custom arrowheads that stay the same size and follow the shaft trajectory

New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Hi,

I want to create a custom arrowhead that stays the same size no matter what stroke weight is applied to the arrow. Usually, I want the arrowhead to have the same attributes as the shaft. Sometimes, though, I want the shaft to be dashed while the arrowhead stays solid.

I also want the arrowhead to follow the trajectory of the shaft if I change it.

Is there a way to accomplish these two things? So far, I've tried adding the arrowhead to the arrowheads.ai file so it appears in the drop-down menu in the Stroke Panel, Brushes, and I believe the Graphic Styles panel.

Thanks,

Julie

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2019

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So you have created it in the Arrowheads file and it doesn't work?

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Right. The arrowhead changes size when I change the stroke weight of the shaft.

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Also, the arrowhead does not follow the trajectory of the shaft if I change it. It remains pointed to the right, due east, no matter what the shaft is doing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Without seeing the Arrowheads file and your test file, there's no chance to find out what's happening. Also I don't understand the errors you're facing. Please show the misbehaviour.

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Thanks for your efforts to help. How can I attach a file?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Please upload it to Dropbox, Google Driv or Creative Cloud and post a link in here.

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019

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Try this: https://adobe.ly/2RsAINY. I guess I did figure out how to make the arrowhead follow the shaft trajectory--I grouped the shaft and arrowhead when I added it to the arrowheads.ai file. But now there's a little shaft sticking out. Maybe if I make the shaft be 0 pt. in the arrowhead.ai file ...? And it still changes size with the change of stroke weight of the shaft. I think that's inherent in the file and I wish it wasn't. I wish it was a choice.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Would need to see your actual Arrowheads file in order to find out what happened to that "shaft".

Bildschirmfoto 2019-01-04 um 11.38.37.png

As for the scaling: that's how arrowheads work.

You can keep the arrowhead from getting a thicker line, but you can't keep it from getting bigger as a whole.

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2019

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I'm trying to locate the arrowheads.ai file. My utter confusion about where files, libraries, panels, etc. are kept is a topic for another thread. Then I need to figure out how I uploaded the first file to you through Creative Cloud, which I also don't understand .... Please stand by.

As for "that's how arrowheads work" ... that's my point. I don't want them to work that way.

I don't want to keep the arrowhead from getting thicker; I want the arrowhead to get thicker, matching the shaft.

Thanks for trying.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020

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I'm looking at custom arrowheads which I know how to make. But opposite to you, I want to make them stay horizontal and not rotate with the path trajectory. Now in this thread, you mention something about grouping the arrowhead when creating them and that solved it. I'm trying to work backwards but I can't reproduce your "accident". Do you remember how you did "static arrowheads" that does NOT rotate?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2019

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I think the answer to your question "Can I thicken the line without enlarging the arrow?" is no. But… maybe this will be a partial solutions:

  1. Make an "Art Brush" and use "Stretch Between Guides".
  2. Duplicate it and update the art for each line width you need.

Maybe someone will find a more elegant solution for your.

Edit: One other idea is to assign an "Offset Path" Effect to a second line attribute in the Appearance panel and bump up the Offset to create a fatter line. Not sure its any better than the first idea, but it only needs one brush.

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019

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I think you're right about the stroke weight and size of the arrowhead. I wish we could choose what the arrowhead does.

As for stretching between guides, thank you for this idea. I'll try it out. I was hoping I wouldn't have to create separate arrows for each stroke weight, as I use a lot of increments. Plus, I often need arrowheads at both ends. And dashed shafts of various qualities. ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2019

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If I understand you correctly, this is the sort of thing you want. In essence you want to apply two separate strokes to one path, which is fine, it's just probably more involved that you're hoping for. It requires familiarity with the Appearance panel, and Graphic Styles.

1. Draw the arrowhead, pointing to the right, with a 1 pt. black strok..

2. In back of (or beneath, if you prefer) the arrowhead put a rectangle with fill but no stroke that goes from the point of the arrowhead leftward as far as you want a gap between the arrowhead and the shaft of the arrow.

3. Give the rectangle an opacity of 0%.

4. Select the arrowhead and the invisible rectangle and make an Art Brush. In Brush Scale Options select Stretch between Guides, move both Guides to the left of the arrowhead, and set Colorization to Tints.

