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Arrowheads and Arrow Styles for Lines in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

Learn how to format arrowheads for lines in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

OS: Windows XP / Vista

We previously explained how you can format a line with color, weight, and dash styles in PowerPoint 2003 and previous versions. Now, let me show you how you can add an Arrowhead on one or both sides of a line.

Arrowheads can only be added to lines within open shapes.

AutoShapes, such as rectangles, circles, etc. are closed shapes. Regular line AutoShapes, 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.

Samples of lines (outlines) in closed and open shapes
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.

Sample arrow styles (lines with Arrowheads)
Figure 2: Sample arrow styles (lines with Arrowheads)

Follow these steps to add an Arrowhead to a line:

  1. Select the open shape that you want to apply an arrow style. 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, users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Format | Slide Layout, and then choose the Blank layout in the resultant Task Pane.
  2. You will find the Line shape option in the Drawing Toolbar located below the PowerPoint interface (the 4th icon from the left in Figure 3) and the Arrow option (the 5th icon from the left in Figure 3). Select either the line or the arrow, and click and drag on the blank slide to draw a line.

    Note: If the Drawing Toolbar is not visible (normally at the bottom of the PowerPoint interface, above the status bar), choose View | Toolbars | Drawing. This is a toggle option that alternatively shows and hides the Drawing Toolbar. Learn more about the PowerPoint 2003 interface here.
  3. 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.
  4. Select the line shape, and from PowerPoint's Drawing toolbar, choose the Arrow Style option as shown in Figure 3.

    Drawing toolbar
    Figure 3: Drawing toolbar
  5. This opens a flyout menu, with different arrow styles for lines, as shown in Figure 4.

    Arrow Style
    Figure 4: Arrow Style
  6. This menu provides some samples of common arrow styles, choose any of them, or choose the More Arrows... option from the flyout menu (refer to Figure 4 ).
  7. This summons the Format AutoShape dialog box as shown in Figure 5. In this figure, all options except those concerned with Arrowheads have been faded out to highlight the unfaded areas referred to on this page, your dialog box will not have those areas faded out.

    Format AutoShape dialog box
    Figure 5: Format AutoShape dialog box
  8. Under the Arrows options, you can customize your arrow style by changing the Begin style, the End style, the Begin size, and the End size.

    Figure 6 shows you the Begin style drop-down, the End style drop-down has the same options. In both these drop-downs, you'll find options for 5 Arrowheads, and a No Arrow option.

    Begin style
    Figure 6: Begin style

    Choose any of the 5 Arrowheads, and you'll be able to choose them each in nine sizes from the Begin size or End size drop-downs. Figure 7 shows you the Begin size drop-down, and not surprisingly, the End size drop-down offers the same options!

    Begin size
    Figure 7: Begin size
  9. Once you are done, click OK to apply and get back to the slide.
Related Link: Learn how to do more with AutoShapes in this free excerpt from my book: Cutting Edge PowerPoint For Dummies, read a free chapter called AutoShape Magic here.

See Also:

Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Formatting Arrows (Arrowheads) in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Feature List 01 (Layout with Tabs)

The Feature List Layout comprises three sample PowerPoint presentations: one each to create a visual list for 4 features, 5 features, and 6 features. These work great when you have too much information to fit within one slide. This solution lets you use multiple slides, but the visual result is still that of one single slide!

Buy and Download Feature List 01 (Layout with Tabs) for $4.99+ (671 kb)

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