How to Cross Out Text with Strikethrough Formatting in Google Docs

Strikethrough is a formatting option that allows you to cross out words in a document. When text is struck through, a horizontal line runs through the middle of the letters to indicate that you want to eliminate or replace that text. Using strikethrough is an easy way to edit documents and indicate changes without deleting the original text.

In Google Docs, applying strikethrough formatting to text is simple. There are a couple methods you can use: selecting the strikethrough option from the toolbar or using a keyboard shortcut. Here’s an overview of both options:

Using the Strikethrough Button

  1. Highlight the text you want to strikethrough. You can select a word, sentence, or multiple paragraphs.
  2. Click the Format menu at the top of the document.
  3. Select Text.
  4. Choose Strikethrough from the dropdown menu.

The selected text will now have a horizontal line running through the middle.

Using the Keyboard Shortcut

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to quickly strikethrough text:

  • Windows: Select the text and press Ctrl + Alt + 5
  • Mac: Select the text and press ⌘ + Shift + X

The keyboard shortcut will immediately cross out the highlighted text.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional pointers when working with strikethrough in Google Docs:

  • To remove strikethrough formatting, simply highlight the text and press the keyboard shortcut again. Or go to the toolbar and toggle off strikethrough.
  • Strikethrough carries over when you convert a Google Doc to other formats like .docx or .pdf. However, it doesn’t show up in plain text documents.
  • When collaborating in a shared document, the strikethrough formatting appears for all editors. It’s a great way to make edits while keeping the original text intact.
  • Struck-through text still contributes to the total word count. So keep that in mind if you have a word count requirement.
  • Use strikethrough sparingly as large blocks can make text difficult to read. It’s best for short phrases, words, or line edits.

When to Use Strikethrough

Here are some of the most common use cases for applying strikethrough formatting:

Editing Written Documents

Strikethrough allows you to clearly indicate edits without erasing the original text. For example, if you need to replace a word in a sentence, you can cross out the old word and write the new one. Reviewers can see your edits and follow your thought process.

Marking Completed Tasks

In to-do lists and checklists, use strikethrough to signify tasks you’ve completed. It’s a quick visual cue to differentiate finished and unfinished items.

Showing Price Drops

On sales flyers and promotions, strikethrough the original price and write the discounted price next to it. This allows customers to clearly see the dollars saved.

Indicating Wrong Answers

For teachers, use strikethrough to cross out the incorrect answers on student work. That way you can still provide feedback on why the answer was wrong.

Step-By-Step Tutorial

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough of applying strikethrough formatting in Google Docs:

1. Open your document

Go to Google Docs in your web browser. Open an existing document or start a new blank document.

Google Docs homepage

2. Type your text

Write out a few sentences or a short paragraph. This is the text you will strikethrough.

3. Select the text

Using your mouse, highlight the text you want to strikethrough. I’m selecting the first sentence here.

Select text in Google Docs

4. Open the format toolbar

Click Format in the menu bar at the top and select Text. This will open the text formatting toolbar.

Google Docs format text toolbar

5. Click strikethrough

In the text formatting toolbar, click the strikethrough icon which has a horizontal line through the letters.

Strikethrough icon in toolbar

6. View strikethrough text

The selected text now has a horizontal line through the center, indicating it’s struck through.

Strikethrough applied in Google Docs

And that’s it! By following these six simple steps, you can cross out text with strikethrough formatting in Google Docs.


Strikethrough is a useful text formatting tool that allows you to eliminate text and clearly indicate edits. By crossing out words, you can revise documents without erasing the original draft.

In Google Docs, applying strikethrough is easy:

  • Select the text you want to strikethrough
  • Use the toolbar to toggle on strikethrough
  • Or use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + Alt + 5 (Windows) or ⌘ + Shift + X (Mac)

Use strikethrough sparingly when editing to maximize readability. It’s perfect for making quick revisions, marking completed tasks, showing price drops, or indicating wrong quiz answers.

So next time you need to eliminate a few words in Google Docs, use strikethrough formatting to cross it out!