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I'd like to insert perfect arrows (the sort you can make using Inkscape: straight, symmetric tips, of customizable width and length, etc.) into images in GIMP. At the moment the closest thing to this I can do is by holding down "shift" whilst using the PaintBrush tool which just creates straight lines (with no arrowheads).

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  • There are a lot of tutorials on the net. Can you tell us something more about your efforts? Have you tried to draw a path and stroke it? Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 13:03
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    ArrowsCreator 0.3 is decent plugin for arrows. Works with gimp 2.8.14
    – User
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 20:19

5 Answers 5

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There is a plugin:

Download arrow.scm and save it to /home/username/.gimp-2.8/scripts (on a Linux system).

For example:

cd ~/.gimp-2.8/scripts
wget https://web.archive.org/web/20160708211721/http://registry.gimp.org/files/arrow.scm

Check your version numbers, naturally. Next time you start up Gimp, you should see an Arrow option under the Tools menu.

Find out more about how to use it on maketecheasier.com.

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    It is 2016 now... To draw arrows we have google, then go to stackexchange, to grab the code for console, to download a plugin. Cool. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 19:56
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    Definitely. <likely sarcasm noted, and then...> In 1991 we pored over books, called people we knew, and some limited few had Internet access. It's so much faster to get a solution moving these days.
    – nikodaemus
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 22:11
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    you can just refresh the plugins list without restarting gimp: filters/scriptfu/refresh Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:39
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    Holy hell those are some ugly arrows: registry.gimp.org/files/Description.png Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 13:18
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    How do you set the arrow width with this plugin? It's drawing gigantic arrows for me and I can't find a way to control it's thickness. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 6:42
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For GIMP versions later than 2.8:

  1. Go to your home folder
  2. Go to .config/GIMP
  3. Go to the folder with a version number (2.10 for me)
  4. Go to scripts
  5. Download the arrow.scm file and place it here. Don't forget to unzip.
  6. Open GIMP and draw a path

enter image description here

  1. From Tools menu, select Arrow

enter image description here

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  • The download link works, my download says arrow.zip 100%[===================>] but the arrow,zip archive can't be unzipped.
    – karel
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 15:30
  • I have just verified that the file can be unzipped on a second computer. Likely something needs fixing on your end @karel
    – mikabytes
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 16:30
  • I found the link at programmer97.talktalk.net/Files/arrow.zip Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 22:40
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    The download is indeed not working. You'll have to go the the 2016 version on archive.org, or use this link: web.archive.org/web/20160420142436/http://… Commented May 24, 2021 at 19:05
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GIMP features no ready "shapes" tools, or the ability to easily create arrows. You have to draw then manually - either zooming in the head region and using click_shift to raw two straight lines for the head - or using the paths tool to start with, manually putting two segments to the head, and selecting "edit->stroke" for the whole path.

The advantage of the second approach is being able to fine tune the arrow before the stroke or undo/adjust/stroke again.

Depending on the workflow, you could draw a nice, steady arrow in a separate image, then copy it and edit->paste as new->brush - then you'd have a nice arrow stamp, with customizable size and angle to use with the brush tool.

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Use the text tool and copy & paste a unicode arrow sign

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrows_(Unicode_block)

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  • With the obvious drawback that they do not have "customizable width and length", as was asked.
    – Jongware
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 23:06
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    This is a great answer -- type an arrow using an enormous font size, than scale and rotate the layer to your liking Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 2:22
  • underrated answer
    – lordvcs
    Commented Apr 18 at 20:02
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This answer is based on @User's comment.

One method of creating arrows in Gimp is to use the python plugin ArrowsCreator. A new version has been released (0.3) that works with Gimp versions 2.8.14 and above. To get it to work, download ArrowsCreator-0.3.py from http://gimpchat.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11670 then place it in your gimp plugins folder as shown below (Windows 10). install gimp py location

If Gimp is open, close it then restart it. You should get a popup box like the one shown below. Arrow Creator popup on install

The first two entries are for creating a menu for this plugin. I changed "Arrows crea_tor" to "Arrows creator" then clicked OK.

Now open a picture in Gimp and click on Extension->Plugins-Python->Tools-> Arrows Creator as shown in the picture below. Arrow Creator Menu

You should see some instructions showing you how to create arrows. Arrow Creator gimp python plugin instructions

As instructed choose a color (I chose red).

Select a color

Then choose the path tool and click on the image twice (the points will become the head and tail of the arrow).

Select path tool Gimp

Choose your arrow style. I chose "Square cut shaft" style and got this

Resulting arrow

There are currently 7 different styles to choose from and customize. Hopefully this is enough information to get you started!

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  • Thanks, but how do you use it in Gimp 2.10? I've put the plugin into ~/snap/gimp/40/.config/GIMP/2.10/plug-ins/, but I'm not getting the initial window and there is no "Extensions" menu. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 6:47
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    I’m guessing you are using linux? I’m not sure as I was using win10. Also, I’ve heard that Gimp 2.10 has broken a few plugins. I expect this could be one of them. If I get a chance to test it, I will update the post.
    – TryHarder
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 8:51

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