Excel Strikethrough Shortcut

Spreadsheets can become incredibly complex, and sometimes taking a bit of information off the table when it’s no longer needed is useful, but you don’t want to hide it completely.

That’s where using a strikethrough works nicely, it lets you know visually that this particular text can be ignored for the time being, but it’s still readable if you give it a closer look.

But this style choice isn’t only useful to help simplify more complex documents, it’s also perfect for very simple sheets like a checklist or a to-do list.

Adding a strikethrough as you complete a task is incredibly rewarding, much more so than simply moving on to the next item or task.

It gives you an instant visual cue of your progress, and you can do fun things like setting up a checkbox with tasks next to it that automatically adds a strikethrough when you check the box.

If you’ve used just about any word processor, you would expect to see a strikethrough option right there in the top menu, right?

Well, since Excel isn’t focused on word processing or text editing to the same degree, it’s not quite as simple to add a strikethrough but learning the shortcuts will make it easy and fast.

If shortcuts feel overwhelming, just try to learn a few at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be cruising around your sheets using nothing but your keyboard, and it can be a lot more quick and productive when you get really good at it.

If you want to learn about using an Excel strikethrough shortcut, you’re in the right place.

Keyboard Shortcut for Excel Strikethrough

If you want to use a keyboard shortcut to add a strikethrough in Excel, it’s one of the easier keyboard shortcuts you’ll encounter. 

Start by selecting the cell or cells within which you would like to add your strikethrough, and then press CTRL + 5. 


That’s the CTRL key, and then the 5 key. 

CTRL + 5 is how to add a strikethrough to cells in an Excel worksheet.

You can select a single cell to apply this formatting to with the shortcut, or you can select multiple cells at once and press the same keyboard shortcut to add strikethrough to all of them.

Add Strikingthroughs Using The Format Cells Launcher

If you would prefer to click your way to a strikethrough, you can do so using the Format Cells launcher in the Home tab of the Excel desktop application.

Simply open your spreadsheet in Excel for desktop and click over to the Home tab if you aren’t there by default.

From there, look at the section just below where you edit the font color or background color, there’s a small little arrow in the corner, and clicking this will open the Format Cells box.

Now, you can choose a handful of different effects in the Effects section. You can choose between subscript, superscript, and strikethrough.

Select the Strikethrough option, and you’re all set. 

You may need to save your workbook and reopen it in Excel for the web in order to view the changes you’ve made.

Adding Strikethrough Button to the Quick Access Toolbar

If this is something you’re going to be using often, and you don’t want to simply use the keyboard shortcut, you can add the Strikethrough command to your QAT (quick access toolbar) for quick access.

To add the strikethrough command to your QAT…

Locate your Quick Access Toolbar, and right-click on either any of the existing items or elsewhere on the ribbon itself and choose the option that says Customize Quick Access Toolbar.

From the customization menu, under the “Choose commands from:” dropdown menu, select “All Commands.”

Scroll down the long list of commands, and choose Strikethrough, and click “Add >>” to add this command to your toolbar.

You can also remove any commands you don’t use, to have a clearer layout. Just take note of the things you remove, in case you’re ever looking for them down the road.

Click Okay, and admire your new customized Quick Access Toolbar in Excel.

While you’re here, why not take a look at some of the other commands and options that you can add to your QAT?

This is some very valuable real estate on your Excel screen, and taking advantage of it can make you much more productive, especially if you use a mouse and some of the functions you use frequently are buried in menus.

Bringing them right to the forefront can save you a lot of time if you don’t want to learn the keyboard shortcuts for everything.

Cool Ways To Use Strikethrough in Excel

We’ve gone over a few examples of different times that you can use the Strikethrough in Excel, here are some ideas… 

Using Double Click (VBA)

If you’re a power-user, you can use VBA to apply strikethroughs to cells by simply double-clicking them, thanks to VBA macros.

This can take your to-do list to the next level.

Using check-boxes

You can also use a second column, next to the items on your to-do list, with checkboxes that will trigger a strikethrough in the adjacent cells.

Drop-down menus

Also, you could use a drop-down menu to dictate the formatting of a specific cell. 

Summary of the Excel Strikethrough Shortcut

The shortcut itself is CTRL + 5, so selecting the cells you’d like to strikethrough and pressing CTRL + 5 is the fastest way to add the strikethrough formatting, but adding it to your quick access toolbar is another good way to accomplish this.

Either way, if you use strikethroughs often enough, both of these options are good.

Condition formatting is also a great way to implement strikethroughs if you have a to-do list and you want to show which tasks are completed. 

Have you seen any other clever usages of the Excel strikethrough shortcut that impressed you?

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