How to Cross Out in Excel

By Filonia LeChat

Just because the data in your Excel spreadsheet isn’t what you want it to be doesn’t mean you don’t want it to be visible. Whatever your reason for needing to cross out cell contents, Excel’s strikethrough feature lets you put this effect into action. In a couple of clicks, you’ll see your cells showing small, neat lines through the characters within.

Step 1

Launch Excel 2013. Open an existing spreadsheet or create a new one and type in some text to apply the strikethrough effect.

Step 2

Right-click the cursor into the cell to cross out and click “Format Cells” from the fly-out menu. The Format Cells window opens.

Step 3

Click a check mark into the Strikethrough box under the Effects section.

Step 4

Click the “OK” button and you are returned to the spreadsheet with the cross-out appearing.

Step 5

Click the “Format Painter” button, the small yellow paintbrush in the Clipboard section of the Home tab’s ribbon which stores your last formatting action in Excel’s memory.

Step 6

Move to another cell you want to cross out. Click into the cell and the Strikethrough effect is applied.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also access the Strikethrough key via the ribbon, although it is slightly hidden. Click the small “More” arrow in the Font section of the Home tab’s ribbon, which brings up the same Format Cells window as mentioned above.
  • Perform a quick cross-out using keyboard shortcuts. Click into the cell you want to cross out. You do not have to highlight the entire contents of the cell. Press “Ctrl-5” to apply the strikethrough. You can cross out the contents of multiple cells at once by highlighting each of them while holding down the “Ctrl” key, then pressing the number “5” key.
  • These instructions are written for Microsoft Excel 2013 users. Earlier or later versions of the software may behave differently.