How to Draw Arrows in Excel

In Excel 2013, drawing arrows helps to call out important data and visually links cells or chart elements together. Arrows -- and other inserted shapes -- don't have any effect on the actual data in your spreadsheet, so they won't break your formulas or graphs. Unlike the default settings for drawings in Word, arrows and other shapes in Excel also have no effect on the page layout, so you don't need to worry about shifting cells out of place.

Step

Open the Insert tab, click Shapes and pick an arrow style from the Lines section. Click and drag on your spreadsheet to draw the arrow.

If you don't see the Shapes button, click Illustrations first.
If you don't see the Shapes button, click Illustrations first.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Change the arrow's style using the Format tab. Pick a preset style from the Shape Styles section, or use the Shape Outline and Shape Effects menus to customize the arrow's appearance.

The Format tab only appears with the arrow selected.
The Format tab only appears with the arrow selected.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Set the arrow's color, weight (thickness), dashes and arrowheads in the Shape Outline menu.

Click More Lines in any submenu for further style options.
Click More Lines in any submenu for further style options.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Add special effects, such as glow, shadow or reflection from the Shape Effects menu. Combine multiple effects of different types to customize the arrow.

Arrow with glow and shadow
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Drag either endpoint while holding Alt to snap the endpoint perfectly to a cell's corner. Even if you place an arrow on top of a chart or another object, the point snaps to the position of the cell corners underneath the object.

Position endpoints for a clean look.
Position endpoints for a clean look.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft