How to Make Arrows in Microsoft Word

By Tricia Goss

Microsoft Word comes with a full canvas of shapes you can insert into a document, including arrows. When you want to draw the reader's attention to something in a document, simply select the arrow style you want and insert it. You can change the shape, size and color of arrows. Block arrows give you additional options, like filling the background with colors, textures or graphics to make them pop on the page.

Step 1

Open a new or existing Word document. Click the "Insert" tab above the ribbon and select "Shapes." A gallery of available shapes appears.

Step 2

Choose the type of arrow you want to insert in the document. In addition to other available lines and shapes, there are two categories of arrows: block arrows and line arrows. If you want to fill the arrow with color or a graphic, choose one of the block arrow shapes. Place the arrow in the document by clicking the area where you want the arrow to appear, then drag the cursor over the document until the arrow is the size you want.

Step 3

Drag the adjustment handle, which looks like a small yellow diamond on the arrow, to reshape the arrow if desired. Drag the sizing handles, which appear as blue rectangles, to adjust the width or height of the arrow. Rotate the arrow by dragging the rotation handle, represented by a green circle.

Step 4

Click "Shape Outline" in the Shape Styles section to access options for changing the color, weight and pattern of the outline of the arrow.

Step 5

Click "Shape Fill" in the Shape Styles section to choose a color, gradient, picture or texture for the area within the outline of a block arrow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of specifying settings for the outline and fill of the arrow, you can choose from preset shape styles by clicking the "More" arrow in the Shape Styles section of the ribbon's Format tab and selecting from the styles in the drop-down menu.
  • Not all shapes have the same handles for reshaping or resizing.