How to Make an Arrow on a Keyboard

Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS are all able to make arrows on their keyboards

What to Know

  • Windows: Using Alt key: type 24 (up), 25 (down), 26 (right), or 27 (left), and release Alt to create the arrow.
  • Mac: Open the Character Viewer, select Arrows on the left, and double-click an arrow on the right.
  • Android/iPhone: Android: Numeric keyboard > hold caret symbol > choose arrow. iPhone: Use emoji keyboard.

This article explains how to make an arrow using your keyboard on a Windows PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone. 

Make an Arrow in Windows

You can make an arrow using a keyboard shortcut on Windows, but you’ll need either a numeric keypad or the NumLock key. 

The NumLock key can typically be found on the upper right of the keyboard or attached to a Function key depending on your keyboard.

  1. In the document you want an arrow: Hold the Alt key and enter one of the following number combinations depending on the arrow you want:

    • Up arrow: 24
    • Down arrow: 25
    • Right arrow: 26
    • Left arrow: 27
  2. Release the Alt key after you enter the number and you’ll then see your arrow in your document.

    Arrows in Notepad on Windows
  3. The arrows can be copied and pasted like regular text into any document that accepts text.

Use the Character Map

If you don’t have a numeric keypad or the NumLock key, you can insert an arrow symbol using the Character Map on Windows.

  1. Open the Character Map using Start Windows Accessories, your Search box, or with Cortana.

    Character Map in the Windows Start menu
  2. With the tool open, look for the up, down, right, or left arrow you want to use.

    To speed up the process, you can check the box for Advanced view at the bottom, enter “arrow” into the Search for box, and click Search.

    Advanced view to search for arrow in the Character Map
  3. When you see the arrow you want to use, choose it and click Select. This moves it to the Characters to copy box. 

  4. Select Copy.

    Copy in the Windows Character Map
  5. Go to your document, place your cursor where you want the arrow, and press Ctrl + V to paste it.

Make an Arrow on Mac

Unlike Windows, Mac doesn’t offer a shortcut for making an arrow with your keyboard. However, you can use the Character Viewer to insert an arrow into your document, note, or email.

  1. To open the Character Viewer, go to Edit > Emoji & Symbols in the menu bar or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Control + Space.

  2. When the Character Viewer opens, select Arrows on the left.

    You’ll then see a large collection of arrows on the right sectioned by direction including right, left, up, down, double-sided arrows, and miscellaneous options.

    Arrows in the Mac Character Viewer
  3. Choose the arrow you want to use and then either drag it into your document or double-click to place it in the document where your cursor sits.

    Dragging an arrow to Notes on Mac

Make an Arrow on Android

If you’re typing on your Android device and need an arrow, you’ll be happy to know that the keyboard can accommodate you quite easily.

  1. With your document open, place your cursor where you want the arrow and press the ?123 key to open the numeric keyboard

  2. Next, press the =/< key to display additional symbols.

    ?123 key and symbols key on the Android keyboard
  3. Press and hold the caret key which is in the second row.

  4. You’ll see a small toolbar display above the caret key with left, up, down, and right arrows. Slide your finger to the arrow you want and release.

    The caret key and Arrow keys in the caret key toolbar on Android

Make an Arrow on iPhone

On an iPhone, you use the emoji keyboard to place an arrow.

  1. Tap either the Emoji button on the bottom left of the keyboard or the Globe key and choose Emoji.

  2. In the search field at the top of the emoji keyboard, enter “arrow.”

  3. You’ll then see directional arrows inside of squares. These include, up, down, left, right, and more options like double, circular, and diagonal.

    Tap to insert the one you want into your document.

    Emoji key, search box, and arrows in the iPhone emoji keyboard


    If you only want a right or left arrow, you can use the numeric keyboard on your iPhone. For a right arrow, type two hyphens with a greater than symbol or for a left arrow, type a less than symbol with two hyphens.

  • How do I make accents on a keyboard?

    To type accent marks on Windows, choose Num Lock, hold Alt, then enter the appropriate number code. On Mac, long press the letter, then choose a mark in the accent menu. On mobile devices, long press the letter, then slide your finger to the accented letter and release.

  • Where is the little up arrow on my keyboard?

    The caret (the little up arrow) is the symbol above the 6 key on a standard QWERTY keyboard. Press Shift+6 to type a caret.

  • How do I unlock my arrow keys?

    If you can't move between cells with the arrow keys in Excel or a similar program, you need to turn off Scroll Lock (ScrLk).

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