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How to Make an Arrow in Illustrator
  • By Daisy Boothman
  • 31 Dec 2021
  • 5 Mins
  • Illustrator Tutorials

How to Make an Arrow in Illustrator

Discover how to make an arrow in Illustrator with this beginner tutorial.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make an arrow in Illustrator, perfect for illustrations, line art, or infographics. Creating arrows in Illustrator is super easy and has so many options for personalizations too.

Step 1 - Draw a Line Using the Pen Tool

Select the Pen tool (P) from your left toolbar.

Note: in this tutorial, we will use a straight line to make an arrow. As shown in the guide on how to use the Pen tool, you can also create curved lines with the Pen tool which can be turned into arrows.

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Click on your Artboard in Illustrator to draw the first point or the start of your line. Then click again to draw your second point, making a line connecting the two points. Press Enter on your keyboard to end your line here.

Tip: hold Shift when drawing your line to draw a straight line.

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Step 2 - Open Your Stroke Options in the Appearance Panel

Select your line with the Selection tool (V), then open your Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Click Stroke to find your stroke options where you can change the stroke Weight and many other characteristics.

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Step 3 - Add and Edit Your Arrowheads

Add Arrowheads

In your Stroke options, you will see the Arrowheads option with two drop-down menus.How to Make an Arrow in Illustrator 13

These two drop-down menus correlate with the ends of your line to enable you to have two different styles for each end.

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Swap Arrowheads

Click the Swap Start and End Arrowheadsicon to swap your Arrowhead ends.

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Scale Arrowheads

Adjust the scale of your Arrowheads independently by entering a value into the Scale Factor for Start Arrowheadbox and a value into the Scale Factor for End Arrowhead box. How to Make an Arrow in Illustrator 13

Click the chainlink icon to scale the two Arrowheads in proportion to each other.

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Align Arrowheads

You have two arrowhead alignment options. The alignment options will change where the arrowheads are placed on the line.

Extend Arrow Tip Beyond End of Path

In this option, the arrowheads start from the ends of your path/line and extend the tips beyond the line.

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Place Arrow Tip at End of Path

In this option, the arrowheads start within the path/line, so the arrow tips meet the ends of the line.

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Step 4 - Change the Line Stroke Profile

In the Profile drop-down menu, you can change the style of the stroke to have different widths throughout the line.

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The following image shows the Profile, Width Profile 2, in use.

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Now you know how to add arrowheads to your lines to make an arrow in Illustrator. Remember that you can use the Pen tool to get creative and design different arrows with curved, curly, or wavy lines! You can also change the color of them with your color swatches.


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