3 easy ways to insert an arrow in Google Sheets

Jason Gong
LAST UPDATED
June 6, 2024
TL;DR

Click Insert, then Drawing, and choose an arrow shape.

By the way, we're Bardeen, we build a free AI Agent for doing repetitive tasks.

If you use Google Sheets often, you might like our automation features. They can help you save time by automating tasks, like inserting dynamic arrows based on conditions.

Are you stuck on trying to add an arrow to your Google Sheet, and simply can’t figure out how? Well, prepare to be amazed. We’ll walk you step by step through every possible way you can insert arrows in Google spreadsheets.

No matter if you’re trying to highlight data points, indicate relations between them, or simply make that Google Sheet look better – we have the solution for you. Heck, even if you’re creating flowcharts and diagrams, it will still work.

Here’s how to add that arrow to your Google Sheet:

  1. The most popular way: insert the arrow as a shape. Or use images.
  2. The creative way: use symbols. Get even smarter with keyboard shortcuts.
  3. The lazy way: with add-ons.

Dynamic arrow insertion is the fanciest you can get. Figure out your conditions and easily achieve it with functions and formulas. And if you’re into Google Sheets automation, maybe you should try Bardeen.

Insert arrow shapes into your Google Sheet

This is as easy as it gets, so let’s dive right into the exact steps:

1. Click on the “Insert” menu item. It’s on the top left of your Google Sheets window.

2. Select “Drawing” from the dropdown, to open the drawing editor tool.

3. Right next to the default selected pointer icon, you’ll see the “Shape” menu (just hover to confirm, it’s the circle over a square).

4. Clicking on that will show all supported shapes. Choose the arrow category and the style you prefer.

5. Using your mouse/trackpad: draw, size, adjust, and orientate until perfection. Then “save and close” to add it to your Google Sheet.

6. Place the arrow in its final position, resize by dragging any corner, and use formatting options to adapt color and/or add text. Done!

How to add arrow images in Google Sheets

This method requires a bit of preparation. Make sure you have an arrow image. Now:

1. Open the same “Insert” menu in your spreadsheet of choice.

2. From the dropdown, hover over “Image” to open its content.

3. Now, choose between in cell (inline with content) and over cells (on top, flexible to move).

4. Navigate to the arrow picture you intend to use. You can upload from your computer, or use sources such as your webcam, a direct link, or any Google service: Photos, Drive, Images.

Still looking for an easier way to create an arrow in Google Sheets? Then, just copy an arrow from an external source: any web page or even Google Docs.

How to insert an arrow symbol in Google Sheets

If you fancy adding that Google Sheets arrow as a symbol, you have two options:

Use the CHAR function

As you might already know, the CHAR function converts any Unicode character number into its corresponding symbol. To insert an arrow symbol, you need to use a specific number.

So, just use this formula in any Google Sheet cell: '=CHAR(number)'

Replace “number” with the Unicode decimal code for the arrow you wish to insert. A list of arrow symbols and their corresponding codes can be found in the Unicode decimal codes.

Pro tip: this method makes it possible to include arrows inside text strings (actually, any symbol can be used in line with “normal” characters).

Use a Google Sheets add-on

The simplest way to insert an arrow symbol is via the Insert Special Characters add-on. It adds a sidebar to the right of your spreadsheet. Use that to search for any arrow symbol and insert it in any size and color. Easy, right?

Bonus: dynamic arrow insertion

So, you made it this far. Is it safe to assume you’re ready for the pro-level stuff?

For example, dynamically inserting arrows. Based on conditional formatting you set. So, as data updates, so will your arrow of choice.

Here’s a formula that changes arrows based on your A1 cell.

 ‘=IFS(A1>0,"↗",A1<0,"↘",TRUE,"-")’

Whether you choose to insert arrows as shapes, symbols, or dynamically, it’s a great way to add visual interest and clarity to your Google Sheets. Go ahead and enhance the presentation and effectiveness of your data.

Automate every GSheets workflow with Bardeen

Google Sheets is great, no matter how you use it. So how can you make something great, better?

Automating Google Sheets can 5x your productivity. While using AI can skyrocket your personalization, in seconds. Bardeen is here to help with both.

Sure, manual insertion is effective for occasional use. But what about when you’re dealing with large datasets or when manipulating data based on specific conditions or triggers?

Here are some popular Google Sheets automations:

1. Our most common integration is between LinkedIn and Google Sheets. Users love this one to immediately copy profile data to a new row in any Google Sheet.

2. Did you know Facebook is still popular? Or at least groups still are. A lot of Bardeen users get value from this automation:

3. Finally, what if you could organize important email links directly in Google Sheets? Automating data extraction processes enhances your resource management efficiency.

Automating your Google Sheets with these playbooks not only saves time but also introduces a level of precision and reliability to your data management practices. Start automating today to transform your workflow efficiency - download Bardeen and get started for free.

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