Pro Tip: Create Perfect Arrows in Adobe XD

If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone through phases where you need to create arrows for flow charts or icons. And there is nothing more frustrating than getting the arrow heads to line up perfectly; there’s always some jaggy edge or fractional alignment problem that makes you wish you could just stick an arrowhead on a line and call it a day.

This protip comes from my Adobe colleague Seth Walker, who demonstrated the following technique to us in one perfectly recorded animated GIF. I’ve broken it down below.

Step 1: Set up squares

  1. Select the Rectangle tool (R) and hold down the shift key to draw a square
  2. Either Copy and Paste (Cmd+C, Cmd+V) or Duplicate (Cmd+D for Mac) your square, and apply a rotation of 45º.
  3. Either Paste again or select the original square and duplicate. With this new square, apply a rotation of -45º.
  4. Select all three squares and join them in an Boolean union (Add) group.

Step 2: Extend and round your squares

Once you have your Boolean group, you can now play with the objects inside to make your arrow head.

  1. Double click into the Boolean group and select all (Cmd+A for Mac).
  2. In the property inspector, type in a somewhat large number. This expands the prongs of the arrows in three directions. (The magic point!)
  3. Select the rounded corners property and adjust the number upward.

Step 3: Lengthen the arrow

  1. Select only the center rectangle and drag its length to make the line of the arrow.
  2. Press Escape to exit the edit context.

You now have a Boolean group you can edit! For the arrows at the top of this article, I removed the border and added a subtle gradient.

Want more of this type of content? Click on the heart, share with others, and let me know (either in the comments or via Twitter) what you want me to dive into next time!

As always, if you have suggestions on what new features you want to see in Adobe XD, head over to our UserVoice site to upvote your favorite features and log new ones.

Elaine is a product manager at Adobe. You can find her on Twitter at @elainecchao.

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