Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Changing How Arrows Look.

Changing How Arrows Look

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 26, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


The Drawing toolbar in Excel allows you to place arrows within your workbook. Once an arrow is placed where you want it, you can easily change the way the arrow looks by following these steps:

  1. Select the arrow by clicking on it. (You can tell if the arrow is selected by whether there are handles at each end of the arrow line.)
  2. Choose AutoShape from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format AutoShape dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Colors and Lines tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Colors and Lines tab of the Format AutoShape dialog box.

  5. Use the Begin Style and End Style drop-down lists to specify how each end of your arrow line should appear.
  6. Use the Begin Size and End Size drop-down lists to specify the size of each arrowhead. (These drop-down lists are available only if you specified an actual arrowhead in the Begin Style and End Style drop-down lists.)
  7. Click on OK. Your arrow is updated, as you specified.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3032) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Changing How Arrows Look.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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