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how do I draw curved arrows?

16491 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2013 2:12 PM by jbarmer RSS
mqmot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Apr 15, 2012 1:04 PM

How do I draw a curved arrow?

  • John De Banzie Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)
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    Apr 15, 2012 5:54 PM (in response to mqmot)

    I'm not aware of a curved arrow tool. You can use the pen tool to draw a curved line. You can then draw a straight arrow pointing in the same direction as the arrowhead end of your curved line, shorten the line portion or this arrow until it disappears, then attach the arrowhead that remains to the curved line.


    Hope that helps.

  • bwfromspring hill Level 4 Level 4 (1,465 points)
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    Apr 15, 2012 8:44 PM (in response to mqmot)

    As John mentions, Keynote does not provide a curved line tool.


    But any line you create using the freehand shape tool can have an arrow head endpoint using the Graphic Inspector > Stroke > Line > Endpoint and select the appropriate arrow head or tail.


    The lines created with the freehand tool can also be smoothed with Format > Shape > Smooth Path.


    You can add extra edit points along the freehand shape by option-clicking on the object.


    When doing this, I find that if I place a circle object on the slide and lock it (Arrange > Lock) I have a template for making the freehand line shape closer to circular when so needed. After the freehand shape is acceptable, I Arrange > Unlock and dispose of the circle object I used as a template.


    That said, the best way to get smooth curved arrow shapes is to create them in a vector drawing application and copy/paste into Keynote.

  • 3enjamin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 20, 2012 1:17 AM (in response to mqmot)

    Another way, provided you want the arrow to 'connect' two other objects, is to:


    1. Select two objects.

    2. Go to the Insert-menu and choose Connection Line. A line will appear between the two objects.

    3. Give the line arrow endpoints etc. as described in bwfromspring hills post above.

    4. Make sure your newly created line/arrow is selected. You can now move the white dot to curve it. You can also move any of the two blue dots to adjust its length


    An arrow created this way will 'stretch' and adjust to remain connected to the two original objects if you choose to move them, which is of course an advantage if this is the effect you're after. In addition, the curves created using this method are nice and smooth, and easy to control.

  • bwfromspring hill Level 4 Level 4 (1,465 points)
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    May 20, 2012 9:55 AM (in response to mqmot)

    3engamin's idea is great for connected objects... and extending that idea one step further, if you don't want to connect two objects, make them invisible.


    Using the process described above, create two objects, connect them, curve the line and add an arrowhead, then make the object fill and line = none.


    The curved arrow remains but the objects are not seen.

  • another Jason D Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 19, 2012 10:47 AM (in response to mqmot)

    This guy has the easiest directions - using the pen tool, start the line with the first click, on the 2nd click (where you want the curved arrow to end) hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse around until you get the curve you want. Then UN-fill your shape (if filled) and format the line to have arrowheads as described above. It couldn't be easier, and is much simpler to use than Powerpoint's version. By the way, you can make a 3rd point (hold click/move mouse) and so on to create any kind of curved line/shape.


    The original directions are from .html

  • paulfroms gloucestershire Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 17, 2013 8:05 AM (in response to mqmot)

    Are you using .cwkDRAW? If so (it's all I use! Terrific!) just draw your curve, then select line with arrow and arrange it at the end of your curve. Use image>free rotate for making arrow point in the desired direction.

  • Mr.T8 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 21, 2013 2:35 AM (in response to mqmot)

    1. Use the regular shape tool, and select the regular arrow and draw it somewhere.

    2. select the arrow, and go to "format/shape/edit shape".

    3. double click every red dot, to make it have rounded corners (and edit as pleased)

    4. add *edit points* to your arrow by holding the option-key


    Hope this helps

  • jrafferty Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 23, 2013 11:43 AM (in response to bwfromspring hill)

    great solution, bwfromspring hill! One alternative would be to just set the opacity of those two objects to 0% as opposed to changing fill and stroke. It's essentially the same scenario, just one less step.

  • TED89 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 14, 2013 5:13 AM (in response to mqmot)

    If you want a quick and easy solution and have a version of powerpoint, then you can just copy any shape/effect from powerpoint and paste it into your keynote presentation.

  • jbarmer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 7, 2013 2:12 PM (in response to Mr.T8)

    In reply to:  Mr.T8


    Yours is the only answer in this thread that isn't over-engineered.  It's was what I was hoping for:  a command to edit the friggin' arrow.  I just didn't see that menu item.




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