Quick Fix: How to Outline an Arrow in Adobe Illustrator

A search for how to outline an arrow in Adobe Illustrator turns up some bizarre solutions to what is seemingly a straightforward requirement.

The issue with arrows begins because an arrow in Illustrator is essentially a brush style applied to a line rather than being a filled object with an outline stroke. However, we can transform an arrow into a filled object with an outline stroke with one simple step: the selection of Object > Path > Outline Stroke from the menu bar.

Applying this knowledge we can create an outlined arrow in Illustrator following these steps.

(1) Draw a straight line using the line tool while holding down the Shift key.
(2) Open the Brushes window and select the arrows_standard brush library from its menu 
(3) With the line you created selected now choose an arrow style from the library
(4) With the line/arrow still selected go to the menu bar and select Object > Path > Outline Stroke 
(5) The arrow is now a filled object with a stroke that can be manipulated in the usual ways.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. First of all, thank you very much for the tip.
    I was wondering how to use this technique to create brushes that follow simple objects (square, circles, etc.), but that do not distort the arrowhead when trying to scale?

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