Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Strikethrough Shortcut Key.

Strikethrough Shortcut Key

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 5, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word provides shortcut key combinations for many different formatting options. One common formatting attribute that does not have such a combination is strikethrough. Most people add it by displaying the Font dialog box and then selecting Strikethrough in the Effects area of the dialog box.

You can define your own shortcut key for strikethrough by customizing Word. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+D or choose Font from the Format menu. Word displays the Font tab of the Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Font tab of the Font dialog box.

  3. Hold down Alt+Ctrl and, at the same time, press the plus sign on the numeric keypad. The mouse pointer turns into a clover symbol.
  4. Click on the Strikethrough check box in the Font dialog box. (As you move the mouse pointer to get ready to click, the mouse pointer may change back to an arrow instead of a clover; this is OK.) When you click, Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box with the insertion point blinking in the Press New Shortcut Key box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  6. Type whatever shortcut key you want to use for the strikethrough format. Just hold down whatever combination of the Alt, Ctrl, and Shift keys you want, and then press the desired key to go with that combination. If the combination is already taken, that information shows just below the Customize Keyboard dialog box, and you can then change to a different shortcut key. (A good combination to consider is Alt+Shift+S or Ctrl+Alt+S, neither of which are used in a default installation of Word.)
  7. Click the Assign button. The shortcut key is now assigned to apply strikethrough formatting.
  8. Click Close to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  9. Click Cancel to dismiss the Font dialog box.

It should be noted that there are a variety of ways that you can display the Customize Keyboard dialog box, which is necessary for the above steps. The method used in these steps was selected because after you complete steps 1 through 3, the Customize Keyboard dialog box is already filled in with the proper settings to invoke the strikethrough formatting. If you use a different method to display the dialog box, you'll need to make the specific settings in that dialog box required to apply strikethrough formatting. (In other words, the above method of invoking the Customize Keyboard dialog box saves you some time when compared to other methods.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (418) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Strikethrough Shortcut Key.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is three more than 4?

2019-02-18 17:47:41


What to do to assign a short cut key in a laptop where I dont have a Numeric plus key

2018-11-20 23:48:17


It still works in the 2019 version. Thanks Allen!

2018-10-15 16:30:10

Sarah Abdullah

Amazing! Thanks

2018-05-03 12:29:08

Jeremy Hebert

Super helpful. How did I not know about the clover cursor! Will be using that one again...

2018-03-27 08:31:35


Excellent! Thank you so much!
I have always been a fan of Keyboard shortcuts, but was missing this one. Thanks for showing the way!

2018-02-12 18:04:47


Thanks so much! It really helped!

2018-01-18 16:42:16


I just did this trick on a Surface tablet running MS Word 365 on Windows 10. It worked great! Thanks for the tip!

2018-01-09 07:52:33

Timothy Takemoto timtak

I am back here again to say thanks. It was only about a year ago but I had forgotten the CTRL+ALT "+" combination.

By the way, one can also right click on the "Quick Access Toolbar" and choose "Customize the quick access toolbar" and then "Keyboard shortcuts."

2018-01-02 09:36:43


Thank you for the very "user friendly" advice and step by step instructions. I look forward to receiving your newsletter.

2017-12-14 10:11:38


Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a helpful too that can be applied across A NUMBER OF THINGS in Word =)

2017-11-16 12:35:57


Actually I want to get rid of the strikethrough which is always coming to being everytime I try to backspace or delete a highlighted word..
Thanks gradually I am learning.

2017-10-17 10:27:22

Ana Silva

This is great! thanks

2016-12-13 19:50:09

Timtak Timothy Takemoto

I never knew about the clover cursor! Thanks.

2016-11-24 01:25:18


How to use double strike through multiple times in word document in a single stroke.

2016-11-04 03:00:05


Thank you.

2016-09-27 19:07:26

Kyle Danning

Excellent! Thank you so much.

2016-08-25 10:05:17


Thank you so much for this tip! Works great!

