How to Strikethrough in Google Sheets (3 Easy Ways + Shortcut)


Google Sheets offers several quick ways to format text with strikethrough when you need it.

While strikethrough is something mostly used in Google Docs, you may also need it in Google Sheets.

Sometimes you want to express how some information is no longer relevant, but you want to keep it in the spreadsheet: strikethrough formatting has you covered.

Unlike in its counterpart Microsoft Excel, strikethrough is front and center in Google Sheets. Users familiar with Excel who are now using Sheets may be coming over with the expectation this feature is buried in both applications: this is not the case.

Google Sheets’ strikethrough ease of use is arguably a “quality of life” improvement for this commonly used text formatting.

The following steps show you how to use strikethrough formatting in your Google Sheets workbooks and provide a few tips for using it.

Keyboard Shortcut to Apply Strikethrough In Google Sheets

If you find yourself using strikethrough formatting frequently, you can use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process.

The shortcut is different depending on the operating system.

To use this feature, select the cells where you want to format with strikethrough and press the following combination of keys:

  • Windows: Alt + Shift + 5
  • macOS: Command (⌘) + Shift + X
  • ChromeOS: Alt + Shift + 5

Unfortunately, keyboard shortcuts aren’t ideal for touchscreen devices on Google Sheets.

The ease-of-access to the “Strikethrough” icon is easier to use for devices that don’t use a physical keyboard.

Add Strikethrough with the Format Drop Menu

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below and you want to apply the strikethrough to some of the cells.

Dataset for strikethrough

Below are the steps to apply strikethrough in Google Sheets:

  1. Select the cells where you want to format with a strikethrough. This can be a single cell or a range of cells.
  2. Open the “Format” drop menu in the main menu bar.Click the format option
  3. Select “Strikethrough” from the options.Click on strikethrough

The selected cells are now formatted with a strikethrough.

Dataset after strikethrough

Google Sheets uses drop menus as opposed to tabs in Microsoft Excel, so you’ll need to select the “Format” drop menu every time if you’re applying strikethrough to multiple sections. This would stay open in the Office counterpart.

Add Strikethrough with the Toolbar

Alternatively, you can use the “Strikethrough” shortcut in the formatting section of the menu’s second-row (the toolbar) to use this text format.

It’s designated by the “S” icon featuring a horizontal line drawn through the middle.

  1. Select the text you want to format with a strikethrough.
  2. Click or tap the “Strikethrough” icon in the toolbar.

Stirkethrough in the toolbar

This is a quick, easy method to add strikethrough formatting to text.

Note that Google Sheets will hide the “Strikethrough” menu shortcut if the browser window is too small. You can still access this feature by hitting the ellipsis icon to expand the menu.

Strikethrough in small windows

Alternatively, you can make the browser window larger if your screen dimensions allow it.

Having “Strikethrough” immediately accessible through an “always present” shortcut highlights a functional difference between Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Excel emphasizes “Underline” formatting in its shortcut section, which is missing from the Sheets shortcut section. However, “Underline” is still present under the “Format” drop menu in Sheets.

Add Strikethrough with Conditional Formatting

You can take your use of strikethrough formatting to a new level of usefulness with conditional formatting.

Conditional formatting is a very helpful tool for getting across extra information visually for people reading a spreadsheet.

Google Sheets also makes it straightforward to add strikethrough with conditional formatting.

This can be very useful for things like adding strikethrough to discontinued products in an inventory list when the stock count hits zero. Or you can strikethrough tasks where the status is completed, so it looks as like these tasks are checked off.

Below is an example where I have the tasks and the status for each task in the column next to it.

Dataset for conditional formating strikethrough

The intent is to apply the strikethrough format to all the tasks where the status is ‘Completed’.

To add conditional formatting in our hypothetical example, do the following:

  1. Select the cell range you want to add conditional formatting to. In the example, I have highlighted A2:A6
  2. Open the “Format” drop menuClick the format option
  3. Select “Conditional formatting” from the options list. This will open the conditional formatting pane on the rightClick on conditional formatting option
  4. Click on the Add new rule option in the Conditional format rules pane Click on add new rule
  5. In the ‘Format rules’ drop-down, select the ‘Custom formula is’ option Click on custom formula is
  6. In the formula field, enter the following formula: =B2=“Completed” Enter formula for strikethrough
  7. In the Formatting style section, select the strikethrough format. You can also specify another formatting if you want (such as color the cell in green) Apply the strike-through as the format
  8. Click on Done

The above steps would apply the strikethrough format to all the tasks where the status is completed.

Conditional formatting strikethrough

One good thing about conditional formatting is that it is dynamic. So if you change the status of any task from ‘In-progress’ to ‘Completed’, it will automatically get the strikethrough.

Removing Strikethrough In Google Sheets

Like any other text formatting, you can remove strikethrough by repeating the process on the text that is already formatted with a strikethrough.

Just select the cells that have the strikethrough formatting that you want to remove and click on the strikethrough option in the toolbar (or in the Format option in the menu).

You can also use “Clear formatting” to remove it (but remember that it will remove all the other formatting as well).

  1. Select the text you want to remove the strikethrough formatting.
  2. Open the “Format” drop menu.
  3. Choose “Clear formatting” from the options list.

Alternatively, you can use clear formatting keyboard shortcuts, which again differ between operating systems:

  • Windows Ctrl + Spacebar
  • macOS: Command (⌘) + \
  • ChromeOS: Ctrl + \

So these are some methods you can use to apply the strikethrough formatting in Google Sheets. You can learn to use the feature in very little time as it’s easier to use than in some competing spreadsheet programs.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful!

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1 thought on “How to Strikethrough in Google Sheets (3 Easy Ways + Shortcut)”

  1. it would be nice to have the option to strikethrough only one word within a cell
    I do a lot of scheduling in advance and sometimes there are changes, I would love to strike through my original entry and add new text below it – all within one cell

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