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.