2016-06-08 06:45:58



2016-04-11 10:28:57

Barbara Didier

I was using your directions for a shortcut for "strikethrough." The first step brought up something different - I'm guessing it was shortcut directions for making shortcuts.....?
Would you please check to see if these directions need updating?

thanks so much - I just signed up for your newsletter and can't wait to see how this works!

2016-03-23 04:47:25


the second keystroke alt+ctr+ the plus sign does not work for me on my computer. How else can you get to the customize keyboard popup?

2016-02-26 11:49:42


Thank you for this post! As an irregular user of Word, I am appreciative as it made me aware of some advanced functionality which has saved me lots of time (particularly with striketrhoughs).

Many thanks, and I hope your day is great!

Todd from Canada :)

2016-02-18 05:21:25

Shubham Mittal

Very Helpful. Thank you :) :)

2015-10-16 01:26:33


Very useful! Thank you!

2015-08-31 21:26:22

jersey william

thanks, it work like charm!

2015-08-25 22:26:15


This tip helped me much. a lot of time can be saved!! Kudos amigo!

2015-08-13 13:46:25


ctrl+t works great! thanks!!!

2015-07-15 12:24:21


James thanks for the ctrl+t for the strikethrough. That definitely worked with microsoft programs outside of word like sticky notes. Thanks.

2015-06-25 12:48:33


Thanks James, Ctrl + T works for me! I am running Windows 7

2015-05-22 10:21:58


Please name who you are thanking! 50 messages and 30 thank you's, none of which said specifically what worked. I must have missed the one that works for me because I never found one. (Word 2007).
Also good to identify which keypad for example: - sign; on numeric keyboard or regular keyboard?
It is good practice in blogs to reply using "@ other guys name" so a reader can look back and see what's being congratulated.

2015-05-21 18:00:34


Wow, what a misleading title. I want a single command like "ctrl + b" for bold, but that does strikethrough. Not a series of steps for something I already now.

2015-05-01 23:23:04


Ctrl+Alt+[plus] doesn't work here.
Nothing happens. Note that I have a seperate numeric pad (+ a tenkey-less keyboard).

2015-04-25 19:03:55


In my version of Word (Office 2007), you can highlight/select what you want to strikethrough, hold down Ctrl button, then press the - key. Don't know if this works for newer versions, but it has worked on all versions for me from 1995 - 2007

2015-01-15 15:27:07


MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA, I'm using your tip all the time now--thanks!

2014-12-13 12:26:46


To perform strike through on text on Windows 2010 and up is Ctrl + T

2014-12-03 08:09:18


This is assigned to Ctrl+5 since MS office 2007. Other than that it's a good guide how to add shortcuts in general :)

2014-11-21 09:14:49


Very good, solution. Thanks a lot for sharing. Saved a lot of time for me.

2014-11-12 06:20:38


Great tip, and by the way, the tip also works on Word 2007. Thanks.

2014-09-20 00:20:49

Chrispine christian

Thank you for your tips, you have taught me a very critical unique shortcut in MS word.

2014-07-10 07:23:23

mustafa ipekgil

that worked. thank you !

2014-07-02 22:53:55


I found this laborious process not necessary. Just select the portion of the word document you want to strike through, click Control+D then font dialogue box opens and then go to strike through box below and click it. That's enough, the selected portion is struck through by a line.

2014-07-02 14:13:00


Thanks for posting this great shortcut!

2014-06-19 20:17:13


Thank you.

In 2007 I had to click the circle, [Word Options] at the bottom, Customize Tab, and then [Customize Button] for Keyboard shortcuts.

Then I selected 'All Commands' under Categories, Strikethrough under commands, and set mine up as [CTRL] & [ALT] & 'Q'.

2014-05-28 09:17:19

mohsen jalalian

tanx, very helpful...

2014-03-07 15:27:31

Brad C

This is gr8 !

2013-12-15 11:53:20

Allan F C

Brilliant, thank you

2013-11-05 10:34:07


Helpfull Post. Thanks a lot. It works fine.

2013-08-30 03:56:17


Thank you

2013-08-28 20:04:01


Thank you!

2013-08-23 14:34:02


very useful! thank you.

