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Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Learn how to format arrowheads for line shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows. You can add arrowheads at one or both ends, and choose many styles and sizes for the arrowheads.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher




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We have already explained the basics of outlines in PowerPoint 2007 and changing weight and dash types. In this tutorial we'll learn about adding arrowheads to lines.

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.

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

Follow these steps to add or edit arrowheads:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Shapes gallery
    Figure 3: Shapes gallery
  4. 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.
  5. Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 4: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Arrows sub-gallery
    Figure 5: Arrows sub-gallery
  10. 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.
  11. Format Shape dialog box
    Figure 6: Format Shape dialog box
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Begin type
    Figure 7: Begin type
  15. 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!
  16. Begin size
    Figure 8: Begin size
  17. Once you are done, click Close to apply and get back to the slide. Save your presentation often.
  18. Related Link: My book Cutting Edge PowerPoint 2007 For Dummies covers many aspects of PowerPoint 2007. A free chapter excerpt PowerPointing with the Best of Them is available on this site.

See Also:

Shape Lines: Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in (Glossary Page)

Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Formatting Arrowheads for Line Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

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