How to Add Strikethrough Text in macOS Mail

Put a line through email text with one button click

Highlighter striking lines through text
Flickr/barkbud

When you send a new email or forward or reply to an email you received, you can add a text strikethrough in macOS Mail by selecting the text and then clicking the strikethrough formatting button. Adding a strikethrough to email text doesn't delete it but instead indicates to the recipient(s) that you changed your mind about that content or that the information is no longer valid.

As when you highlight words, readers can still see what's behind strikethrough text, but you've made clear that the content doesn't carry as much weight as the rest of the text or that a change has occurred.

Information is this article applies to the Mail application in the following operating systems: macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), and macOS Sierra (10.12)

Make Text Strikethrough on a Mac

The strikethrough button appears on the Mail formatting bar located above the main part of new emails and email replies. You can strike out words, letters, or entire paragraphs using the strikethrough button from the format bar.

  1. Open a new email screen or a forward or reply-to screen in the macOS Mail application. Click the A button at the top right side of the message window to show the formatting bar if it isn't already visible. The formatting bar is centered above the message and contains controls for font, size, text color, alignment, and other aspects of formatting text.

    Mail screen showing the formatting bar

    To make a strikethrough in the text of an email you are forwarding or replying to, you must first open the email in a forward or reply-to screen, where it appears as quoted information. You can't apply strikethrough in messages while they are sitting in your Inbox.

  2. Make sure you're working in rich text mode by choosing Format in the Mail menu bar and selecting Make Rich Text in the drop-down menu if it hasn't already been selected.

    If you see Make Plain Text in the menu, then the message is already in rich text mode. No further action is necessary.

    Selecting 'Make Rich Text' in Format menu in macOS Mail
  3. Highlight the text you want to strike through in the body of the email.

  4. Click the S button (next to B, I, and U in the formatting bar) to strike through the highlighted text.

    Screenshot showing how to make a text strikethrough in macOS Mail

That's all it takes. You click the same S button to undo the strikethrough, or you can select additional words or letters to add a strikethrough to them also in the same message.

If you make a text strikethrough for a word at the end of a sentence and then continue typing after that word, the strikethrough might follow through to your new text. To prevent this from happening, toggle the S button off when you're done using it so that any new text is set without the strikethrough.