How to Insert an Arrow in a Word Document

Updated February 21, 2017

When you are editing a Word document, sometimes you might want to add more than just text. Small arrows can be useful to indicate a natural logic flow within a sentence --- for example, when detailing a certain procedure, larger arrows can be used as parts of signage. Inserting arrows into your Word documents is easy, but the procedure is different depending on whether you want a small arrow placed within the text or a large, standalone arrow.

Click "Tools" and select "AutoCorrect Options" from the menu. Select the "AutoCorrect" tab and ensure the "Replace text as you type" check box is checked. Click "OK."

Place your cursor within the text in the location where you would like to insert your arrow.

Type "-->" and press "Space" to insert a thin arrow pointing towards the right. Other options are "<--" for a thin arrow pointing towards the left, "==>" and "<==" for thick arrows pointing towards the right and towards the left respectively, and "<=>" for a thick white bidirectional arrow.

Click on "Shapes" found in the "Illustrations" group within the "Insert" tab.

Click on the arrow you want to insert into your document.

Click anywhere within your document and drag the mouse in a diagonal line without releasing the mouse button. Release the mouse button once you are satisfied with the shape of your arrow.


You can change the colour of your large arrows or even add a pattern or an image to them. Click on the arrow, then select "Drawing Tools" under the "Shape Styles" group in the "Format" tab. Change the various options until you are satisfied with the result.

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About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.