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How to Type Arrows in Google Docs (Windows & Mac)

There are several kinds of arrows with different shapes and designs you can type in Google Docs. These different arrows have different shortcuts and alt codes.

In this article, I will show you the step-by-step guide to typing these arrows in Google docs using keyboard shortcuts and other methods.

Without any further ado, let’s get to work.

Method 1: How to type an Arrow in Google docs using the Autocorrect shortcut  (For Windows & Mac)

There are several options you can use to get the arrow symbol in Google Docs on your Windows PC.

The easiest among them includes using the arrow symbol autocorrect shortcut available in Google docs. This technique allows you to enter a series of characters that automatically gets converted to an arrow.

Thus, to type the right-pointing arrow in Google docs, enter –> and it’ll get converted into a right arrow symbol. For the left-pointing arrow, enter <– to get a left arrow symbol.

The below table has all the default Google docs autocorrect arrow shortcuts that you can use.

Type thisTo get this
How to type arrows in Google Docs

Method 2: Type an Arrow in Google docs Using the Arrow Alt Code shortcuts (Windows Users)

The arrow symbols’ alt codes are 26 (for right arrow), 27 (for left arrow), 24 (for up arrow), and 25 (for down arrow). To type these arrows in Google docs using the alt code method: press and hold the alt key, type the code using the numeric keypad, then release the alt key.

right arrow alt code

The below table has all the alt code shortcuts for different types of arrows.

Arrow alt codes and shortcuts in Google docs:

SymbolDescriptionAlt CodeShortcut
Leftwards arrow27Alt + 27
Rightwards arrow26Alt + 26
left right arrow29Alt + 29
Upwards arrow24Alt + 24
Downwards arrow25Alt + 25
Up down arrow23Alt + 23

Note: This method works only for Windows users. If you are on Mac, you should try using the next method that shows you two easy ways to get the arrow symbols anywhere on Mac.

different arrow alt codes

Below is a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to type arrows in Google docs on your Windows PC.

  • First, open Google docs.
  • Turn on your Num Lock key. In other words, ensure that the keys on the numeric keypad are not disabled.
  • Press and hold the Alt key, and using the numeric keypad, type the alt code of the character you wish to type. The alt codes of the various arrow symbols are listed in the table above.
  • Now release the Alt key after typing the alt code on the numeric keypad.

Method 3: Use the Equation tool to Insert Arrows in Google docs

If you need to get Arrows in google docs, using the equation tool is another simple method. This tool can help you insert different types of arrows.

The equation tool is simply a feature in Google docs that contains a gallery of built-in math structures and symbols from which you can point and click to insert symbols, including arrows

Obey the steps below to learn how to use this equation tool in Google docs for typing Arrows.

  • Step 1: Launch the Google docs document where you want to type the Arrows.
  • Step 2: In the document, click to position the text cursor at the desired location.
  • Step 3: Insert the Equation editor

To do so, go to Insert > Equation.

Insert Equation in Google Docs

This will open the equation editor toolbar and the equation edit box.

The equation toolbar and edit box look like the screenshot below:

Equation Tool bar and Equation Edit box in Google Docs
  • Step 4: Go to Math Operators > Arrows

Navigate to the Equation toolbar, under Math Operators, select the Arrows drop-down, and click on your desired arrow to insert it.

Insert arrows in google docs using the equation tool

Method 4: Insert Arrows in Google Docs using the ‘Special Characters’ tool (for both Windows and Mac)

One of the easy ways to get Arrows in Google Docs is to use the ‘Special Characters’ tool.

The special characters tool allows Google docs users to insert any symbol into documents, including Arrows, and many other special symbols.

Obey the instructions below to insert Arrows in Google docs using this Special Character’s tool.

  • Open the Google docs where you want to insert the arrows.
  • Go to Insert > Special Characters.
Opening Google Docs Special Characters Tool Window
  • The ‘Special Character’ window will Appear. Search for the word ‘arrow’ in the search bar.
Insert arrows in google docs using the special characters tool
  • After locating the desired arrow you wish to insert, simply double-click on it to insert it into your Google docs.

These are the steps you may use to insert Arrow symbols in Google docs.

Method 5: How to Insert Arrows on Mac in Google docs

Using the Alt code method works only on Windows computers.

If you are on Mac, there are two easy ways to get these arrows into Google docs. These methods are explained below:

Option 1: Using Emoji and Symbols menu

To insert any kind of arrow with this option:

  • Click Edit in the Menu Bar
  • At the bottom of the drop-down menu, select Emoji & Symbols.
  • The Characters window will appear, select the Arrows group in the Characters menu.
  • On the Arrows category you’ll see a lot of arrows in different designs and shapes, double click the arrow of your choice to insert it into your works.

Option 2: Using AutoCorrect on Mac

Just like in Microsoft Word, you can also add autocorrect in preferences so that you can easily type symbols using some unique characters known to you alone.

For instance, you can use –> for the rightward arrows symbol (→). This way, whenever you type two dashes and then the greater-than symbol (–>), Mac will convert it into an arrow.

To make these settings on Mac:

  • Open System Preferences and click on Keyboard.
  • Under the Text tab, click the plus (+) button near the bottom left of the window.
  • Enter the –> in the Replace column.
  • Enter the arrow symbol (à) in the With column.

Now, Mac will autocorrect –> to an arrow (→) as you type.

Method 6: Get the Arrow symbol from Windows Character map into Google docs

If you are using a Windows PC, you can also get a lot of arrow symbols from the Windows character map tool. It is basically a library of symbols on every Windows computer that allows users to retrieve and copy symbols that are not easy to come by with the keyboard.

This method simply allows you to locate the type of arrow symbol you need and copy it to be pasted into your Google docs.

Obey the following instructions to copy and paste any Arrow Symbol into Google docs using the character map dialog box.

  • Click on the Start button and search for Character Map. The Character Map app will appear in the search results; click to open.
search for character map on windows
  • The Character Map dialog will appear. Click the Advanced view check-box to expand the window for more advanced options.
Check the Advanced view checkbox to expand the dialog
  • On the advanced view, type Arrow in the Search box.
  • You should now see a log of Arrow Symbols on the character map dialog. Double-click your desired arrow to select. Alternatively, click on the Select button.
  • After you select the symbol by double-clicking it, it should appear in the Character to copy: field, then click on the Copy button to copy the symbol.
How to insert the lef pointing arrow symbol in Word or Excel
  • Switch to Google docs, place the insertion pointer at the desired location, and press Ctrl+V to paste.

This is how you may use the Character Map dialog to copy and paste arrows into Google docs.

Method 7: Copy and Paste Arrow Symbols in Google docs

One of the simplest ways to get an arrow in Google docs is through copy and paste.

All you need to do is copy the arrow somewhere, like a web page. Then switch to the app where you need the symbol and press Ctrl+V to paste the copied arrow.

Below are the arrow symbols if you want to copy and paste them to Google docs.

Copy & Paste Right Arrow:

Copy & Paste Left Arrow:

Copy & Paste Up Arrow:

Copy & Paste Down Arrow:

Copy & Paste Double Left Right Arrow:

Copy & Paste Up Down Double Arrow:

Copy & Paste North West Arrow:

Copy & Paste North East Arrow:

Copy & Paste South East Arrow:

Copy & Paste South West Arrow:

Copy & Paste Up Down Arrow with Base:


Using the arrow alt code method, as shown at the beginning of this article, is my ideal method of typing arrows in Google docs.

However, the best and fastest way is to use the AutoCorrect option (–>). This option is also available on Mac if you take your time to set it up in the preferences setting.

Let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions or questions concerning typing arrows in Google docs.

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