How to place the TIP of arrowheads exactly where you want them?

Posted on 2007-03-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Illustrator CS2

I have a document that has an image surrounded by a bunch of text areas. I want to have arrows point from my text to the image, but I want every arrowhead to stop short of the image by 1/16 inch. The lines will need to be angled in most cases, rather than 90° (horizontal or vertical.)

Image is in one (locked) layer, text is in another (locked) layer, and I am trying to create lines with arrowheads in a third layer.

So, I set up a grid of 16, set guidelines 1/16" around the image. Snap to grid ON. Now, when I create a line, that line starts and ends exactly where I want. But when I add arrowheads, using

Filter/Apply Add Arrowheads


Effect / Stylize/ Add Arrowhead

some align where I expect, with the tip of the arrow touching the guide line (on the grid), and other arrowheads are longer and overlap or "underlap"(hidden beneath)  the image. If I start messing with the scale of the arrowhead at that point, the arrowheads start to look like a hodgepodge of styles.

I have tried working "backwards" using the beginning of the line rather than the endpoint for arrowheads, but the result is the same. I don't see anything in the Help file.

Anyone know how to tell an arrowhead where to go?


Question by:dtleahy
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Accepted Solution

Tom Ray earned 500 total points
ID: 18772213
i've run into this before to. in my situation all the arrowheads are the same style and size. the lengths could be different though.

create a new blank file for just one line and arrowhead.

create a line with arrowhead that you like and would use throughout using effect>stylize>add arrowhead.

saved that file as legacy illustrator (version 8)

close and reopen that file, now the arrowhead is an actual shape. illustrator can better snap to your grid with an actual shape rather than a filter applied shape. you can just drag the tail end of the line to adjust length.

Author Comment

ID: 18780810
sibgig, thanks for the reply. I had to send the files our to the commercial printer already, but will try your solution  sometime today and get back to close this  topic. (I gave up and made arrows in segments, where the tip was always a 90° line, because I could not see any other way to do what I needed to do.)


Author Comment

ID: 18870494

I don't want to abandon this question, nor do I have time to check your answer. Big trade show in one week, and not enough hours in the day. When I get back, I'll try it and if it works, I'll add more points and award them. Again, sorry to drag this out. I don't usually, but the point is almost moot as I already had the brochures printed. It will be good to know, though, and I will get back to this.

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Tom Ray
ID: 18870526
ok, no problem.

Author Comment

ID: 19040195
I upped this from 250 to 500 points, partially because of the extra long delay in getting back to the question, and partially because it is esoteric knowledge. I'm not sure how you ever figured that out, but you are absolutely correct.

Sibgig, thank you very much.

LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Tom Ray
ID: 19040927
thanks for the upped points... glad i could help

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