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 February 18, 2023)
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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