How to Strikethrough Text in PDF in 3 Free Ways

Summary :

The strikethrough tool keeps the original data visible for comparison and correction. To enhance your workflow efficiency, this article offers 3 quick and free methods to strikethrough in PDFs.

Table of Contents

How to Strikethrough in PDF

How to Strikethrough in PDF

The PDF files are typically non-editable. Are you still converting PDFs to editable Word documents to delete and erase redundant or wrong content? This process can be time-consuming and may result in formatting losing of documents.

This article can be your solution. It presents 3 free and efficient methods for strikethrough in PDFs, available both online and offline.

How to Strikethrough in PDF with PDFgear

PDFgear is a top alternative to Adobe Acrobat, providing all advanced PDF editing tools for free. Although PDFgear is free, it does not compromise on features. You can use it as a PDF text editor, editing your PDFs just like in Microsoft Word.

There are lots of markup tools available, allowing you to put a line through PDF text and change the highlight color of PDF text. Here are the simple steps to strike through text in PDF for free using PDFgear.

Step 1. Download and Install PDFgear

Download PDFgear and install it on your device. Do not worry about the compatibility issue. It is suitable for Windows, macOS, and iOS.

PDFgear – Edit PDF for Free

PDFgear is a top-notch PDF editor that includes a strikethrough feature, allowing you to cross out text in your PDF documents.

Step 2. Import PDF File to PDFgear

Click Open File to choose a PDF and import it to PDFgear.

Open PDF File with PDFgear

Open PDF File with PDFgear

Step 3. Strikethrough PDF with PDFgear

Navigate to the Annotate toolbar > Select the text that needs to be deleted > Click Strikethrough > Change the strikethrough color from the Theme button.

Alternatively, you can simply click on “Strikethrough” next to the selected text.

Strikethrough PDF in PDFgear

Strikethrough PDF in PDFgear


For scanned PDFs, you can also use PDFgear to strikethrough the text in it following the steps below:

Open the scanned PDF with PDFgear > Click Annotate > Select the Line tool > Press and hold the left mouse button and drag > A strikethrough appears on the text > Modify the color and thickness of the line.

Strikethrough the Scanned PDF

Strikethrough the Scanned PDF

How to Strikethrough in Adobe

Adobe Acrobat Reader excels in PDF editing. The free version is packed with useful features. It covers everyday needs like highlighting, commenting, changing text color, signing, adding graphics, and underlining in PDFs—all for free.

Follow the steps below to add a strikethrough in a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Step 1. Install Adobe Acrobat Reader from its official website, and fire it up.

Step 2. Navigate to the “File” Tab > Click the “Open” option > Choose a PDF from your device.

Open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Step 3. After opening the file, the toolbar appears on the right side. Click the “Comment” button to access the detailed editing toolkit.

Call out the Editing Toolkit

Call out the Editing Toolkit

Step 4. There are 2 options for you to strikethrough in PDF on Adobe:

➡️Click the upper “Strikethrough Text” button and drag your mouse to select the text, or press the “Delete” key on your keyboard to strikethrough the content.

➡️Click the “Add Note to replace text” button and drag your mouse. You can add comments while applying strikethrough to the selected text. The shortcut is “/”.

Strikethrough in Adobe

Strikethrough in Adobe

If you’re not fond of the default strikethrough color, you can customize it.

Tap on the deleted text > Right-click the mouse > Hit the “Properties” button > Choose a color you like from the color palette. You can also set the opacity of the strikethrough.

Change the Strikethrough Color

Change the Strikethrough Color

However, Adobe Acrobat Reader doesn’t support adding strikethrough in scanned PDFs. PDFgear makes it possible.

How to Strikethrough in PDF Online Free

PDFgear Online Editor provides PDF solutions for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android users, all without the need for subscriptions or registration.

It supports creating fillable PDF forms and adding signatures, stamps, shapes, highlights, underlines, strikethroughs, etc.

Step 1. Upload the PDF to PDFgear

Enter PDFgear Online Editor > Click Choose files to upload the PDF. Or you can drag and drop the PDF file to the upload box.

Add a PDF to PDFgear Online Editor

Add a PDF to PDFgear Online Editor

Step 2. Strikethrough in PDF Online

Click Add or Edit annotations on the upper-right corner > Hit Strikethrough Text > Select the desired text > Change the strikethrough color.

Strikethrough Text in PDFgear Online Editor

Strikethrough Text in PDFgear Online Editor


What is the Shortcut for Strikethrough in PDF?

In Adobe Acrobat, you can save time by using keyboard shortcuts for strikethrough in PDFs: simply press the “Delete” key. If you wish to add a note to replace text, use the “/” key.

How Do I Draw a Line Through a PDF?

PDFgear enables you to draw on PDFs with various tools like inks, shapes, circles, and lines. To do so, import your PDF into PDFgear, go to the “Annotate” ribbon, and select the “Line” option.

Why is Strikethrough not Working in Adobe Acrobat?

Since the PDF might be a scanned or image-based document, you should ensure that the “Allow Rich Text Formatting” option is enabled in the “Properties.” However, it’s worth noting that this feature is available in Adobe Acrobat Pro, which requires a premium subscription.

We recommended using the free tool, PDFgear, to work on the scanned PDFs for strikethrough.


By following the methods outlined above, you can swiftly grasp how to apply strikethrough to PDFs without any cost. Adobe Acrobat Reader, being the original PDF software, is undoubtedly the preferred choice for most users.

However, when dealing with scanned or image-based PDF files, PDFgear can efficiently assist you in performing strikethrough operations.

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