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A strikethrough is a line through the middle of text. It shows that the text is no longer valid or has been completed. This method keeps the text visible but marked as finished or changed.

Typical Uses for Strikethrough Text

  • Task Lists: Mark tasks as completed without removing them.
  • Editing: Show revisions while keeping the original text visible.
  • Errors: Indicate mistakes that have been noted but not removed.
  • Ideas: Cross out ideas that have been considered but not selected.

Let’s look at different methods of how to strikethrough in Excel.

Method 1: Font Settings

Imagine you have a learning list, and you want to mark each completed item with strikethrough text.

  • Select the cell or multiple cells you want to strikethrough.
  • Right-click and choose “Format Cells…”
  • Go to the “Font” tab.
  • Check the “Strikethrough” box.
  • Click “OK” and Excel will put a line through the text.

Method 2: Keyboard Shortcut

The quickest solution to cross out text is to use the Excel strikethrough shortcut.

  • Select the cell or text.
  • Press Ctrl + 5 (Command + Shift + X on Mac).
Excel strikethrough shortcut

The strikethrough format will be applied to the selected cell(s) instantly.

Method 3: Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)

Another quick solution is to add a Strikethrough button to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) on the Excel ribbon. This makes strikethrough formatting just a click away.

  • Click the dropdown arrow at the right end of the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Select “More Commands…” from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Excel Options menu, set the “Choose commands from” dropdown to “All Commands.”
  • Scroll down the list, select “Strikethrough”. Then click the “Add” button to move it to the QAT.
  • Click “OK” to apply the changes.

The Strikethrough icon will now appear in your Quick Access Toolbar. Highlight the cells you want to format and click this icon to apply the strikethrough.

Method 4: Conditional Formatting

You can use conditional formatting to add strikethrough to cells automatically. For example, mark a task as “done” in a nearby cell.

The task text will then show a strikethrough. Here’s how:

  • Select the cells with your tasks where you want to apply conditional strikethrough.
  • Go to the “Home” tab on the Ribbon.
  • Click on “Conditional Formatting” in the “Styles” group.
  • Choose “New Rule” from the dropdown menu.
  • In the “New Formatting Rule” dialog box, select “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.”
  • In the “Format values where this formula is true” box, enter this formula (adjust the cell reference for your data):
 =$C6="done"

💡 The dollar sign before the column letter ensures that the reference to column C remains fixed, while the row number can change based on the selected cells.

  • Then click the “Format” button to open the “Format Cells” dialog box.
  • Go to the “Font” tab in the “Format Cells” dialog box.
  • Check the “Strikethrough” box. Optionally, you can make other formatting changes, such as setting a light grey font color for crossed-out entries.
  • Click “OK” to close the “Format Cells” dialog box.
  • Click “OK” again to close the “New Formatting Rule” dialog box.

Now, when you type “done” in the cell in column C for a task, Excel will apply the strikethrough format to the task text in the cell.

Method 5: Checkbox in Excel

You can use checkboxes to mark tasks as done. Insert checkboxes in Excel and link them to cells (which you can hide later). Base your conditional formatting rule on the linked cells (TRUE if checked, FALSE if not).

Excel will automatically strike through tasks when the checkbox is selected.

In addition to this, we have added a resulting list “Left to Learn” next to it. This list shows the remaining tasks using the FILTER function in Excel.

strikethrough with checkbox in excel

For detailed steps to create this, check out the detailed article here. This method is also in the workbook you can download below. 👇

Download the Workbook

Enhance your learning experience by downloading our workbook. Practice the techniques discussed in real-time and master how to strike through text in Excel with hands-on examples. Download the workbook here and start applying what you’ve learned directly in Excel.

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Leila Gharani

I'm a 6x Microsoft MVP with over 15 years of experience implementing and professionals on Management Information Systems of different sizes and nature.

My background is Masters in Economics, Economist, Consultant, Oracle HFM Accounting Systems Expert, SAP BW Project Manager. My passion is teaching, experimenting and sharing. I am also addicted to learning and enjoy taking online courses on a variety of topics.