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How To Strikethrough Text in Gmail and Other Usability Tricks

Posted by Jamie on November 30, 2018

Formatting text is an important part of writing online. Not only can it change how your content looks, but it can also help make your content more approachable and easy to read. People are attracted to clarity, and using formatting to make your text clearer will help ensure people actually read it. That’s why mastering basic text formatting is a key skill for anyone who works online.

This tutorial is going to cover basic text editing in Gmail, such as how to strike through text, embolden it and highlight it. In addition, it will cover other usability tricks, such as how to unsubscribe from marketing emails and enable preview mode in Gmail.

How To Strike Through Text in Gmail

While you would think that the ability to strike through text would be included by default in Gmail, the current version does not support strikethrough. While it might not be a feature that you use often, it is occasionally the only way to correctly format something – so it is a useful skill to learn.

In order to get strikethrough text into Gmail, you have to format your text in Docs and copy and paste it into Gmail. To do so, follow the steps below.

  1. Log into Google Drive.
  2. Create a new document and type your text into it.
  3. Select the text you want to strike through.
  4. Select “Format” and “Strikethrough.”
  5. Copy the text.
  6. Open Gmail and click “Compose.”
  7. Paste the text.

This process is a little convoluted, but it gets the job done. However, if you have configured Gmail to send in Plain Text only, the formatting will disappear. To re-enable Rich Text emails, follow these steps:

  1. Open Gmail and click “Compose.”
  2. Click the three vertical dots in the lower right corner of the blank email.
  3. If there is a check mark next to “Plain Text Mode,” click it.

Now, try pasting again and the strikethrough should remain.

Now that you have enabled Rich Text, you have several other formatting options directly within Gmail.

Bold text in Gmail

Bolding text makes it stand out. Whether you want to draw attention to it, emphasize it or make it easy to find, bold text is an effective way to quickly get your meaning across.

  1. Open Gmail and select “Compose.”
  2. Select the underlined “A” next to “Send” in the new email window to access text options.
  3. Select the text you want to embolden, then select the “B” in the window.

You can also dynamically bold text by highlighting it and pressing Ctrl + B (Cmd + B for Mac).

Highlight text in Gmail

Highlighting is rarely used in email outside of an office environment, but it is possible if you want to use it.

  1. Open Gmail and select “Compose.”
  2. Select the text you want to highlight within the compose window.
  3. Select the underlined “A” next to “Send” in the compose window to access text options.
  4. Select another underlined “A” in the popup bar to select color options.
  5. Select a background color in the left part of the pane.

Note: The left color palette changes the background color, while the right side changes the text color.

Fast unsubscribe

In the rare event that junk email makes it past Gmail’s filter, or you subscribed to an email and no longer want to receive itit, you could search for the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email – or, you could cheat. Gmail understands how frustrating it can be to constantly receive junk, so it has made it easy to unsubscribe.

  1. Open the email within Gmail.
  2. Select gray “Unsubscribe” link next to the sender’s name at the top.
  3. When the popup appears, click “Unsubscribe,” and Gmail will automatically unsubscribe on your behalf.

While some marketing emails are simple to unsubscribe from, some like to bury the link where it is difficult to find to prevent you doing so. This is a fast way around that.

Of course, some annoying marketers know how to get around unsubscription rules. To make sure you never see an email again, click “Spam.” A popup will ask you if you want to report it as spam, or unsubscribe and report it as spam. Select the second option to make sure Gmail never shows you one of those emails again. However, use this option sparingly – it can damage a sender’s reputation.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Gmail does great job of helping you manage your inbox, and it is constantly introducing changes to allow you to do more. One of the best parts of using Gmail is keyboard shortcuts, which are not turned on by default. To turn them on, follow these steps:

  1. Open Gmail and select the settings cog icon on the right.
  2. Select “Settings,” then scroll down to “Keyboard shortcuts.”
  3. Toggle the setting to “Keyboard shortcuts on.”

That’s it! Now you can go nearly anywhere within Gmail using just your keyboard. Some of the most helpful shortcuts are “g” then “i,” which will take you to your inbox. “C” will open a window to compose a new email. “E” will archive an email. And “j” and “k” will browse up and down between emails.

Those are just a couple of neat tricks that can make Gmail much easier to use. I hope they help!

4 thoughts on “How To Strikethrough Text in Gmail and Other Usability Tricks”

Ernst says:
If you look at the shortcut key from the format->text menu in Google Docs, you will notice you can use Alt+Shift+5 to strikethrough text. This also works in Gmail.
Reply
Todd says:
Great post, thank you. It got me started, but I found another way that is even faster…Just hold down CMD SHIFT X (on a Mac, so it would be CMD on PC) while in Gmail and it will strike through the text without having to bounce back and forth between documents…
Reply
Sascha Kah says:
Simply do it in Hangouts, which is in the same screen.
Reply
Pat Ryan says:
If you do that, you’ll clutter up your Drive with “Untitled Documents”. Terrible approach.
Reply

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