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Strikethrough Shortcut Key for MS Word, Excel, Outlook

Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.
Samyak Lalit | May 25, 2015 (Last update: September 22, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

MS Word provides a number of shortcut key combinations to make your office work faster. If you need to use MS Word a lot, it is highly recommended that you learn a few useful shortcut keys —it will help you work swiftly. You can press Ctrl+B to make text bold, Ctrl+U to make the text underlined. These shortcuts work in all the parts of Microsoft Office, like MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint etc.

However, by default, MS Word does not provide shortcut for strikethrough command. Even though strikethrough is an often used command, it is surprising that Microsoft has not created a shortcut key for strikethrough. But the good thing is that we can customize MS Word to create such a shortcut key combination. Today I will teach you how to set a quick way to make the text strikethrough.

What is Strikethrough Text?

Sometimes in a document, you don’t need certain text but you don’t want to delete it. In such cases, you can strikethrough the text. The piece of text will remain in the document for later reference (and even for later inclusion) —but at the same time, strikethrough will tell the reader that the text is no longer relevant. It looks something like this: Strikethrough text

How to Set Strikethrough Shortcut in MS Word

You will need to do the following process just once and after that, you will be able to strike out text by pressing the chosen key combination.

Open any MS Word document. You can open even a blank document as well.

Press Ctrl+D to bring up the Font dialog box. This box shows you the font formatting options.

Font dialog box in MS Word.

Font dialog box in MS Word.

Now press Ctrl+Alt and while holding both these keys down, press plus key on your Numeric Pad (Numpad).

Your cursor will change to a clove shaped one. Release the Ctrl+Alt keys and click on the Strikethrough option in the Font dialog box (shown with the red circle in the above image).

Customize Keyboard dialog box will open. Put your cursor in the Press new shortcut key box and press the shortcut key combination that you would like to set for strikethrough option. I have set it to Ctrl+Shift+S … You can also set it like that. Put the cursor in Press new shortcut key box and press Ctrl+Shift+S.

Customize Keyboard dialog box in MS Word for setting shortcut for strikethrough.

Customize Keyboard dialog box in MS Word for setting shortcut for strikethrough.

MS Word will automatically capture the keys you will press. You can use any combination of Shift, Alt, Ctrl and a letter key. If you will press a key combination that has already been assigned to some other command, MS Word will show you this information. It is better not to overwrite any existing shortcut. Ctrl+Shift+ is a good combination.

Click on Assign button to set the shortcut for strikethrough.

That’s it!

Now to test whether it is working or not, type anything in the MS Word document. Select the text and press Ctrl+Shift+S (or the other combination that you’ve chosen). The selected text will immediately be strikethrough.

I hope you found this little tip on setting shortcut for strikethrough in MS Word useful. Should you have any question on this topic, please feel free to ask me through the comments section on this page. I will try my best to be of help to you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!


20 responses to “Strikethrough Shortcut Key for MS Word, Excel, Outlook”

  1. Dale says:

    This is terrific, thank you! I’ve been wanting for years to add a quick shortcut for Strikethrough to Outlook – I use strikethrough all the time. Somehow in late 2020 I managed to stumble on your nice post!

    The CTRL-ALT-KeypadPlus is a neat trick/secret that seems to be almost unknown. Most sites state flatly that it is not possible to add arbitrary keyboard shortcuts to Outlook, outside the limited Quick Access and Quick Steps settings.

    For those having trouble, it DOES work in Outlook (I’m using a recent 2020 version of Office 365 Desktop). Just be sure to have opened a Compose New Message, and make sure the cursor is DOWN IN THE TEXT of the message. THEN you can make the keyboard assignment. If the cursor is above in the Subject or To, it will NOT work. And if you are not in a Compose window, it also will not work.

  2. Gina says:

    Thanks, I got this to work in Outlook, I saw that others had trouble getting it to work in Outlook but it worked for me! Great Tip! Thanks!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Title should be “Strikethrough Shortcut Key for MS Word(Full stop)”, as you have not covered the other applications

  4. lynn says:

    This is great! Thank you for sharing. I will be looking for other tips from you. Best regards..

  5. Brenden David says:

    Great tip for word. can’t get it to work in Outlook – even when I try assigning over a existing shortcut. The “customize keyboard” pane says my shortcut has been assigned to toggle strikethrough but it wont actually work when I return to the message pane.

    Any ideas?

    • NND says:

      Adding a keyboard shortcut for strikethrough in Outlook:
      I tried to assign the suggested “Ctrl + Shift + s” to strikethrough in Outlook and got no warning message that it is currently assigned to “Apply Styles…” command, which is what opened when I pressed it.
      However, I repeated the process, removed this assignment for the strikethrough, and instead added “Ctrl + Alt + s”, which works just fine in Outlook.

      I hope this helps!

      Otherwise, thanks for the helpful post TechWelkin!

  6. Catherine says:

    Thank you :)

  7. Rebecca says:

    Awesome! I am totally impressed and this was so simple!! Thank you so much

  8. kmm says:

    Thanks a lot! Its so useful and handy.

  9. B says:

    I thought setting up this MS Word strike-through shortcut might allow me to use the shortcut in Outlook, too, but it did not. Is there a way to set-up a strike-through shortcut in Outlook?

  10. Carole says:

    I tried this and apparently did something wrong after the clove-shaped cursor came up. Now when I try it again, the clove doesn’t come up and I can’t create the shortcut. I tried closing Word and trying to create shortcut again, with no luck. Thanks for any help you might give – it adds time to manually do the strike-throughs as I edit long docs.

  11. Rick says:

    I’m impressed


  12. CJ says:

    REALLY useful and helpful, thank you very much.

  13. Tina Curtis says:

    AWESOME! I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get myself through it but you made it VERY do-able! Thanks!!!

  14. fatima says:

    Thank you so much for the tip. I was struggling to find this shortcut.

  15. Michael Munch says:

    Thank you Mr. Kumar;

    Much appreciated.

  16. Will says:

    I’m sure it works fine on a full keyboard but don’t have a numerical pad on my laptop – any tips on how to do it in this setting? Thanks.



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