How to Apply Strikethrough to Text in Google Docs

56695 How to Apply Strikethrough to Text in Google Docs

Whether you’re editing documents for personal or professional use, strikethrough is a handy text formatting option to have in your toolkit. Applying strikethrough in Google Docs is easy – it allows you to cross out text to signify revisions, changes, or notes you want to preserve but not include in the final draft.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to quickly and efficiently strikethrough text in your Google Docs files.

Accessing the Format Toolbar

The first thing you need to do is access the Format toolbar. This toolbar contains all the necessary formatting options, including strikethrough.

To access the Format toolbar:

  • Open your Google Doc file
  • Locate the toolbar at the top of your document – it may be condensed into a single icon
  • Click on the toolbar to expand the options
  • The Format drop-down menu is on the left side

Keep this toolbar open as you work to enable easy access to strikethrough and other formatting options.

Selecting Text to Strikethrough

Once you have the Format toolbar open, you can select the text you want to strikethrough:

  • Use your mouse to click and drag across the text you want to strikethrough. This will highlight it.
  • Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts to select text:
    • For a single word, double click on it
    • For an entire paragraph, triple click within it
    • For everything, press Ctrl/Command + A
  • Ensure the text you want to strikethrough is highlighted before applying the effect

Tip: To strikethrough an entire document at once, press Ctrl/Command + A to select everything first.

Applying Strikethrough to Text

With your text selected, applying strikethrough is simple:

  1. On the Format toolbar, click the drop-down arrow next to Text
  2. Select Strikethrough from the options
  3. The selected text will now have a horizontal line straight through the middle

And that’s it! The strikethrough effect will stay applied to that text unless you remove it.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

For even faster strikethrough formatting, use these handy keyboard shortcuts after you’ve highlighted the text:

  • Windows: Press Alt + Shift + 5
  • Mac: Press Command + Shift + X

The keyboard shortcuts instantly apply strikethrough without having to click through the Format toolbar.

Customizing Strikethrough

You’re not limited to the default strikethrough style in Google Docs. You can customize the appearance by changing the color and line thickness:

  1. Highlight the text with strikethrough already applied
  2. On the Format toolbar, select Text
  3. Click Strikethrough options
  4. Adjust the color and thickness as desired
  5. Click Done when finished

Now your strikethrough stands out exactly how you want it to!

Pro tip: Match the strikethrough color to the original text color for a more subtle, professional look.

Strikethrough Text on Mobile

The Google Docs mobile app makes it just as easy to strikethrough text on the go:

  1. Open the Google Doc on your phone or tablet
  2. Tap and highlight the text you want to strikethrough
  3. Tap the paintbrush icon to open the formatting menu
  4. Choose Text then select Strikethrough

The interface is slightly different than on desktop but the overall process remains the same. The keyboard shortcuts can also be used on mobile after enabling them in your device settings.

Strikethrough Specific Sections

When strikethrough formatting, you’re not limited to entire words or sentences. Use these tips to cross out specific parts of text:

  • Individual letters: Highlight only the letters you want to strikethrough rather than the whole word
  • Partial words: Use spaces or dashes to divide a word before applying strikethrough to part of it
  • Text boxes: Insert a text box over the content you want to hide, then apply strikethrough to the box only

With some creative thinking, you can fine-tune strikethrough to cover or reveal as little or as much as you like.

When to Use Strikethrough

Now that you know how to do strikethrough in Google Docs, let’s discuss some of the most common use cases:

Marking Up Edits and Revisions

Strikethrough allows you to track changes during the editing process. Cross out text that you want to remove or replace without deleting it entirely:

The Constitution was ~~written~~ drafted in 1787.

Strikethrough enables easy collaboration because you can see exactly what edits have been made.

Showing Mathematical Steps

In mathematical documents, use strikethrough to reveal step-by-step work while emphasizing the final solution:

$$6 + 3 = ~~9$$
$$7 x 5 = ~~35$$

Indicating Outdated or Inaccurate Information

For formal documents requiring updates over time, apply strikethrough to content that is now outdated or has been proven inaccurate:

The capital of California is ~~Los Angeles~~ Sacramento. 

Providing Context for Quotes and Excerpts

When selectively quoting a passage, use strikethrough to provide context around the highlighted text:

The author states ~~various reasons for his opinion~~ "passage supports my own argument" ~~but I disagree with his conclusion~~.

Showing Price Drops or Discounts

In product descriptions, catalogs, or inventory lists, strikethrough the original price to clearly indicate a markdown or sale price:

~~$20~~ $15 - 25% off!

These are just a few of the most common ways strikethrough is applied both for personal and business use cases. There are likely many other instances where you can take advantage of strikethrough formatting to indicate revisions, markups, or additional context within your documents.

Tips for Using Strikethrough Effectively

To recap, here are some top tips to use strikethrough effectively in Google Docs:

  • Be consistent – Stick to one strikethrough style and color scheme throughout a document
  • Use sparingly – Avoid overusing strikethrough as it can become distracting
  • Double check accuracy – Review closely when using strikethrough to mark edits to confirm changes are correct
  • Add comments – Consider combining strikethrough with comments to further explain revisions or provide notes
  • Compare versions – Take advantage of version history to compare strikethrough changes over time
  • Use shortcuts – Save time by learning the keyboard shortcuts for highlighting text and applying instant strikethrough

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about strikethrough in Google Docs:

How do I remove strikethrough formatting?

Highlight the text and click the Strikethrough button again to toggle the formatting off. Or change the text style to Normal.

Is there strikethrough on Google Sheets or Slides?

No – strikethrough is only available as a text formatting option in Google Docs, not Sheets or Slides.

Can I partially strikethrough a word?

Yes! Use dashes, spaces, or text boxes to divide words and selectively apply strikethrough only where you want it.

What’s the shortcut to strikethrough a whole document?

Press Ctrl/Command+A to select everything, then use the keyboard shortcuts Alt+Shift+5 (Windows) or Command+Shift+X (Mac).

Can I customize strikethrough thickness and style?

Absolutely! Adjust line thickness, style, opacity, and color for customized strikethrough effects.


Whether you’re managing team edits, indicating changes in documents, marking up quotes for context, or simply organizing notes, applying strikethrough in Google Docs is easy and versatile.

With the Format toolbar shortcuts, customization options, and ability to selectively apply cross-outs, it takes just seconds to add and adjust strikethrough formatting as needed.

Take your Docs content to the next level by seamlessly integrating strikethrough to keep all collaborators in sync, clarify document evolution, compare revisions, highlight discounts, and more.

So pick up your virtual red pen, grab that digital highlighter, and start using strikethrough to annotate, revise, reveal, and review your latest masterpiece!

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