Strikethrough is a much-used and interesting option that is not a part of the default ribbon layout in Excel. It makes an Excel user’s already difficult job even more difficult. To make things easier, we are bringing you this visual guide on how to strikethrough in Excel.
For an option that is not a part of Excel by default, there are many ways you can apply strikethrough. In this guide, we discuss the 6 best methods that you can use. As far as our understanding goes, some users prefer a methodical approach while others may look for shortcuts or advanced ways. We ensure that the methods in this guide cover all the possible techniques one can find for applying strikethrough.
We recommend that you study each method and follow the steps properly. If you are confused after reading through all the methods and cannot decide on what is the best option for you, the concluding part of this guide will help you figure it out. Nonetheless, learning all the methods is simply the best way, and this is the approach we strongly suggest you go with.
Let’s begin then!
6 Terrific Methods for How to Strikethrough in Excel
Strikethrough is an option that does not seem too useful when you have it in Word and PowerPoint. But when you come to Excel, you realize how relevant and important it is. As a result, knowing how to use strikethrough in Excel effectively has become even more necessary.
The six methods we discuss in this guide will include all the information you may need. Besides explaining everything adequately on how to strikethrough in Excel, we will also attach related pictures every step of the way. Our goal is to ensure a seamless and effective learning experience for you.
Now let’s start with the first method!
Method 1: Strikethrough from Format Cells Option
For strikethrough, the first approach in this guide uses the Format Cells option in Excel. This is the most methodical way to strikethrough in Excel. We will demonstrate the steps of how to do it using the dataset below. Even though approaches will vary for each method, we will use this dataset throughout this guide.
Now let’s see the steps for the first method.
1. Select the cell that has the text you want to strikethrough.
2. Now you need to go to the Format Cells option. There are three ways you can do it, and we are showing all of them below.
For the first way, you can right-click on the cell that you want to strikethrough. Then, from the opened context menu, click the Format Cells… option.
For the second approach, after selecting the cell, click the little expand button in the bottom-right of the Font group under the Home ribbon. It is marked in the picture below.
For the third approach, select the cell and then press either the Ctrl+1 buttons or Ctrl+Shift+F buttons. Both shortcuts will perform the same task of opening the Format Cells option window.
3. After the Format Cells window opens, click the Font tab first. Then notice under the Effects section that there is a checkbox with Strikethrough written next to it.
4. Make sure to put a check in the Strikethrough checkbox and then click the OK button.
5. The Format Cells window will close, and you will find that the text inside the cell you initially selected is stricken through!
6. If you have to strikethrough text in multiple cells, simply select the range of cells and then go to the Format Cells option by following any of the three approaches that we discussed in Step 2 of this method.
7. Then go to the Font tab and put a check in the Strikethrough box under the Effects section. Then click OK.
8. You will find that all the texts inside your selected range are now stricken through.
9. Similarly, if you need to strike through not the whole text inside a cell but rather a part of it, double-click on the cell to enter into the edit mode and then select the text. Next, go to the Format Cells option by following any of the ways shown in this method’s Step 2.
10. Follow Step 4 or Step 7 from this method to strikethrough the text. After clicking the OK button, you will be taken back to your dataset. You will see that only the selected part of your text inside the cell has been stricken through.
Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
Method 2: Using the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
Excel does not have a Strikethrough button anywhere in the menu or ribbons. That’s where striking through text in Excel becomes a significant issue, and this is why you are glancing over this guide right now. However, we still know a few ways to add a Strikethrough button in Excel.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to add Strikethrough inside the Font group as it is usually found in Word and PowerPoint. Quick Access Toolbar (also known as QAT) is the place where we are going to add it. Nonetheless, it will similarly do the job. And in case the QAT is hidden in your current Excel layout, we will also show you how you can make it visible.
Now let’s follow the steps for adding the Strikethrough button in your Excel and then striking through text instantly by using that button.
1. If your Quick Access Toolbar is already enabled in Excel, it may be around the location shown in the picture below. If not, we will include the process for enabling it in Step 6.
But now, click on the File tab.
2. Then from the menus on the left, click on Options.
3. The Excel Options window will open. First, click the marked (1) Quick Access Toolbar option. Then click on the drop-down commands list under the Choose commands from section.
4. Now click All Commands from the list.
5. Now scroll down the commands list, find the Strikethrough option, click on it, and then click the Add button as marked (2) in the picture below.
6. Now take a look inside the box on the right under Customize Quick Access Toolbar. The Strikethrough option should be visible inside the box.
Now check in the marked (1) area and make sure that both Show Quick Access Toolbar and Always show command labels are checked. Doing so will add and show the QAT in your Excel.
