Software optimize

Create a Strikethrough shortcut in Word

Applying the Strikethrough format to text in a Word document requires a trip to the Font dialog box -- which will get old in a hurry, if you use that format a lot. Taking a moment now to create a keyboard shortcut will provide a big efficiency payoff.

Plenty of keyboard shortcuts are available for formatting text in a Word document. But for some reason, Microsoft didn't build one in for the Strikethrough format. If you need to strike through text with some regularity (not as part of tracked changes, but simply as a manually applied format), you'll save time by creating a shortcut of your own. Here's a quick rundown of the steps.

Note: If you need a cheat sheet printout, this info is available as a PDF download.

  1. Choose Tools | Customize and click the Keyboard button in the Customize dialog box (Figure A).

Figure A

  1. When Word opens the Customize Keyboard dialog box, select Format from the Categories list box and then scroll down the Commands list box and select Strikethrough (Figure B). Clicking in that list and pressing S will save some scrolling time.

Figure B

  1. Click in the Press New Shortcut Key text box and enter whatever shortcut you want -- we'll go with Ctrl + 7 for demonstration purposes here (Figure C). If you enter a combination that's in use by another command, Word will display Currently Assigned To and the command. You can overwrite the existing shortcut or delete what you entered and pick something else.

Figure C

  1. Click Assign and then click Close, then click Close again.

Now, you can select text and press the shortcut to apply (or remove) the Strikethrough format.

Word 2007

Word 2007 has a Strikethrough button in the Font group on the Home tab -- but no keyboard shortcut. If you'd rather have a shortcut (which has the advantage of being available no matter what tab happens to be selected), the process is similar:

  1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Customize in the left pane.
  3. Click the Keyboard Shortcuts: Customize button.
  4. Choose Home Tab from the Categories list box and then scroll through the Commands list and select Strikethrough.
  5. As before, enter the desired shortcut and click Assign. Then click Close and OK.

About

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.

11 comments
Loosgoose
Loosgoose

awesome now I can create just about any combination I need! thanks!

ElizabethannLamb
ElizabethannLamb

Thank you. I have been to several other sites trying to find a quick solution. All of them lead to dead ends. I appreciate the clear and correct direction! THX!!

bob.baldwin
bob.baldwin

Much simpler to add the strikeout icon to your tool-bar via customization.

jrobert
jrobert

I use frequently the strikethorugh format, so I just dragged the strikesthrough button (from Tools/personalize/commands/format) to the Word toolbar instead of creating a keyboard shortcut

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

Really fast typists - e.g. very experienced technical editors - often find it's much more efficient to keep their fingers on the keyboard rather than to jump from keyboard to mouse and back to the keyboard. It can really improve your typing speed to learn and use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse. I almost always tab from field to field rather than using the the mouse when I'm filling out a web form. It can really reduce the length of time it takes to navigate through a page. Using the Home and End keys as well as the Ctrl-Home and Ctrl-End can also improve efficiency. [Edit: Expansion and grammatical correction.] -Liz

JodyGilbert
JodyGilbert

Some users are keyboard people; some users are toolbar people. I wrote this up as a keyboard shortcut tip in response to a member who asked me for a counterpart to Excel's built-in keyboard shortcut. Nice to have the ability to customize, either way! --Jody

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

I added the Strikethrough button to my formatting toolbar long ago because I use it a lot in various to-do type docs. It didn't take very long to tire of taking my hands off the keyboard, grabbing the mouse to select and click the button, then returning to the keyboard. Now I have replaced Ctrl+K's Insert Hyperlink function (which I rarely use) w/ Strikethrough. Thanks, Jody!

doug.cronshaw@baesystems
doug.cronshaw@baesystems

Those employing keyboard shortcuts to save time may well be those who are also intensively using the keyboard for their current computer operations. Using a toolbar button to achieve the same end means that the cursor has to be moved using the mouse, which can cost substantially more time if its current position is a long way away from the target button (or the mouse is playing up because it hasn't its ball cleaned recently).

JodyGilbert
JodyGilbert

Deborah, Excel has a built-in keyboard shortcut for Strikethrough: Ctrl + 5. Works in Excel 2007 as well. --Jody