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Strikethrough is an important formatting option that draws a line through selected text instead of deleting it. It’s often used during the editorial process or when collaborating on a document. Here’s how to use it in Google Docs.

Why Apply Strikethrough to Text When You Can Delete It?

When you apply strikethrough to text, it draws a line through the words but keeps the text visible underneath. This type of text formatting is useful in a number of scenarios. For example, if you’re collaborating on a document with other people and want to emphasize text that should be removed, you can apply strikethrough to the text. If you instead delete the text, the others may not know what changed.

That’s not all, though. Strikethrough is useful even in scenarios where you’re the only one looking at the document. One of the most common document types that this would apply to is a to-do list. Striking through items on your to-do list instead of deleting them allows you to visualize what you’ve accomplished for the day. There’s arguably nothing more satisfying than crossing out items on a to-do list—and Google Docs is a great place to maintain these lists since it can be used on almost any device.

A to-do list with stikethrough applied to the first three items on the list.

How to Apply Strikethrough to Text

To get started, open the Google Docs file that contains the text you would like to apply strikethrough to. Select the desired text by clicking and dragging your cursor over it. The text is highlighted blue when selected.

Select the text by clicking and dragging your mouse over it.

Once selected, you can apply strikethrough to the text using two different methods—the text format tool or via keyboard shortcut. To use the text format tool, click the “Format” tab in the toolbar.

Click the "Format" tab.


Hover your cursor over the “Text” option in the drop-down menu. A sub-menu will appear. Here, click the “Strikethrough” option.

Hover your mouse over "Text" and click "Strikethrough."

The strikethrough is now applied to the selected text.

A to-do list with strikethrough applied to the first item.

As mentioned, you can also apply strikethrough to text using a handy keyboard shortcut. For Windows 10 users, select the text by clicking and dragging your cursor over it and then press the Alt+Shift+5 keys. If you’re using a Mac, Command+Shift+X is the shortcut.

This is just one of the many basic tools available with Google Docs. You can learn more of the basics in our handy Google Docs guide for beginners.

RELATED: The Beginner's Guide to Google Docs

Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, runs ITEnterpriser, a data-storage and cybersecurity-focused online media, and plays with development, with his RAID calculator being his first public project.
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