Finally, click OK.
7. Now you will see that a new button has been added to your Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).
8. Now select the cell with texts on which you want to apply Strikethrough. Then click the marked (2) button.
9. You will see that your selected cell’s content has been stricken through.
10. If you want to remove strikethrough from a text, select the cell, and then click the Strikethrough button.
11. As you can see in the picture below, the strikethrough has been removed.
That’s it, now the Strikethrough button is added and available in your Excel Quick Access Toolbar!
Method 3: Attaching Strikethrough in the Home Ribbon
In this method, we show how to strikethrough in Excel by adding a Strikethrough button to the Home ribbon. The strikethrough is available in Word and PowerPoint inside the Font group under the Home ribbon. However, it is not included in Excel.
There is no way to add the Strikethrough button inside the Font group in Excel. Nevertheless, we still found a way to add it to the Home ribbon. If you use the strikethrough option regularly, this is the best way to keep it available in the most open and closest place to your Excel sheet.
Let’s go through the steps on how to add this Strikethrough button in the Home ribbon and then use it to strikethrough texts in Excel.
1. Right-click on the ribbon. Then select Customize the Ribbon from the opened menu.
2. A new window with options called Excel Options will open. Make sure that you are in the Customize Ribbon tab in the menu list on the left. In the middle of the window, there is a commands list. Click the down-arrowhead for the drop-down list in the Choose commands from section. Then select All Commands from that list.
3. Then on the right section, notice if Main Tabs is selected under Customize the Ribbon section. Afterward, take a look at the box below where all the tabs are shown. Expand the Home option by clicking on the little arrowhead on the left of that tab (if it is not opened by default). Now click and select Font under the Home list. Next, click the New Group button as marked (4) in the picture below.
4. A New Group (Custom) will be added between Font and Alignment under the Home option. Right-click on the New Group (Custom) and click Rename.
5. In the Display name box, write the name Strikethrough, and then click OK.
6. Now you will find that the new group has been renamed to Strikethrough (Custom). Make sure that it is selected, and then go to the left column where All Commands are shown. Scroll down to find Strikethrough in the commands list and then click the Add button.
7. You should find the Strikethrough option added under the Strikethrough (Custom) group on the right. Finally, click OK to complete the process.
8. Now you should see a big Strikethrough button inside the Strikethrough group under the Home ribbon, residing between Font and Alignment groups.
9. Now it is as easy as ever to strikethrough a text in Excel! Simply select the cell you want to strikethrough and click the Strikethrough button under the Home ribbon. You will see that the contents inside the selected cell have been stricken through.
It’s amazing how a strikethrough command button can still be added to your Excel, isn’t it?
Method 4: Using the Shortcut
Knowing shortcuts for all the options in Excel is a huge plus. It makes a user smart and efficient. Likewise, we think that knowing how to strikethrough in Excel with the use of shortcut keys is tremendously helpful for users of any level. You can complete an operation without using the mouse which always results in saving time.
Now let’s see how to use shortcut keys to strikethrough in Excel quickly!
1. As always, select the cell that you want to use strikethrough on. Then press the Ctrl+5 buttons.
2. Just like that, your selected cell is now stricken through!
3. If you want to strike through a range of cells, simply select the cells and then press the Ctrl+5 buttons.
4. In the same manner, if you want to strikethrough only a part of the text, double-click the cell and then select the part of the text that you would like to apply strikethrough. Finally, press Ctrl+5 to achieve the intended result.
The fastest way to strikethrough in Excel for sure!
Method 5 (Special Case): The Checkbox Approach
In this guide, we are going to show you two special approaches for how to strikethrough in Excel. The first of them is The Checkbox Approach here. You may create a checklist where your items will get strikethrough when the checkboxes get checked. Let’s take a look at the picture to get a clearer idea.
Here, the Check In cell has the checkboxes which are connected to the Employee list. When a checkbox is checked, the corresponding name in the other column gets stricken through.
This is extremely useful if you have a list of items that need to be stricken through based on a specific situation. You don’t need to go through every cell and then apply strikethrough manually. Rather, checking the checkbox would trigger and perform this action for you. Following this method here, you can even create a To-Do list or any checklist for yourself!
Now let’s follow the steps below for creating this amazing system.
1. First, go to the Developer tab. If you don’t see the tab in the menu bar, it is because this tab is not enabled by default. However, worry not, because we will show at the end of this method how you can enable the Developer option in Excel.
After going to the Developer ribbon, click on the Insert button inside the Controls group. Then, in the drop-down list of items, click Check Box under Form Controls. It is marked (3) in the picture below.
