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Strikethrough text in Google Docs is a function that’s commonly used to show updated ideas or add emphasis.

It’s a useful feature too—as long as you know how to use it in your document.

What is a strikethrough, you ask?

The strikethrough feature is a style choice on a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Sheets that allows you to cross out certain words.

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The words will still be visible to the reader. Like this.

Writers can think of the strikethrough effect as another text choice to use in their document.

Writers already have different ways to make text stand out. They can add font variations, a different background color, or even make text bold, italic or add a superscript or subscript.

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Now, they can add a strikethrough, too.

But, the strikethrough function isn’t always listed in an obvious place in the toolbar, especially if you’re using Google Docs.


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Getting a handle on using the strikethrough function is pretty easy, actually. It just involves memorizing keyboard shortcuts or nested folders in the Google Docs toolbar menus.

Before we dive in, though, let’s go through some different scenarios when the strikethrough option would be good for use.

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Table of Contents

Why Writers Use the Strikethrough Text Option

The strikethrough text option is another tool writers have in their toolkit.

But when is it good to use it?

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The main function of the strikethrough text option is to capture the reader’s attention, I mean, show a progression of evolving ideas. It’s similar to how brands use a combination of colors to draw more eyes.

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In some cases, it’s useful if the writer believes that it’s important for the reader to see two conflicting yet complementary ideas. These ideas may seem to evolve in real-time.

Strikethroughs can make the writing more personal, as if it is a fluid train of thought from the writer to the page.

This is a useful formatting option if you’re a blogger who likes making sassy comments or if you love to feel the rush of a crossed off to-do list.

Be prepared, though. Just because you’re striking it out, doesn’t mean it’s lost on the reader.

Readers’ eyes will be drawn to text that has the strikethrough effect option displayed. That’s why writers use it to add emphasis to the words that have the strikethrough effect on them and also the text that follows.

Now that you know why you should use strikethroughs, let’s break down how you can add it to your next document.

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Strikethrough Keyboard Shortcut in Google Docs

So, how do you strikethrough text in Google Docs? The TL; DR version:

Mac Keyboard Shortcut: Highlight the word or phrase you want to strikethrough and push Command + Shift + X. Double-check that your highlighted text now has a line through it.

Windows and Linux Keyboard Shortcut: Highlight the word or phrase you want to strikethrough and push Alt + Shift + 5. Double-check that your highlighted text now has a line through it. It’s important to note that you need to press Alt and not Ctrl — most people get those two commands confused!

How to Strikethrough Text in Google Docs from the Toolbar

Step 1: Log in to Google Drive and open the Google Doc that has the selected text you want to strikethrough.

Step 2: Highlight the words or phrases you want to strikethrough.

Step 3: Select “Format” from the toolbar at the top of the screen.

Step 4: From the drop-down menu, select “Text.”

Step 5: From the drop-down menu that appears to the right, select “Strikethrough.”

Step 6: Double-check that your highlighted text now has a line through it.

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If there’s a line element over your text, you have successfully deployed the strikethrough command in your Google Doc.

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Want tips on more of Google Doc’s functionality? Check out Using Google Docs: The Ultimate Guide for 2020.