5. Draw a path with a 1 pt. black stroke.

6. With the path selected, go to the Appearance panel, to the menu in the upper right corner. Select Add New Stroke (black).  With that still highlighted, go to the Brushes panel and click on the arrowhead Art Brush. Be sure that the brushed stroke is above the plain stroked path in the Appearance panel.

7. With the path still selected, go back to the Appearance panel. Click on Opacity at the very bottom of the panel, click the box for Knockout Group until the check/tick mark appears. This should give your path the appearance you want.

8. Drag the path onto the Graphic Styles panel (Window > Graphic Styles to make it appear) and name it if you care to.

You may now draw any path you like and, with it selected, click on the new Graphic Style to apply it. To change the stroke of the arrow shaft, go to the Appearance panel and click on the lower (plain) stroke and adjust as needed. To change the color, you will need to select each stroke separately.

I think that covers it. If it's confusing or you think I've left something out, please ask for clarification. I believe this can be adapted for arrowheads at either or both ends, and no problem with dashed lines. Just get friendly with the Appearance panel.

Peter

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Hi Peter,

Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to formulate this response! Before I dive in, I want to make sure that this will allow me to make the arrowhead thicker without changing the size of it. Will your idea do that?

Thanks also for your patient and understanding words. I appreciate that.

Julie

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2019

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I applied an additional stroke with Art Brush, and applied Flip Along to get the arrowhead on the other end. You could also make both arrowheads in one brush.

Peter

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Yes! That's one thing I want to do--make a dashed shaft but keep the arrowheads solid. If I change the stroke weight, will the arrowheads get bigger? If I make the arrow curved, will the arrowheads point in the corresponding directions, or stay pointed directly left and right?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2019

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Julie,

I have not explored this question specifically, but I believe that if you want to make the arrowheads thicker but not larger, you will have to make a new arrowhead brush for each different stroke weight. Increasing the stroke weight that's applied to a brush will make the arrowhead larger in all dimensions, so yes, larger.

The direction of the arrowhead is determined by the direction of the path you draw. You determine the orientation of the arrowhead relative to the path by selecting ← → ↑ ↓. So the the arrowhead should point left or right only on paths that go left or right. Bear in mind that if the arrowhead end of the path is curved, the arrowhead will be distorted along the curve, so you may need to straighten the points and handles to your satisfaction.

I hope this begins to answer your questions. If not, ask some more!

Peter

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2019

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So ... it seems I'm back to square one, manually rotating and aligning the separate arrowhead symbol I created. I was so hoping there could be a more elegant and automatic way of doing that, saving me hours of work time. Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to help me, and to Peter, who encouraged me to keep asking. If something else pops into your heads later, please post!

Thanks much,

Julie

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Thanks for trying! I made a brush. That was step one--I've been left in the dust ever since Creative Cloud came along. Then I clicked on Offset Path in the Properties Panel and increased the weight to 2 pts. This is the result:

??? Where did I go wrong? Is a second line attribute the same as changing the stroke weight from 1 pt. to 2 pts.?

... And, is there a way I can keep my replies with the original idea so our conversations aren't all jumbled up?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Julie,

How about the good old double stroke way (far from any dangerous sense)?

1) Create the path with the basic Stroke Weight that goes with the right arrowhead size;

2) In the Appearance palette (flyout) Add New Stroke;

3) Still (with)in the Appearance palette click the original Stroke to select it, then add the arrowhead to that Stroke only;

4) Still (with)in the Appearance palette click the added Stroke to select it, then change its Stroke Weight as desired.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 04, 2019

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If I've understood you, this results:

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2019

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Thanks for your reply! I think I followed your instructions correctly, and this is the result (the bottom arrow):

The shaft got longer, going into the arrowhead. The arrowhead did not increase in line weight like the shaft. It stayed the same size, yes, but I want it to match the stroke weight of the shaft. Any ideas?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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Will this work for you? PDF FILE Dropbox link.

A start arrow could be added to the brush. Just move the left "Stretch" line to the right.

Edit: As an afterthought I created a dashed-line version. Will need tweaking.

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2019

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This looks promising! I'm working my way through. I'm lost at assigning the brush to a stroke. I don't have the same options that you have. I must be missing a step or two. Your Appearance Panel:

My Appearance Panel (using the bottom arrow; the other arrows are my experiments with the arrowheads.ai file):

Thanks for keeping at this!

Julie

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