How to Make Arrows in Adobe Illustrator

Making arrows in Adobe Illustrator is really simple and there are a ton of customization choices. For example, you can use the Stroke Panel, Symbols panel, or Brush Too to draw arrows in Illustrator. 

My name is Aly, I have over five years of experience using Adobe Illustrator. In this article, I will be showing you how you can make an arrow in Illustrator. 

Method 1: Symbols Panel 

Follow the steps below to create an arrow using the symbols panel. 

Step 1: Open the Symbols panel from the overhead menu Windows > Symbols or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + 11 (Mac) or Shift + Ctrl + 11 (PC).

You won’t see the arrow options on the default Symbols panel, but you can quickly find them.

Step 2: Click on the Symbols Libraries Menu, and choose Arrow

It will open a new panel with arrow symbols. 

Step 3: Choose an arrow from the Arrows panel and drag it to the artboard.

Method 2: Stroke Panel

Follow the steps below to create arrows from the stroke panel.  

Step 1: The path must be created before you may use the Stroke Panel. If you prefer to draw a straight line, use the Line Segment Tool (keyboard shortcut /), If you want a curve arrow, use the Arc Tool or Curvature Tool (keyboard shorthand Shift + ~) to draw a curve line.

Step 2: Open your Stroke panel from Window > Stroke, and click on the hidden menu. Choose Show Options.

Step 3: You can choose an arrowhead by selecting the dropdown menu Arrowheads. Make sure your line segment is selected beforehand or the arrowhead will not appear. 

You should now see the chosen arrowhead at the end of your lines. 

You can use two separate arrows at the beginning and end of the line, or you can use the same ones.

Method 3: Brush Panel

If you haven’t realized, there are also preset arrows from the Brushes panel.

Step 1: Open the Brushes panel from Window > Brushes.

Step 2: Click on the Brush Libraries Menu and choose Arrows

From the fly-out menu, you can choose Arrows Special, Arrows Standard, or Pattern Arrows

Step 3: Choose the sort of arrow you wish to use, then choose the Paintbrush Tool from the toolbar and draw! 

If you want to make the arrow bigger, simply change the brush size or stroke size. If you want to change the arrow color, change the stroke color. 

Final Thoughts

Creating arrows in Illustrator is simple and can be a fun project! I enjoy using the paintbrush method since you can be more creative with the arrows. But I suggest trying all methods to see which one fits best for you.  

Any questions about making arrows in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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