How to make custom Arrow style in AutoCAD dimensions

AutoCAD offers lots of Arrow style for dimensions and leader lines but there might be situations when you simply need your own custom arrow style.

This feature can be used to create symbols for geometric dimensioning and tolerancing features like flatness, cylindricity, runout etc. Symbols for these features are not available in standard arrow symbol library of AutoCAD and these custom symbols can be very efficiently used with the leader line.

Making the Arrow geometry

AutoCAD recognizes blocks for creating arrow styles so you can create blocks and use them as arrows but make sure your blocks are not annotative because AutoCAD does not recognize annotative blocks for making arrow styles.

Make an arrow style as per your requirement, I am making an arrow as shown in the image below.

custom Arrow style

Make this drawing using simple draw commands of AutoCAD in 1:1 drawing scale then use scale command to resize this object as per your drawings final scale.

You can’t make this arrow style annotative hence you need to select its size beforehand. After making adjustments use block command to convert this geometry into a block. For our example, I have named this arrow block as Custom Arrow.

Applying Arrow style

Now type DIMSTYLE on the command line and select dimension style which you want to change then click on modify button. Select symbols and arrows tab from next window and click on arrow drop down menu from arrowheads panel and select User Arrow from the menu as shown in the image below.

custom Arrow style

Now a small window called Select custom arrow block will pop up with a list containing all blocks that can be used for making the Arrow style. Select Custom Arrow from the list and click on OK and close all open windows by clicking OK or close.

Now start any dimension command and pick two points for making that dimension. You will notice that the dimensions will now be made with custom arrow style. You can use a similar procedure for making a custom arrow style for leader line as well.

In order to modify this custom arrow style you only need to modify Custom Arrow block and the arrow style will be modified accordingly everywhere in your drawing.

Do you have questions related to this tip? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author:

I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce. I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.


  1. greg February 14, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    how do i get the arrow head to position in the same direction as one of the standard dimension arrow heads??

    • Jaiprakash Pandey February 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      Choose the base point on the opposite side of the arrow.

  2. LVSingleDad September 10, 2016 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    How can I make an arrowhead a part of the drop down menu? Such as “Dot Small” and “Dot Blank” etc.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey September 13, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Where do you want to add this dropdown? The question is not completely clear to me.

  3. Anonymous August 4, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Please upload a video related to Material Browser, Global, i.e. Render Tab and Parametric Tab all Details.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey August 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Sure, I will add it in my coming posts

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