How to Make Curved Arrows in PowerPoint

By Carol Finch

Learn how to insert a default curved arrow using PowerPoint shapes and how to create your own arrow. Find out how to edit and format the shape after making it.

PowerPoint's Shapes menu has several curved arrows that you can add to slides. If the defaults aren't quite what you're looking for, you can create your own arrows from shapes. Once you've inserted or created an arrow, use drawing and formatting tools to get it looking just right.

Add a Curved Arrow

Insert a Default Arrow

Open the Insert tab and select Shapes. Look in the Lines or Block Arrows areas to find curved arrow shapes and select the one you want to use.

Click on the slide and drag to insert the arrow.

Make an Arrow

Select Shapes on the Insert tab and select the half moon symbol in the Basic Shapes area. This creates a curved tail for the arrow.

Use a moon shape to draw the arrow's tail.

Click and drag on the slide to insert the shape. Reopen Shapes and select one of the triangles in Basic Shapes to use as the head.

Pick a triangle to make the arrow head.

Click and drag to insert the triangle close to the top of the arrow. Drag the symbol into position; use the circle grab handle to rotate it.

Drag and rotate the arrowhead until you find the right position.

When you're happy with the arrow, group its parts to make it a single image. Select the tail shape, hold down the Shift key and select the head. Boxes will appear around both parts. Select Arrange and then Group.

Select Group to turn the arrow sections into one image.


  • For a handwritten effect, select the Scribble option in Shapes and draw the arrow.
  • To find more arrow designs, use the Online Pictures tool to search Bing for images. Make sure to check the licensing requirements of an image before using it to ensure you meet its copyright conditions.

  • If you're using an arrow to show a series of steps, select SmartArt and go to the Processsection. This section contains two curved arrow graphics with ascendingor descending processes.

Edit the Curved Arrow

Change the Arrow's Shape

Use edit points to change the shape of the arrow. Select the arrow and open Edit Shape on the Format tab. Select Edit Points.

Enable Edit Points to change the arrow's shape.


If you created your own arrow, you must ungroup it before you can apply edit points. Select the shape, open Arrange and select Ungroup. Remember to regroup the shapes once you're done editing.

A series of black squares appear on the arrow. Drag any square to change the shape or drag any point on a line to move it. For example, to give the arrow a forked tail, click in the middle of the base line and drag up to create a triangle gap. Release your mouse to apply the change.

Drag edit points to change the shape of the arrow.

Resize or Reposition the Arrow

Select the arrow. To increase or decrease its size, drag the squares out or in. To change its position on the slide, use the circle grab handle to drag the symbol around.

Drag the arrow to make it bigger; rotate it with the grab handle.


For a precise size measurement, use the Height and Width buttons on the Format tab.

Change the Arrow's Color or Theme

Select the shape. To switch to a default color style, select an option from the Shape Styles bar. Select the down arrow on the bar to see more options. Select a style to apply the change.

Select a shape style to change the arrow's fill and style.

To customize the arrow's color, style and effects, use the Shape Fill, Shape Outline and Shape Effects buttons.

Use Shape Fill to change the fill color and add gradient and texture effects. You can also use a picture to create a fill.

Select a color or style to change the shape's fill.

Use Shape Outline to change the color, weight and style of the outline or to remove it.

Select a color or style to change the shape's outline.

Use Shape Effects to add special effects to the arrow, including reflection, glow and 3D rotation.

Choose a special effect for the arrow.

Use formatting and drawing tools to change the shape, size, position, color and design of the curved arrow.