How to Strikethrough on Google Docs

Learn how to cross out text for visible edits

You've probably seen strikethrough text—text that has a line through it—on blog posts and other online content. It has a few uses and if you're a Google Docs users, there are a couple of different ways to use strikethrough in Google Docs.

Why Use Strikethrough in Google Docs

Before we get to how to crossout text in Google Docs, it might be helpful to know why you might want to strikethrough text. There are a few reasons:

  • Crossing off list items: If you're a list maker, you know there's not much more fulfilling than crossing items off your list. Strikethrough lets you do that electronically, so you can visually see how much you have accomplished on a Google Docs to-do list
  • Striking text without losing it: When you're writing, it's not uncommon to change your mind and backspace to delete words that aren't just right. But if you're on the fence about something, and you're not sure you want to delete it, a strikethrough keeps the text, but indicates your indecisiveness. Then you can revisit it later to make a final determination if you should keep it or not.
  • Indicating a change in thought: Bloggers often use strikethrough text to indicate they've changed how they think about something. Sometimes, this a subtle way to add snark or humor to a blog post, too. The strikethrough is used as if the writer began to say something and then changed their mind to say it in a more appropriate or acceptable way.

How to Do Strikethrough in Google Docs

The way to cross out text in Google Docs isn't immediately obvious when you look at the toolbars that are available in an open document. That's because there are two ways to accomplish this:

Neither of those are difficult options, but if you don't know how, you could spend considerable time finding the options. Instead, here's the walkthrough for both the nested menu functions and the keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Start in an open Google Docs document and select the text you want to strikethrough. You can do this using click and drag from the beginning of where you want to strikethrough to the end of the selection.

    A text selection in Google Docs.
  2. With the text selected, click the Format menu at the top of the page.

    The Format option called out in Google Docs.
  3. In the menu that appears, hover over or select the Text option and then select Strikethrough.

    The Strikethrough option highlighted in Google Docs.
  4. Alternatively, once you've highlighted the text, you can use keyboard shortcuts to place a line through the selected text without deleting it. The keyboard shortcuts are:

    • Windows: Alt + Shift + 5
    • Mac: Command + Shift + X

How to Remove the Strikethrough Line in Text

If later, you come back to your document and decide you want to remove the strikethrough you placed in text, there are a couple of ways that you can do that.

The easiest way is to highlight the text and use the same keyboard shortcut used to place the strikethrough over the text: Alt + Shift + 5 (on Windows) or Command + Shift +X (on Mac).

You can also use the keyboard shortcut to clear formatting. To do that, highlight the text and use this combination of keys:

  • Windows: Ctrl + \
  • Mac: Command + \

If you're using the Clear Formatting option, be aware that it will not only remove the strikethrough, but it will also remove any additional formatting you may have put in place (e.g. bold, italics, superscript, and subscript).

Finally, if you want to use the nested menu functions, highlight the text and then choose Format > Text > Strikethrough, which will remove the strikethrough or Format > Clear Formatting which will remove the strikethrough and any other formatting that you may have used to treat the text.