2. Now you will have to click and drag to draw the size and placement of the checkbox in the cell where you want it. In this demonstration, we placed it in the cell next to the first name on our list. We will connect the checkbox to the name in some steps later.
3. Now you should see the checkbox placed inside the cell you have selected.
4. Now right-click on the checkbox and then click Edit Text in the context menu.
5. Completely remove the text from the checkbox, and then resize the area of the checkbox. You will end up with only the checkbox which should look similar to the picture below.
6. Now, place the checkbox in the middle of the cell by manually aligning it to the center. To do it, press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then click on the checkbox to select it. Then move it toward the center of the cell it is in right now.
When done, click an empty cell anywhere in your sheet to deselect the checkbox. Next, select the cell (NOT the checkbox) that has the checkbox, and then click and drag the Fill Handle found at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell. Drag it downwards to fill up the column with checkboxes.
7. You will see that the column is now filled with checkboxes.
Deselect the range of selection by clicking on an empty cell.
8. Now, go back to the first checkbox in the column, right-click on it, and then click Format Control from the menu.
9. It will open the Format Control options window. Make sure that you are in the Control tab. Now, click on the text box next to the Cell link, and immediately afterward, click on the cell where your currently selected checkbox is right now. The Cell link will then show you an Absolute Cell Reference which can be easily recognized by noticing the dollar signs before both column and row numbers. Finally, click OK.
In this demonstration, the cell link has $D$3 where $D is the Absolute Cell Reference column number, and $3 is the Absolute Cell Reference row number.
10. Repeat the process for all the checkboxes, one by one. Be always sure to select the correct cell for each checkbox. That is, in the Cell link for every checkbox, carefully click the cell that has that checkbox.
When done correctly, you will see the TRUE value underneath a checked checkbox and the FALSE value underneath an unchecked box. To examine whether the cell links are correct, check and uncheck all the checkboxes. If links are working properly, you will see a TRUE value underneath a checkbox when you put a check in it and a FALSE value when you uncheck it. See the picture below.
If you see that you are toggling the check in one box, but the value is changing in another cell, it means that that checkbox has not been linked properly with the cell it is in.
To correct the link, right-click on the checkbox that has shown to be linked to a different cell and then go to Format Control. Now click on the Cell link text box and remove the Cell Reference inside it. After removing, now click correctly on the cell that has the respective checkbox.
11. In this step, select the cells with texts that you want to strike through. Then, under the Home ribbon, find the Styles group, and in it, click Conditional Formatting. From the opened drop-down menu, click New Rule….
12. You should see an options window titled New Formatting Rule. Now, in the Select a Rule Type list, click and select Use a formula to determine which cells to format option. Then, click the text box under Format values where this formula is true. Now write the formula. When done, click the Format button.
Let’s say the first cell of your selection is A3, and the cell next to A3 is cell B3 which has the checkbox. In this case, the formula you will write is =$B3=TRUE. It means that whatever formatting you want to apply (in this case, strikethrough will be applied), it’s going to apply to your selected cell only when the value of the cell that has your checkbox is TRUE.
And as you saw in the previous two steps, when the checkbox is checked, the value becomes TRUE. Therefore, when the value becomes TRUE, the formatting will get applied (strikethrough, in this case. We are going to change the format setting next).
In this demonstration, the texts we want to apply strikethrough on are in cells C3 through C12 of Column C. The checkboxes are in D3 through D12 of Column D. So, our formula was =$D3=TRUE. By putting the dollar sign before the column number, we are locking the column to ensure that the formula does not get applied to columns to the left or right. It will move only up and down inside the $D column where the selection is. See the picture above.
13. After clicking the Format button, a new option window called Format Cells will open. In there, click on the Font tab first. Then put a check on the Strikethrough checkbox. Finally, click OK.
14. You will be taken back to the previous New Formatting Rule window. Click OK here as well.
15. Now you will return to your dataset. You should see that only for the checkboxes that are checked, the texts on the cells left of them are stricken through.
16. You can check for yourself by toggling the checks of those checkboxes.
17. For the final touch, we want to do something to hide the values under those checkboxes. It looks messy with those values showing underneath the checkboxes.
Now, to hide the values and keep only the checkboxes in those cells, select all the cells that have those checkboxes. Then right-click on the selection and click Format Cells.
18. The Format Cells option window will pop open. Go to the Number tab. Then, from the Category list, click and select Custom. Next, in the text box under Type, write three semicolons consecutively (;;;) without any spaces or characters among them. Finally, click the OK button.
