Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Changing How Arrows Look.

Changing How Arrows Look

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 12, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


The Insert tab of the ribbon (click Shapes in the Illustrations group) allows you to place arrows within your workbook. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Shapes tool on the Insert tab of the ribbon.

Once an arrow is placed where you want it, you can easily change the way the arrow looks by following these steps:

  1. Select the arrow by clicking on it. (You can tell if the arrow is selected by whether there are handles at each end of the arrow line.)
  2. Display the Format tab or Shape Format tab of the ribbon. (This tab is visible only after you select the arrow you previously placed in the worksheet.)
  3. Click the Shape Outline tool in the Shape Styles group. Excel displays a palette of options.
  4. Choose the Arrows option, and you'll see a variety of choices for how the arrow should appear. Pick the option that represents what you want, and it is applied to the line. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Arrows option within the Shape Outline tool.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9456) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing How Arrows Look.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Notification when Caps Lock is Active

You're typing along, look up at your screen, and notice that everything is in ALL CAPS. Drat! You activated the Caps Lock ...

Discover More

Backing Up Your AutoCorrect Entries

Want to protect the information that you may be stored in your AutoCorrect entries? Just find a special type of file on ...

Discover More

Freezing Both Rows and Columns

When you are working in a worksheet, you may want to freeze the rows at the top or left of the worksheet. Excel provides ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Pasting a Graphic to Multiple Worksheets

Do you need to add a logo or other graphic to a bunch of worksheets? Here are a couple of short macros that can make ...

Discover More

Nudging a Graphic

Want to get a graphic to just the right position on a worksheet? Sometimes the easiest way is to use the arrow keys on ...

Discover More

Cropping Graphics

Excel makes it easy to place a graphic in a worksheet. Once there, you may want to chop off a side (or two) of the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.