What Is Strikethrough Text? Definition, Types, and How It Works

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Strikethrough text is a type of formatting applied to selected text in a document.

The text appears with a line through it.

Strikethrough indicates that the text is no longer accurate or relevant.

You may also use it for editorial comments or corrections.

There are two common types of strikethrough: single and double.

Single strikethrough uses one line to cross out the text, while double strikethrough uses two lines.

The choice of which type to use is up to the author or editor.

What Is Strikethrough Text?

Strikethrough is a type of text formatting applied to selected text in a document.

It indicates that the text has been deleted or changed.

A horizontal line is drawn through the center of the selected text when using strikethrough text.

There are different conventions for using strikethrough text.

In some cases, it shows that something has been crossed out or is no longer valid.

In other cases, it may be used as a form of emphasis to make a text stand out more.

You can also use it to create a particular look or feel in a document for aesthetic purposes.

What Is the Purpose of Strikethrough Text?

The purpose of strikethrough text visually indicates that the text has been deleted and is no longer accurate or relevant.

You can use it in both formal and informal documents for various purposes.

Strikethrough text can also show evidence of an edit or revision.

This display can be helpful when editing a document with multiple authors.

The strikethrough text can show any changes, so everyone is on the same page.

A strikethrough can also draw attention to a particular section of text.

This emphasis can be helpful when making a presentation or giving a lecture.

The strikethrough text will help the audience focus on the most critical points.

When To Use Strikethrough Text?

Use strikethrough text sparingly, as it can be challenging to read.

It is best for short phrases or sentences.

There are several reasons why you might want to use strikethrough text.

In formal documents, it indicates that a section of text has been removed or is no longer accurate.

In less formal settings, it can cross out incorrect information or show that something is no longer relevant.

Using strikethrough with links shows that the link is broken or the site cannot be accessed.

Google uses strikethrough in search results to indicate when a keyword does not appear.

Conventional Uses of Strikethroughs

One everyday use of strikethrough text indicates removing something from a document.

For example, if an author deletes a sentence from a paragraph, they may choose to strike through the text to show that it is no longer relevant.

This mark can be helpful when you’re editing a document and want to keep track of what has changed.

Another common use is to indicate a correction.

For example, if an author misspells a word, they may strikethrough the incorrect spelling and write the correct spelling above it.

Strikethrough can also indicate that a particular text is no longer relevant.

For example, if you’re making a list of tasks, you might striketh through the completed tasks.

Invalidating outdated material is vital for maintaining the accuracy of your writing.

Strikethrough text is a popular way to do this because it’s easy to read and understand.

Alternative Uses of Strikethroughs

While people mainly use strikethrough text for negative purposes (to show that something has been removed or corrected), you can also use it for positive purposes.

While the most common use for strikethrough text indicates deletion or changes, there are other ways you can use it.

For example, some people use strikethrough text to indicate that they are no longer interested in something.

For example, if you’re looking for a new job, you might keep a list of potential employers and strikethrough those to which you’ve already applied.

Strikethroughs are used in advertising to show price reductions.

This helps draw attention to the fact that a product is on sale.

The strikethrough is essential to show what was crossed out or changed in historical documents.

The original text is just as important as the new text in these documents, so it’s helpful to see what was altered.

Strikethroughs make a point by signifying disagreement.

A writer can strikethrough any words they disagree with and present a new statement immediately afterward.

This statement is a way to draw attention to an area of an article.

Public Use Cases for Strikethroughs

Strikethrough text often appears in public forums such as message boards, email threads, and social media posts.

These cases indicate that a particular comment is no longer relevant or that the person making a comment has changed their opinion.

It can also help make a joke or mock someone.

For example, if someone posts a wrong message, others might reply with similarly incorrect statements, but with strikethrough text to indicate that they are deliberately inaccurate.

One public use case for strikethrough text is in legal documents.

When negotiating a contract, the parties may cross out clauses on which they disagree.

This action allows them to quickly see which parts of the agreement are still under discussion.

How Does Strikethrough Text Work?

Strikethrough text style is created by adding a line through the middle of the selected text.

The line can be of any thickness and can be placed anywhere in the middle of the text.

Strikethrough text uses a unique character called a ‘strikethrough.’

This character indicates deleted text.

When you create strikethrough text, the strikethrough character replaces the selected text.

If you later want to edit the document, you will need to remove the strikethrough character to see the original text.

There are two types of strikethrough: horizontal and vertical.

Horizontal strikethrough is when the text is crossed out from left to right.

Vertical strikethrough is when the text is crossed out from top to bottom.

Each type has its own set of rules for how to read it.

Horizontal strikethrough is the most common type of strikethrough.

To read horizontal strikethrough, start at the left side of the text and read to the right.

Anything that is crossed out is not part of the text.

Vertical strikethrough is less common, but it’s still used in some historical records.

Start at the top of the text and read down to read vertical strikethrough.

Anything that is crossed out is not part of the text.

Single Vs. Double Line Strikethrough

There is no functional difference between single and double line strikethroughs.

The choice of which to use is up to the author or editor.

There is no difference between single and double line strikethrough in how the text is formatted.

However, some people prefer to use double-line strikethrough when they want to indicate deletion, as this makes the text more visible.

Difference Between Strikethrough and Redaction

Redaction is the process of permanently removing text from a document.

You cannot restore the redacted text.

On the other hand, strikethrough is temporary and reversible.

Redaction is the process of obscuring sensitive information from a document.

This process involves blacking out the text, but it can also use a strikethrough.

Redaction often exists for legal reasons, such as when releasing a document to the public, but you must withhold specific information.

You can also use a strikethrough effect for aesthetic reasons to create a distressed look.

How to Strikethrough Text in Word

To strikethrough text in Microsoft Word, select the plain text you want to strikethrough and click the ‘Strikethrough’ button on the Home tab of the ribbon.

This button is right below the font selection.

How to Strikethrough on Google Docs

To strikethrough text in Google Docs, select the text you want to strikethrough.

Click ‘Format’ in the header.

Select ‘Text.’

Click ‘Strikethrough.’

A more straightforward method is to highlight the text you want to strikethrough and press the keyboard shortcut Alt + Shift + 5 (Command + Shift + X on Mac).

How to Strikethrough Text in Google Docs on Mobile

The process is the same for iPhone and Android.

Double-tap the document containing the text you want to strikethrough.

Blue selection brackets will appear.

Drag the brackets to select the highlighted text you want to cross out.

Tap the A icon.

Tap the S icon.

The text should now appear crossed out.

How to Strikethrough Text in Excel

To strikethrough text in Microsoft Excel, select the cell containing the text you want to strikethrough.

Click the Format Cells dialog box option (Ctrl + 5).

Navigate to Effects and click strikethrough.

How to Strikethrough Text in Google Sheets

To strikethrough text in Google Sheets, highlight the text you want to strikethrough and press the strikethrough shortcut Alt + Shift + 5 (Command + Shift + X on Mac).

You can also choose strikethrough from the Format menu or click S on the Formatting option toolbar.

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