How to Draw Arrows in Excel (3 Simple Ways)

Looking for ways to draw arrows in your Excel spreadsheet? Then, you’ve come to the right place. Typically, arrows indicate if a value is increasing or decreasing with respect to another value. Thus, adding visual depth and clarity to the information. With this in mind, this article demonstrates 3 easy ways how to draw arrows in Excel.


Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from the link below.


3 Ways to Draw Arrows in Excel

Let’s consider the dataset shown in the B4:D13 cells. Here, the dataset shows the Product names and their Sales in January and Sales in February respectively. Now, we want to check if the Sales of some products in February is greater than that of in January. If so, we’ll draw an up arrow to indicate an increase, otherwise, we’ll insert a down arrow to indicate a decrease. So, without further delay, let’s see each method individually.

Dataset 1

Here, we have used Microsoft Excel 365 version, you may use any other version according to your convenience.


Method-1: Draw Arrows Using Symbol Option

Let’s start with the most obvious way to add arrows in a cell. Simply put, let’s use Excel’s built-in Symbol Option.


1.1 Using Normal Text Font to Draw Arrows

Here, we’ll utilize Excel’s Symbol option to insert arrows in a cell. So, let’s begin.

📌 Steps:

  • At the very beginning, go to the E5 cell >> click the Insert tab >> then, select the Symbol option.

Using Normal Text Font

This opens the Symbol wizard.

  • Now, in the Font field, choose the (normal text) option >> next, in the Subset field, select Arrows from the list.
  • Following this, choose an arrow according to your preference and hit the Insert button.

Using Normal Text Font

The results should look like the image shown below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Normal Text Font

Lastly, repeat the same process for the other cells as shown below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Normal Text Font


1.2 Using Wingdings Font to Draw Arrows

In a similar fashion, you can use the Wingdings font to insert arrows in a cell. So, let’s see it in action.

📌 Steps:

  • To begin with, move to the E5 cell >> click the Insert tab followed by the Symbol option.

Using Wingdings Font

In an instant, the Symbol dialog box pops up.

  • Next, select the Wingdings font >> enter 233 in the Character Code box, this selects the arrow shown below >> click the Insert button.

Using Wingdings Font

After completing the above steps, the output appears as shown in the screenshot below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Wingdings Font

In a similar manner, repeat the same procedure for the other cells as depicted below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Wingdings Font


1.3 Using Wingdings 3 Font to Draw Arrows

Another way to add an arrow into a cell involves using the Wingdings 3 font. The process is remarkably the same as the previous method so, just follow along.

📌 Steps:

  • Initially, navigate to the E5 cell >> go to the Insert tab >> click the Symbol option.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Wingdings 3 Font

After completing this step, the Symbol wizard appears.

  • Now, choose the Wingdings 3 font >> type in 199 as the Character Code, to choose the arrow shown below >> hit the Insert button.

Using Wingdings 3 Font

Likewise, insert the arrows into the cells and your output should look like the image given below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Wingdings 3 Font


Method-2: Using Shapes Option to Draw Arrows

What if you want to add colorful arrows instead of these boring arrows? You’re in luck, our next method answers this very question. So, let’s go through the steps.

📌 Steps:

  • Firstly, select the cell where you want an arrow. In this case, we’ve chosen the E5 cell
  • Next, go to the Insert tab and click the Shapes drop-down.

Using Shapes Option

  • Now, in the Block Arrows section, choose the up arrow.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Shapes Option

  • Secondly, hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to draw an arrow. Here, you can move, resize and change the color of the arrow according to your preference.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Shapes Option

  • Thirdly, insert a down arrow following the same process as above.
  • Finally, copy the arrows into their respective locations as shown in the screenshot below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Shapes Option


Method-3: Applying Conditional Formatting to Draw Arrows

If the first two methods are too much work and you’re in a hurry then, our next method will come in handy for you. Here, we’ll apply the Conditional Formatting Tool to insert arrows. Hence, let’s see the process in detail.

📌 Steps:

  • To begin, go to the E5 cell and enter the expression given below.

=D5-C5

Here, the C5 and the D5 cells refer to the Sales in January and February respectively.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Conditinal Formatting

  • Secondly, select the E5:E13 range of cells >> click the Conditional Formatting drop-down >> from the list, and choose the Icon Sets option.

Using Conditinal Formatting

This opens the New Formatting Rule dialog box.

  • Next, choose the Format cells based on their values option.
  • Then, in the Format Style field, choose the Icon Sets and Show Icon Only options.
  • Following this, enter a suitable value, for example, we’ve chosen 100.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Conditinal Formatting

Eventually, your results should look like the picture shown below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Using Conditinal Formatting


Draw Arrows in a Line Chart

Thus far, we’ve discussed how to draw arrows in a cell. What if you want to insert arrows in a Line Chart in Excel? Lucky you, the next method describes just this. Now, allow me to demonstrate this process in the steps below.
Considering the Monthly Revenue Earned dataset in the B4:C12 cells below. Here, we have a breakdown of the Revenue earnings for each Month from January to August.

Dataset 2

📌 Steps:

  • Firstly, select the B4:C12 cells >> go to the Insert tab >> in the Charts section, click the Insert Line or Area Chart drop-down >> choose the Line option.

Using Line Chart

Moreover, you can format the chart using the Chart Elements option.

  • In addition to the default selection, you can enable the Axes Title to provide axes names. Here, it is a Breakdown of Revenue by Month.
  • Now, add the Chart Title, for example, Month and Sales in USD.
  • Lastly, you can disable the Gridlines option to give your chart a clean look.

This should generate the chart as shown in the picture below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Line Chart

  • Secondly, select any data point and right-click on the mouse to go to the Format Data Point option.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Line Chart

This opens the Format Data Point pane.

  • In the next step, choose a color, for instance, we’ve chosen Orange.
  • In turn, specify the End Arrow type as shown in the screenshot below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Line Chart

Your Line Chart should look like the image given below.

How to Draw Arrows in Excel Line Chart

Similarly, follow the same procedure for the other data points.
Subsequently, the result should look like the picture shown below.

Subsequently, the result should look like the picture shown below.


Practice Section

We have provided a practice section on the right side of each sheet so you can practice yourself. Please make sure to do it by yourself.

Practice Section


Conclusion

I hope all of the methods mentioned above on how to draw arrows in Excel will now prompt you to apply them in your Excel spreadsheet more effectively. Please let me know in the comment section if you have any questions or feedback. Or you can check out our other articles related to Excel functions on this website.

Eshrak Kader

Eshrak Kader

Hello! Welcome to my Profile. I completed my BSc. at Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology from the Department of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering. Currently, I am conducting research & posting articles related to Microsoft Excel. I am passionate about research & development and finding innovative solutions to problems.

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