How To Insert Arrows in Google Docs [Easy Guide]

Arrows are valuable tools for illustrating process flows and emphasizing key information in your Google Docs document. There are two methods for adding arrows:

  • Insert it as a special character
  • Add your arrow as a drawing object

Let’s delve into each method, along with some keyboard shortcuts and customization tips that will make the work easier for you.

Need a quick guide? Here’s a summary of how to insert arrows in Google Docs:

  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Click “Insert” > “Drawing” > “New.”
  3. In the drawing editor, click on the “Shapes” icon and choose “Arrows“.
  4. Select your desired arrow type and lay it out in the drawing space.
  5. Click “Save and Close.”

How To Insert Arrows in Google Docs as Special Characters

You may find it useful to include arrow characters when describing the steps in a process. For instance, you can write something like this: “Create an outline → make a draft → check for errors → publish.” Here’s how you can insert arrows in Google Docs:

  1. Go to and open the document where you want to insert an arrow.
  2. Click on “Insert” in the menu bar and select “Special characters” from the displayed options.
How to insert arrow in Google Docs—Where to find the "Special characters" option


  1. Google Docs will display the arrow characters by default in the new panel.
Inserting different arrow symbols in Google Docs


  1. If you can’t find the arrows, type “arrow” in the search bar provided.
Searching for arrows in the "Insert special characters" panel


  1. Click on the arrow character you want to insert, and close the panel when you’re done.

Useful Shortcuts to Insert an Arrow in Google Docs

To streamline the process of inserting arrows in Google Docs, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how to type an arrow in Google Docs:

Arrow Type For PC For Mac
Alt + 24 Option + 24
Alt + 25 Option + 25
Alt + 26 Option + 26
Alt + 27 Option + 27

How To Make an Arrow in Google Docs Using the Drawing Tool

To create more visually appealing arrows, you can utilize the drawing tool in Google Docs. This tool allows you to insert two types of arrows: A 2D shape and a line. Below are two separate walk-throughs on how to add an arrow in Google Docs.

Adding an Arrow Shape

Arrow shapes are ideal for process diagrams or illustrating relationships between concepts. They provide a clear visual representation of flow and connections, conveying concise information.

To add an arrow shape in Google Docs, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Open your document and go to the “Insert” menu.
  2. Select “Drawing” > “New” from the drop-down menu.
Creating a new drawing in Google Docs


  1. Click the “Shapes” icon in the drawing toolbar.
  2. Select “Arrows” from the list, then choose the specific arrow type you want to insert.
Inserting an arrow shape in a Google drawing


  1. Lay out your chosen arrow shape in the drawing space.
Laying out an arrow shape in the drawing space in Google Docs

Related: How To Insert Shapes in Google Docs in Under 2 Minutes: Easy

Customizing Your Arrow Shape

To customize your arrow shape in Google Docs, you can modify its fill color, border color, and border appearance. This step not only makes your content easier to follow but also helps maintain a consistent color scheme throughout your document.

  1. To change the fill color of your arrow shape:
    • Click the “painter icon” in the drawing toolbar.
    • Select your preferred color from the drop-down menu.
Fill color options for shapes in Google Docs drawings


  1. You can also edit the color of its borders by clicking the “Border color” option.
Border color options in a Google Docs drawing


  1. If applicable, you can also modify the border weight and dash of your arrow using the provided buttons in the toolbar.
Border weight and dash buttons in Google Docs drawing panel

Saving Your Drawing

When you’re happy with your arrow shape, click the “Save and Close” button in the upper-right corner of the drawing panel. This will save your drawing and close the drawing editor.

The "Save and Close" button in the Google Docs drawing panel

Drawing an Arrow Line

If you have some proofreading work to do, you can draw arrow lines directly within your Google document instead of relying on an external annotation tool. Here are the steps to draw an arrow in Google Docs:

  1. Open the drawing panel by going to “Insert” > “Drawing” > “New.
  2. In the drawing panel, click the drop-down menu beside the “Line” icon in the toolbar.
  3. Select “Arrow” from the list of line options.
Inserting an arrow line in a Google Docs drawing


  1. Lay out your arrow line according to your preferences.
Drawing an arrow line in Google Docs

Related: How To Draw on Google Docs (2 Unbelievably Simple Ways)

Changing the Line Options

If you want to enhance the visual representation of different types of information, consider using a color scheme. For instance, you can change the arrow color to red for deletions, yellow for edits, and blue for paraphrased content.

To convey varying levels of emphasis on the subject, you can adjust the line dash and weight. For instance, thicker arrows can be used to highlight crucial details, while thinner, dashed arrows can indicate less significant information.

To modify the appearance of your arrow line, you have three available options:

  • Line color: Click on the “Line color” option in the drawing toolbar and select your preferred color from the available options.
  • Line dash: Click on the “Line dash” option in the drawing toolbar and choose a dash style that suits your needs. This can be a solid line, a dashed line, or other variations.
  • Line weight: Click on the “Line weight” option in the drawing toolbar and adjust the thickness of the arrow line by selecting a different weight.
Options for line color, weight, and dash in GDocs drawing tool

Modifying the Line Tip

You can further customize the appearance of arrow lines by modifying their ends in Google Docs. To achieve this, simply follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Select your arrow by clicking on it.
  2. Then, click on “Line start” in the drawing toolbar.
  3. Choose your preferred line tip from the options available.
Changing the arrow line tip in a Google drawing


After customizing your arrows, don’t forget to save your shape by clicking the “Save and Close” button in the upper-right corner of the drawing editor.

Final Thoughts

Enhance process flow and readability in Google Docs by utilizing arrows. Refer to any of the provided guides above on how to insert arrows in Google Docs to quickly incorporate them into your document.

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