How To Make An Arrow In Photoshop

Making an arrow shape in Photoshop is pretty straightforward. You can use built-in tools like the Line tool or even the Brush tool to create it.

Apart from that, you can also import a wide range of arrows into Photoshop and use it with the Custom Shape Tool.

Use the Custom Shape Tool

The Custom Shape Tool contains several pre-installed custom shapes, including arrows.

If you are using one of the older Photoshop versions, you can skip directly to the next section and start using such arrows.

However, if you are using a newer version like Adobe Photoshop 2021 or above, you might not find it. In such cases, you first need to download the arrow shape presets in the CSH format.

After downloading, you can import them in Photoshop as follows:

  1. Choose the Custom Shape Tool from the tools panel on the left.Select-Custom-Shape-Tool-option
  2. Then, click the dropdown next to the Shape field.
  3. Now, click the little gear icon under it and select the Import Shapes or Load shapes option.Import-Shapes-CSH
  4. Next, browse to the location where you have saved the CSH file downloaded from the Internet. Then, select it and click Load.Load-CSH-file-containing-arrows-into-Photoshop

Now that you have loaded the arrow presets from an external CSH file, you can use the Custom Shape Tool to draw arrows as follows.

  1. Press the Shift key to toggle the Drawing and type tools. Or, directly select the Custom Shape Tool from the toolbar.Select-Custom-Shape-Tool-from-toolbar-section
  2. Below the Menu bar, click the dropdown next to the Shape field. Then, select one of the preferred arrow presets.Draw-arrow-using-arrow-presets
  3. Now, you can start drawing the arrow.

If you are using a Mac, use Command/Cmd + U shortcut to toggle the Drawing and Type tools.

Using the Line Tool

You can also use the built-in “Line tool” to easily create a straight arrow in Photoshop. Here, you basically create a line with it after adding an arrowhead at its start/end.

For this, 

  1. First, select the line tool from the Toolbar.Select-Line-tool
  2. Then, click on the little gear icon below the menu bar.
  3. Now, under the Arrowheads option, check the Start checkbox to add the arrow at the beginning of the line and likewise for the End. Similarly, check both the Start and End checkboxes to add the arrows on both sides of the line.Enable-arrowhead-on-the-line-Photoshop
  4. Set the WidthLength, and Concavity of the arrowhead according to your preference.
  5. With the Line tool selected, start drawing arrows in the canvas. You can even transform them to expand/contract or rotate them.Draw-arrow-using-Line-tool-in-Photoshop

Note: You can customize the arrow’s fill color, width, height, and direction and even make it curved. When done, you can even save them as a custom shape for reuse.

Using the Brush Tool

Another technique to make an arrow in Photoshop is to use the Brush Tool.

You can choose between different types of brushes and experiment with properties like hardness, softness, and roundness to create unique arrows on your own.

Draw arrows in Photoshop using Brush tool

To access it, you either click on the little brush icon on the Tools panel or press the key. 

Furthermore, you can use the Shift key to generate a straight line automatically from one point to another. For that, press and hold the Shift key. Then, click and drag while clicking the left mouse button.

Customizing Arrows in Photoshop

While making an arrow in Photoshop, you can customize its different properties, such as width, height, stroke, and many more. You can find all of the settings below the Menu bar.

  • Width and Height: To change the width and height of the arrow, you just have to set the values in the Width and Height box. You can access them next to the ‘W:’ and ‘H:’ fields on the top bar.
  • Stroke: You can change different stroke settings such as color, gradient, patterns, etc. Furthermore, you can even choose not to specify a color if you wish. 
  • Fill: You can fill in different colors inside the arrow using the Fill property. For instance, if you want a red arrow, you choose the solid color in the Fill and set it to red. Furthermore, you can get creative with the arrow by inserting gradients and patterns.

Saving Arrows for Later in Photoshop

Once you create and design an arrow using a Line tool, you can save it to use as a custom shape.

  1. Select the arrow.
  2. Then, click the Edit menu at the top and choose Define Custom Shape.Select-Define-Custom-Shape-option
  3. On the next prompt, name the shape, whatever you wish, and click on OK.
  4. Now, to access the arrow, select the Custom Shape Tool. Then, expand the dropdown next to the Shape field.Reuse-saved-arrow

How to Create a Curved Arrow in Photoshop?

Once you create an arrow, you can warp it to give it a curved shape. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Make an arrow and press the shortcut key Ctrl + T on Windows and Command + T on Mac.
  2. Now, click on the Switches between free transform and warp modes icon on the top bar.Select-the-warp-and-tranform-option-on-top-bar
  3. Now, select an appropriate option like Arc or Arc Lower next to Warp. Select-warp-option-like-Arc-to-make-curved-arrow
  4. Alternatively, you can choose any other warp option according to your preferences.
  5. When done, click the tick icon on the top bar.

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