19. You should see that the values in those cells underneath the checkboxes are not showing anymore.
20. You can toggle the checks now and notice that those TRUE values for checked and FALSE values for unchecked checkboxes are still staying hidden despite changing the status. Yet, they are still working because when you check the box, the text on the left cell is indeed getting stricken out.
This may seem complex if you are a new Excel user. Nonetheless, if you follow the steps properly a couple of times, the confusion will simply vanish!
Enabling the Developer Option
If you cannot see the Developer tab in your Excel menu bar, follow the steps below to enable it.
1. From the File tab, click Options.
2. You will see an Excel Options window. From there, click the Customize Ribbon tab from the list of tabs on the left. Then on the right, under the Customize the Ribbon section, make sure to put a check on the highlighted Developer option. Finally, click OK.
Now you should find the Developer tab in the menu bar of your Excel program.
Method 6 (Special Case): The Drop-Down List Approach
The previous method was about striking through text via a conditional checkbox. But in this method, we are about to show how you can strikethrough your text based on the list of values in the other column. The checkboxes from the previous method are now replaced by drop-down lists. Your strikethrough in a cell will depend on what you have as the value in the cell next to it.
For this demonstration, we are using a dataset where we would like to strikethrough employees who are present. But writing “Present” and “Absent” every single time is a problematic and unnecessarily time-consuming task. So, we need to find and apply a way where a name will be stricken through if the corresponding value in the cell next to it is Present.
Let’s see in some steps how to do it.
1. First, select the range of cells where you will put the drop-down lists in. Then go to the Data tab and in it, find the Data Tools group. Next, click the marked (3) Data Validation button. Or, if you click on the little down-arrowhead, it will open a drop-down menu. You can click on Data Validation here too, as marked (4) in the picture below.
2. A mini Data Validation option window will open. Click the Settings tab and then, under the Allow list, click the little drop-down button as marked (2) in the picture. Then, from the list, click on List.
3. Now, in the text box under the Source option, write the values. Each value should be separated by commas only. Then click OK.
For instance, let’s see the picture here. We only want Present and Absent as the values (in the drop-down list). Therefore, we wrote Present, put a comma, and then wrote Absent.
4. Now you will be taken back to your worksheet. Right now, all the cells in your range of selection should have a drop-down button accompanying them. When you select a cell, the drop-down button is shown next to it. When you click on it, you will see the values you put in the Data Validation window.
You may select each cell individually, click the drop-down button, and then select a value from it as you like. It will help you notice changes that will happen in the next few steps.
5. Now select the range of cells on which you want to use strikethrough based on the values in the Status column. Then under the Home ribbon, go to the Styles group and click the Conditional Formatting button. It will open a menu. In it, click New Rule….
6. You should see a New Formatting Rule window. Under Select a Rule Type, select Use a formula to determine which cells to format. Then inside the formula box under Format values where this formula is true, write down the formula. Then click on Format.
In this demonstration, the formula is =$D3=”Present”. This formula depends on which cells contain your drop-down list. Read the explanation of Step 12 in Method 5. The same principle applies here as well with one slight difference. In Method 5 Step 12, the formula had a TRUE value. But in this one, we are changing that TRUE value to “Present”. This is the value against which the strikethrough will be applied. Be sure to write the value within a closed quotation as it is shown here.
7. After you click the Format button, the Format Cells option window will open up. Click the Font tab first. Then check the Strikethrough option. Finally, click OK.
8. You will be taken back to the previous window. Click OK here as well.
9. Now you will be taken back to your dataset. There, you will see that the names which have Present selected in the next cells are now stricken through. We selected those values for observation in Step 4.
10. You can change the status in each cell now and notice that when you select Present, the corresponding cell is getting stricken through.
It’s pretty exciting, isn’t it?
For an option that does not come with the default layout, strikethrough has quite a lot of uses and various applications in Excel. The first four methods we discussed in this guide tell you in the simplest of ways how to strikethrough in Excel. But Method 5 and Method 6 take it to some higher levels!
For this reason, picking up only one approach in a discussion of which method is the best here is quite difficult. Method 1 through Method 4 tells you how you can apply strikethrough anywhere. Method 5 and Method 6 use Conditional Formatting to spread some fairy dust all over the supposedly simple task of striking through cells or text.
Depending on what you want to achieve, the last two methods will serve you in special situations and make your work easier. But the first four methods show you the way to strike through any text. And among these, Method 4 shows the fastest and easiest way to strikethrough anything. But if you are a mouse person, Method 2 and especially Method 3 will be your favorites.
Practice the methods a few times in a worksheet as you go through the guide. We recommend using the workbook that we have shared with you. When you feel content with your learning, have the confidence, and start using these techniques in your everyday tasks.