How to add and make arrows in Adobe Photoshop.
Use Photoshop to point your audience in the right direction — try these tips and tools for crafting digital arrowheads.
Arrows get the point across.
An arrow is a tried-and-true way to get a viewer’s attention, whether you’re using it to point out the date on an invitation or identify a specific detail in an image for a class project. Here are a few ways to create arrows in whatever shape, style, size, and color you need to catch your audience’s eye.
Use a premade vector arrow.
Vector shapes have clean, sharp edges at any size. Choose from a variety of vector-based arrows that you can scale up or down to suit your graphic design without losing resolution.
Hand-draw an arrow.
Give your arrow a personal touch. Use the Brush tool to draw an arrow freehand with your cursor.
Make an arrow with lines.
Use the Line tool to create an arrow out of straight lines. Then choose an attention-getting style and color of stroke to fit your image.
Find more premade arrows in Adobe Stock.
If none of the Photoshop premade arrow shapes suit your needs, you can download free arrow sets from Adobe Stock, including options for hand-drawn, graphic, and curved arrows.
Add a vector arrow with the Custom Shape tool.
1. Click it:
Click the Shapes tool from the toolbox.
2. Choose it:
Select the Foreground color box and choose the color you want your arrow to be.
3. Customize it:
Find the Custom Shape tool at the top of the window and click it. Then open the drop-down menu to the right of the Shape option to view different preset arrow shapes. To see more options, click the gear icon at the top right of the panel and select All to view the full selection of shapes.
4. Size it:
Click and hold your mouse button, then drag it until the arrow is as big as you want it to be.
5. Point it:
Your arrow may not be pointing where you want it to. To adjust its orientation, press Ctrl+T (Command+T on Mac) to open the Transform tool, which forms a bounding box around your arrow. Then rotate it to face the right direction.
6. Add it:
Press Enter to add the arrow to your image as a new layer. You can find this shape’s layer in the Layers panel, where you can modify it individually without affecting the rest of your image.
Make an arrow using the Line tool.
You can use the Line tool to create a perfectly straight line between two points you set. To access it, just click and hold the Rectangle tool on the toolbar until a menu pops up, then click the Line tool. All you need to make an arrow are three lines — one for the main body of your arrow and two to form the arrowhead at the front.
Create vector or pixel lines.
On the menu bar at the top of the window, choose Shape mode to create your lines as vectors, which are scalable and easy to resize at any time. Or choose Pixels mode for a pixel-based line.
Choose the thickness and color of your lines.
Use the options bar to set the thickness (or stroke) of your line, as well as the color. Then click and drag on your canvas to form three lines for your arrow.
All arrows point to graphic design.
Now that you know how to create arrows in Photoshop, read up on tutorials to help you make full use of all the app’s features.
To raster or to vector?
That is the question. Learn the difference between raster and vector shapes and when to use each.
Mimic a marble effect.
Create a colorful gradient background out of swirling, blurred colors with this tutorial by Mirella Fabienne.
Mirror your shapes.
Swap the direction of any shape on a layer by flipping it.
Spin shapes all around.
You can rotate your arrows, or any layer, at any time with the Move Selection tool.
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