Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Learn how to format arrowheads in PowerPoint 2007.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista
Date Created: February 5th 2009
Last Updated: February 26th 2009
First things first: arrowheads can only be added to lines within open shapes. Shapes, such as rectangles, circles, etc. are closed shapes. Regular line Shapes, such as straight lines, curves, scribbles, etc. are open shapes. Figure 1 shows a thick line around both a closed shape, and an open shape.
Figure 1: Samples of lines (outlines) in closed and open shapes
Figure 2 shows you some samples of lines with arrowheads on one or both sides.
Figure 2: Sample arrow styles (lines with arrows)
Follow these steps to add or edit arrowheads:
- Select the shape that you want to change the outline attributes for. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation -- PowerPoint 2007 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.
- Under the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, choose the Shapes button to view the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 3. Select the Line or Arrow shape (next to each other in Figure 3), and then drag and draw on the blank slide.
Figure 3: Shapes gallery
- Select the line so that the Ribbon area now shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown in Figure 4. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.
Figure 4: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
- You can change the weight and dash type of the line. Remember that the size of the arrowhead is related to the weight (thickness) of the line.
- From the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Outline button, then select the Arrows option to view the arrows sub-gallery that you can see in Figure 5. Within this sub-gallery, choose any of the available arrow styles. Alternatively, choose the More Arrows... option (again see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Arrows sub-gallery
- This summons the Format Shape dialog box, as shown in Figure 6. In this figure, all options except those concerned with arrows have been faded out to highlight the unfaded areas referred on this page -- your dialog box will not have those areas faded out. For more information on these faded out options, refer to our Formatting Outlines -- Weight and Dash Type tutorial.
Figure 6: Format Shape dialog box
- Under the Arrows settings options, you can customize your arrow style by changing the Begin type, the End type, the Begin size, and the End size.
Figure 7 shows you the Begin type drop-down -- the End type drop-down has the same options. In both these drop-downs, you'll find options for 5 arrows, and a No Arrow option.
Figure 7: Begin type
- Choose any of the 5 arrow styles, and you'll be able to choose them each in nine sizes from the Begin size or End size drop-downs. Figure 8 shows you the Begin size drop-down, and not surprisingly, the End size drop-down offers the same options!
Figure 8: Begin size
- Once you are done, click Close to apply and get back to the slide. Save your presentation often.
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