How to Make Arrows in Microsoft Word

You can draw arrows in Microsoft Word 2013 without using the Character Map utility or copying them from other sources, such as Web pages. Use the a built-in Shapes feature to draw various types of arrows, from simple line arrows to block arrows. You can format the arrow after you draw it and change its fill and outline colors, size, and style.


You can insert text inside arrow shapes in Word 2013 and even format it to your liking.

Add effects to arrow shapes.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step 1

Switch to the Insert tab in Word, click the Shapes icon in the Illustrations group and then select one of the arrows from the menu. You can select a line arrow or a block arrow, depending on what you need.


Block arrows can contain text boxes; line arrows are useful when you want to draw the attention of the reader to a part of the document.

Word remembers your actions and displays the recently used shapes in the Shapes menu.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step 2

Click and drag anywhere in the document to draw the arrow. The arrow is inserted when you release the mouse button, and then Word switches to the Format tab automatically.

To reposition the arrow, click and drag it around the document.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step 3

Select a different style for the arrow from the Shape Styles group to change the look of your new arrow.

To change the fill color, click the Shape Fill button in the Shape Styles group and select a different color from the Theme Colors or Standard Colors section. Select No Fill to remove the fill color.


Optionally, use a picture, gradient or texture to fill the arrow by selecting Picture, Gradient or Texture from the Shape Fill menu.

Create a custom color by selecting More Fill Colors. You can input the red, green and blue values of an RGB color, or the hue, saturation and luminescence values of a HSL color.

The Shape Fill button looks like a paint bucket.
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Step 4

Click the Shape Outline button to change the outline color of the arrow, and then select a color from the Theme Colors or Standard Colors section. To remove the outline, click No Outline.

Optionally, change the thickness of the outline by selecting a different value from the Weight sub-menu. To use a dashed line as the outline of the arrow, select one of the options from the Dashes sub-menu.

Create custom colors by clicking More Outline Colors.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step 5

Add effects to your new arrow by clicking the Shape Effects button in the Shape Styles group, selecting an effect -- Shadow, for example -- and then choosing the desired style -- such as Offset Diagonal Bottom Left.

Select No Effect instead of a style to remove the effect.
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Step 6

Change the text position -- if you plan on adding text -- inside the arrow shape by clicking the Align Text button in the Text group and selecting Top, Middle or Bottom from the resulting sub-menu.


Change other options related to the position of the shape or text -- text wrapping, for example -- by using the buttons in the Arrange group.

Change the size of the shape by changing the Height and Width values in the Size group.

Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step 7

Add text to the arrow by right-clicking it in the document and selecting Add Text from the context menu. Type the text and format it using the options in the WordArt Styles group, if necessary.

You can also paste text inside the arrow.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft


Save the changes to the document by pressing Ctrl-S or by clicking File and selecting Save from the menu. To create a new copy of the document, select Save As from the File menu.