethrough to cross out text in Word:

  1. Apply Strikethrough using the Ribbon
  2. Use a keyboard shortcut to access the Font dialog box to apply Strikethrough
  3. Add Strikethrough to the Quick Access Toolbar
  4. Create a custom keyboard shortcut

1. Apply Strikethrough using the Ribbon

The most common way to apply strikethrough is to select the text and then click Strikethrough in the Font group on the Home tab in the Ribbon (as an ab with a line through it):

Strikethrough button on the Home tab in the Ribbon in Microsoft Word.

To access this command using keyboard shortcuts, press Alt > H > 4 (Alt, then H and then 4).

2. Use a keyboard shortcut to access the Font dialog box to apply Strikethrough

To access the Font dialog box using a keyboard shortcut and then apply Strikethrough:

  1. Select the text you want to strikethrough.
  2. Press Ctrl + D. The Font dialog box appears.
  3. Press Alt + K to select Strikethrough (note that k is the underlined letter).
  4. Press Enter.

Below is the Font dialog box:

Font dialog box in Microsoft Word with strikethrough format.

3. Add Strikethrough to the Quick Access Toolbar

You can also add Strikethrough to the Quick Access Toolbar and then access it by pressing Alt.

It's usually easier to work with the Quick Access Toolbar if you display it below the Ribbon. If the Quick Access Toolbar is above the Ribbon, click the down arrow to the right of the Quick Access Toolbar and select Show Below the Ribbon from the drop-down menu.

To add Strikethrough to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Right-click Strikethrough in the Font group on the Home tab in the Ribbon. A drop-down menu appears.
  2. Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Click the down arrow to the right of the Quick Access Toolbar and select More commands from the drop-down menu. The Options dialog box appears.
  4. In the list of commands on the right side of the dialog box, click Strikethrough.
  5. Click the up arrow that appears on the far right until the button appears at the top of the list (you can move it to the second position, third position, etc.).
  6. Click OK.
  7. Press Alt. Key tips appear on the Quick Access Toolbar. If you have moved Strikethrough to the first position, press 1 to apply it. If you have moved Strikethrough to the second position, press 2 to apply it and so on. These are sequential shortcuts, so press Alt and then the number.

4. Create a custom keyboard shortcut

You can also create your own keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word by customizing the keyboard. This is a great way to create a strikethrough shortcut.

In Microsoft Word (unlike Excel and PowerPoint), you can use File Options to customize your keyboard (note the Customize command at the bottom of the Customize Ribbon category):

Word Options to add keyboard shortcut for strikethrough.

To create your own keyboard shortcut for Strikethrough using File Options:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Options. A dialog box appears.
  3. In the left panel, click Customize Ribbon.
  4. In the panel on the right, beside Keyboard Shortcuts, click Customize. The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears.
  5. Under Categories, click Home Tab.
  6. Under Commands, click Strikethrough.
  7. Click in the box below Press new shortcut key.
  8. Press the keys you want to assign (at the same time). You can press Ctrl + Alt + a letter so that it is less likely to have a conflict with a previously assigned shortcut. You don't want to reassign common shortcuts such as Ctrl + P. In this case, you could press Ctrl + Alt + S.
  9. Click Assign.
  10. Beside Save changes in, select Normal (to save the changes globally). Normal is the default global template.
  11. Click Close.
  12. Click OK in the Options dialog box.

Now you can select text and use the keyboard shortcut you assigned (such as Ctrl + Alt + S) to apply strikethrough. Strikethrough is a toggle, so you can use the same shortcut to remove strikethrough.

Below is the Customize Keyboard dialog box:

Assign keyboard shortcut to strikethrough in Microsoft Word.

You can assign keyboard shortcuts to many other commands using this strategy.

Because the keyboard assignments are typically saved in the Normal template, when you exit Word, be sure to save the Normal template when prompted.

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4 Strikethrough Shortcuts in Microsoft Word to Cross Out Text
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4 Strikethrough Shortcuts in Microsoft Word to Cross Out Text
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You can apply strikethrough to text in Word to cross out or create a line through text. Although you can use Strikethrough on the Home tab in the Ribbon or use the Font dialog box, you can also write your own Strikethrough keyboard shortcut in Microsoft Word.
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