How to Cross Words Out in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Crossing out words in Excel is a breeze once you get the hang of it. You just have to access the “Format Cells” option, where you can apply the strikethrough effect to your text. It’s that simple!

After you complete the action, the text you selected will be visibly crossed out, which can indicate that it’s been completed, is no longer relevant or should be disregarded.


So you’ve got a whopper of a spreadsheet in front of you, and there’s a bunch of stuff on it that’s either done and dusted or just not needed anymore. You want to mark it off, but deleting it outright would mess with your records. What do you do? You cross those words out, that’s what! This nifty little trick in Excel allows you to keep your information intact while clearly showing that it’s no longer relevant. It’s super useful for keeping track of to-do lists, inventory, schedules, or any other data that changes over time.

Crossing words out in Excel is a skill that’s handy for just about anyone—students, accountants, project managers, you name it. It’s a visual cue that tells you and anyone else looking at the spreadsheet that the specific item has been taken care of or to ignore it. And the best part? It’s pretty easy to do once you know how. Ready to dive in and strike through that text like a pro? Let’s go!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Cross Words Out in Excel

The following steps will guide you through the process of crossing out words in Excel, providing a visual indication that the text is no longer relevant.

Step 1: Select the cell or cells containing the text you want to cross out.

Select the text by clicking on the cell or dragging across multiple cells.

When you select a cell, it becomes the active cell, indicated by a thicker border around it. If you want to cross out words in several cells, click and drag to highlight them all. You can also hold down the Ctrl key and click on non-adjacent cells to select them.

Step 2: Right-click and choose “Format Cells” from the context menu.

Right-click on the selected cell or cells to open the context menu.

The “Format Cells” option is the gateway to all sorts of formatting magic in Excel, not just strikethrough. Once you click it, a dialog box will open with several tabs that let you control the appearance of your text.

Step 3: Navigate to the “Font” tab in the “Format Cells” dialog box.

Click on the “Font” tab to access font formatting options.

The “Font” tab in the “Format Cells” dialog box lets you change the font style, size, color, and effects, including the strikethrough effect we’re after right now.

Step 4: Check the box next to “Strikethrough” under “Effects”.

Click the checkbox to apply the strikethrough effect.

The “Strikethrough” checkbox is pretty self-explanatory. Once you tick it, you’ll see a preview of your text with a line running through it. This lets you confirm that it’s the effect you want before you apply it.

Step 5: Click “OK” to apply the strikethrough and close the dialog box.

Hit the “OK” button to finalize your formatting choice.

And just like that, your words are crossed out! The cells you selected will now show the text with a line through it, indicating that it’s been marked off. Pretty easy, right?


Visual ClarityCrossing out text in Excel clearly shows that an item is complete or irrelevant without removing data.
Easy to UseOnce you know where to find the option, striking through text is a quick and simple process.
Non-DestructiveThis method allows you to visually mark items without altering the underlying data, which can be useful for record-keeping.


Not Immediately ObviousNew users might not know where to find the strikethrough option, which can be a barrier.
Limited CustomizationExcel’s strikethrough is a standard effect and doesn’t allow for customization like thickness or color.
Potential OveruseOverusing strikethrough can make a spreadsheet look cluttered and difficult to read.

Additional Information

While crossing words out in Excel is straightforward, there are a few extra tips and tricks that can enhance your experience. For starters, keyboard shortcuts can speed up your workflow. While there’s no default shortcut for strikethrough in Excel, you can create one through the “Quick Access Toolbar”. Another thing to consider is how strikethrough interacts with other formatting options. For example, if you have text that is both bolded and crossed out, it might be less obvious that it’s been marked through. It’s also worth noting that Excel’s strikethrough is purely visual.

If you’re using formulas that reference the data in cells with strikethrough, the formatting won’t affect the results. That said, it’s possible to use conditional formatting to apply strikethrough automatically based on the criteria you set, which can be a real time-saver if you’re managing a dynamic list. Overall, strikethrough is a handy tool to have in your Excel arsenal when you need to visually manage your data without losing any information.


  1. Select the cell or cells with the text to cross out.
  2. Right-click and choose “Format Cells”.
  3. Go to the “Font” tab.
  4. Check the “Strikethrough” option.
  5. Click “OK”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a keyboard shortcut to cross out words in Excel?

Not by default, but you can add a strikethrough button to the “Quick Access Toolbar” and create your own shortcut.

Will strikethrough affect my formulas?

No, strikethrough is a visual effect and won’t impact the outcome of formulas referencing the cell.

Can I customize the strikethrough effect in Excel?

Excel’s strikethrough effect is standard and doesn’t offer customization options like thickness or color.

Is there a way to automatically apply strikethrough to certain cells?

Yes, you can use conditional formatting to apply strikethrough based on specific criteria.

Does strikethrough affect printing or exporting?

Strikethrough appears in printouts and exports, just as it does on-screen, providing a consistent visual cue.


Crossing words out in Excel is a nifty technique that doesn’t just make your spreadsheets look organized; it keeps them organized. It’s the perfect balance between maintaining a complete record and acknowledging that certain data points are no longer active or required. Remember, though, that while strikethrough is great for visual management, it’s all about using it judiciously.

Overdo it, and you might end up with a confusing mess. But use it wisely, and your spreadsheets will be models of clarity and efficiency. Why not give it a try on your next project? Your future self (and anyone else who lays eyes on your work) will thank you for it!

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