2013-08-01 08:08:54


Thank you!

2013-07-18 08:45:11


Thank you. I didn't even know how to strikethrough without a shortcut and when I googled, this tip was one of the first things I found. So not only am I now striking through, I'm striking through quickly! Thanks for taking the time to post this.

BTW, neither CTRL-5 nor CTRL-F5 worked for me in Word 2003. One changed spacing from single to double, and one changed window from maximized to a smaller window.

2013-07-14 11:15:02


Thank you so much this was wonderful!

2013-07-11 08:10:29


@Rakesh, thank you so much for your help! Everything is going to be striked through now.

2013-07-02 20:29:24


Awesome! This worked perfectly, thanks :)

2013-07-02 01:19:14


Excellent, instructions are so good. made my day.

Thanks a lot.

2013-05-20 02:21:28



MS Word 2010 -> File -> Options -> Customize Ribbon -> Keyboard Shortcuts Customize... -> Categories - All Commands -> Command - Strikethrough -> (Give a combination) -> Assign

2013-04-22 02:41:40


@Mich, use On-Screen Keyboard (Start > Programs > Accessories > Accessibility)

2013-04-02 22:13:22


Thanks Allen.

2013-04-02 18:40:18


What do you do if your Word program is installed on a laptop with no numeric keypad? I can press CTRL/ALT and the key with the "+", but the cursor changes to a bold + (not a clover), and then when I click on the check box for the strikethrough option, absolutely nothing happens other than the normal function of selecting that checkbox! I have MS Word 2000.

2013-03-06 02:18:53


Very useful, thanks so much!

2013-02-26 23:13:13


This is exactly what I needed to know! Thank you for making this so easy to understand. The pictures and inescapably clear directions were very helpful to me.

Thank you!

2013-02-06 06:47:27

chetan nehru

I am sorry to say that after i close down ms word, the next time i open a new document. The strikethrough button and the assingment does not work. For instance I assigned CTRL+SHIFT+S for strikethrough. Now when I open the new document i am unable to use the same CTRL+SHIFT+S combination. I mean to say strikethrough does not work now. What to do? Pls help.

2013-02-06 06:43:46

chetan nehru

Thank u sooooo much. I was looking to add the strikethrough button on my tool bar. Your tips has helped me.

Thank u.

2013-01-22 11:27:28


Cool, worked!
This is great!

2013-01-17 16:59:27


This feature should have been bound to something other than CTRL + F5, in my opinion. The F- buttons are the last buttons I tap when experimenting.

2013-01-16 16:44:44


Thanks, this was just what I was looking for. Couldn't find it on Microsoft's site.

Your instructions were very clear and easy to understand/follow. You should consider writing a book!

2012-12-19 15:07:28


Thank you!!! That's an awesome tip!

2012-11-08 14:09:16



2012-09-20 15:45:37

Mike M.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Oh, my life just got a little easier. See Mikey Dance ;)

2012-09-06 21:25:19


More spec ifically, my problem is that I don't have a number pad with a plus sign. The plus is just a shift option above the equal sign. Suggestions welcome. I'd love to be able to do this. thanks

2012-09-06 21:08:24


I have office for mac o8 and this didn't work at all. did I do something wrong, or is this site just wrong for me???

2012-08-30 16:45:37


Ctrl-5 works as a shortcut, no setup

2012-08-28 13:26:15


Awesome. Thanks for this

2012-08-27 10:51:34


Grea info, simple instructions, Thx!

2012-07-21 13:45:16


I've tried this three times, and none of the shortcuts I assigned actually work, nor can I remove them. I have Microsoft Word Starter instead of the full program - is that why it's not working?

2012-06-23 12:11:28


Thanks ,this was very useful!

2012-06-20 11:29:54


Worked like a charm, Thanks! Drove me nuts thinking there was no shortcut command to strikeout!

2012-01-19 03:32:46


Perfect. Just had to know this one.

2012-01-04 16:16:15


Have you considered writing a book about this? Seriously - it was such a simple task on previous Word versions, what were they thinking?

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