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How to Strike Through Text in Microsoft Outlook

Updated April 17, 2017

When you use the HTML or RTF option for an e-mail message in Microsoft Outlook, you can use the same special text formatting features available in other Microsoft Office software. These options include bold, italic, underline, strikethrough and double strikethrough, superscript, subscript, small caps, multiple fonts, sizes and many other enhancements. Even text colour and highlighting are changeable as is the text alignment and indenting. However, there is no absolute certainty how your text formatting will appear in the recipient’s view.

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  1. Click on the “Tools” menu and select “Options” before starting a new message. Click the “Mail Format” tab on the Options page. Locate the area on the Options display with the line reading “Compose in this message format.” If the format is set as “Plain Text,” change it to either “HTML” or “Rich Text.” If you only intend to use HTML or RTF occasionally, skip this step. It is easy to make the change temporarily within an e-mail message.

  2. Press “Ctrl-N” to create a new e-mail message. Click the "File" tab and choose "Editor Options.” Add the Mini Toolbar that will display various text formatting options by clicking on “Show Mini Toolbar on selection.” Click “OK” to return to the new message.

  3. Begin typing your message. When you want to strike through text already typed, highlight the text and click on “Format Text” in the menu bar at the top. Click on the little down arrow in the right bottom corner of the “Font” tab. Click on the “Strikethrough” box under Effects, and choose “OK.”

  4. Set up the strikethrough option before typing text if you know a word, phrase or sentence will need the line drawn through the words. Do this by clicking first on the “Format Text/Font” section and selecting strikethrough. Everything you type after this will have the line drawn through the text until you remove the check mark on the strikethrough box.

  5. Tip

    Using various types of text formatting such as strikethrough in Microsoft Outlook can enhance your message, but overdoing it may turn off the recipient.


    Some users object to HTML-formatted text, particularly those who belong to mailing lists or receive messages in a group once a day like the Digest option on Yahoo Groups. In this case, your attempts to spruce up your e-mails may irritate people.

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About the Author

Robert Karr has been a writer, indexer, reference librarian, computer programmer and Web designer. He has a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Karr has 30 years experience in reference and research and has been writing professionally for 25 years, focusing on the library, medical and computer areas.

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