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How to Strikethrough in WordPress — So Many Ways!

How to Strikethrough in WordPress — So Many Ways!

Once you figure out how to strikethrough in WordPress, your writing style can take on a different dimension.

Strikethrough can be used for sarcasm, to correct factual inaccuracies, scoring through a full price to present a lower discounted price, and much more.

Bloggers tend to lean on the strikethrough tag to make it clear that they are writing an opinion or a sarcastic remark that is not intended to be factual.

In conversational writing, it is the equivalent of a cough before a comment.

A parenthetical comment. An expression of the author, not factual, nor essential. It is added for entertainment, sarcasm, humor.

In terms of SEO, text with a strikethrough using <del> is not technically deleted.

Search engines can still read it and index it. Do not use strikethrough to keyword stuff. It is handy if you rename a product, or for updating old content. Like the constant name changing of Google Apps, G Suite, Google Workspace.


How to strikethrough in WordPress

In HTML, use <del> or <s>. The CSS equivalent is “line-through”. Apply inline CSS with <span style=”text-decoration:line-through”>. For frequent users, the Advanced Editor Tools plugin adds a strikethrough button to your toolbar. Even faster is using the keyboard shortcut: alt + shift + D.


How to Strikethrough using the WP Gutenberg Editor

The WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) is the default editor for new WordPress installations.

It can be bypassed by using one of the classic editor plugins. If you have not installed an editor plugin, you will be using the block editor.

To use strikethrough in the block editor, you need to use either the “paragraph” block or the “classic” block.

You can find them by pressing the plus (+) icon, then either adding a standard “paragraph” block or adding the “Classic” block, which has the strikethrough button in the toolbar.


Using the paragraph block

  1. Highlight the text to apply the strikethrough on by right-clicking and dragging your cursor over the text.
  2. Click on the down arrow in the toolbar (between the “chain” link and the three vertical dots at the end of the toolbar)
  3. Select the “strikethrough” option from the drop-down menu.


Using the Classic Block

  1. Highlight the text to apply a strikethrough on
  2. Click the strikethrough icon in the toolbar


How to strikethrough text using the WP classic editor

For new WordPress installations, the Classic Editor needs to be added back using a plugin.

Go to your plugins page from the left sidebar menu, select “add new”.

Search by keyword for “classic editor”. The one to install is “by WordPress Contributors”. Install and activate the plugin.


By default, the classic editor has the strikethrough button already on the toolbar.

But, if you have the Advanced Editor Tools plugin installed and activated, it will need to be configured in the settings. (covered later)


The WordPress keyboard shortcut for strikethrough

WordPress has various keyboard shortcuts. The one for making text strikethrough is shift + alt + d.

This toggles the strikethrough on and off. Press all three once to put a strike through the text, and again to remove it.


How to Strikethrough using Advanced Editor Tools (Previously TinyMCE Advanced)

The “Advanced Editor Tools” plugin is compatible with the Classic Editor plugin and the block editor.

To install it, go to plugins > Add new > search by keyword for “advanced editor tools”. Click, install, then click to activate the plugin.

Once activated, go to your installed plugins page and select “settings”.

Scroll down the page until you come to the section for “Toolbars for the Classic Paragraph and Classic blocks”.

By default, the “Enable the editor menu (recommended)” box should be checked. If it is not, click the box to enable it.

Below that, there is a section for “Unused Buttons for the Classic Paragraph and Classic blocks toolbars”.

Right-click on the “strikethrough” button and drag it into the toolbar. Place it where it feels most convenient for you to find it.

Scroll to the bottom of the settings page and click “save changes”.

There are two tabs to configure in the settings. One for the block editor, the other for the classic editor. If you switch between editors, configure both toolbars.

The strikethrough option in the “paragraph” block is in the same place within the drop-down menu.

The Advanced Editor Tools plugin adds a “classic paragraph” block option. Select that block to load the Advanced Editor Tools toolbar.

This gives you quick access to the strikethrough button. A handy feature to have if you use strikethrough a lot.


How to strikethrough using HTML

Using HTML, the markup to use is <s>.


It used to be <strike>, however, it is defunct in HTML5. Some browsers still support it, but it can stop working anytime.

Since HTML5, the <s> tag in HTML is the correct one to use. An alternative is to wrap your text within the <del> tag.


Is there a difference?

To browsers, there is, but only in regards to the purpose that it is being used for. It is like how to do italics in WordPress. There are different ways, but the difference is semantics.

The <del> tag represents text that has been deleted and replaced/updated. The <s> tag is more for styling your text with a strike-through a word, phrase, or, more often than not, strike through an author’s opinion.

In traditional media websites, the <del> tag would be used with a <cite> tag to add a correction to a digital news publication to correct a factual inaccuracy.

On non-journalist websites (bloggers) the <s> tag is what to use when using strikethrough to add humor to your writing.


How to style strikethrough lines with CSS

Using HTML, the strikethrough is the same color as your text. It can make the writing difficult to read.

When you want to use a strikethrough with a different color, CSS is the tool of choice.

Using inline CSS, the “text-decoration:line-through” is the same as a strikethrough.

You can add inline CSS to your HTML either in the text mode of the classic editor or by selecting “Edit in HTML” of a paragraph block.

Use the code:

<span style=”text-decoration:line-through”>your text here</span>.

To style with color, you can add a snippet of code to the inline CSS…

<span style=”text-decoration:line-through; color:red”>your text here</span>.

This makes your text and the line going through it red.

If you want to change only the color of the line going through the text, use two snippets. The first is to add color to the text-decoration, the second is to color your text.

<span style="text-decoration:line-through; color:yellow;"><span style="color:black;">This adds a yellow line through black text.</span>

How to style strikethrough text using Block CSS

To style using block CSS, head to your “appearance” menu, select “customize” then click on “additional CSS”.

Add the following code:

.strikethrough {
text-decoration:line-through; color-###;

Replace the ### with the color of your choice. Then, to apply the strikethrough, use HTML to call it up.

<span class=”strikethrough”>your text here</span>

In the example above, strikethrough is just a class name. Call it anything you will remember easier.

As an example, if you were to set a CSS block called “price”, you could style your strikethroughs to have all the same styles applied to every original price.

Like this:

.price {
font-size: 14px;
text-decoration: line-through;
text-decoration: black double line-through;

Then, to display an original price before discounts, call it up by adding the following to your HTML code:

<span class=”price”>$###</span> Now: $###


Which strikethrough method is easier? 

The inline CSS will be easier for irregular use of the line-through style with no additional styling. Just a straight line through the center of the text. 

For frequent use with multiple style decorations such as double underline, different font sizes, text colors, and line colors, creating a class block in the additional CSS lets you add it once to call up anytime, and keeps your style consistent across your website.