# Draw huge arrow with tikz

How do I form a really big, thick arrow with tikz?

In the following, the shaft of the arrow is too short.

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{arrows.meta}

\begin{document}

\begin{tikzpicture}
\draw[->, line width=5mm] (0,0) -- (1,0);
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}


I want an arrow that has quite thick lines for its shaft and head, whose head is larger, and whose shaft is a couple inches long.

I've looked in the manual and here and am now completely befuddled as to how to modify this.

• \begin{tikzpicture}[scale=5] could help – user31729 Jan 4 '18 at 21:36
• @Christian Hupfer: OK, that makes the arrow longer. Now how do I make the head larger, too? – murray Jan 4 '18 at 21:43
• \draw (0,0) -- (1,0); makes a line that is 1cm long, as the default unit vector is 1cm, and that length includes the arrow tip. If you want it 2 inches long, \draw (0,0) -- (2in,0);. – Torbjørn T. Jan 4 '18 at 21:50
• I'm just not comprehending the interaction among scale, width, and the coordinates. – murray Jan 4 '18 at 21:50
• scale=2 is the same as multiplying all coordinates by 2, so that doesn't change the line width. As mentioned above, a unit length is 1cm, so in your example the arrow (including tip) is 1cm long, with a line that is 5mm wide. – Torbjørn T. Jan 4 '18 at 22:01

Change the length in your code to increase shaft length.

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{arrows.meta}

\begin{document}

\begin{tikzpicture}
\draw[->, line width=5mm] (0,0) -- (4,0);
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}


To explain some stuff rather shortly that you seem to not understand:

The units TikZ is using (if you don't explicitly specify one) are centimetre. So (0,0) starts at coordinates (0cm, 0cm) and the endpoint (20,0) would be at the coordinates (20cm, 0cm) resulting in a 20 cm long arrow.

The line width doesn't change the length. It only affects the thickness of the arrow.

An additional scale would enlarge the result (like after everything is drawn using the given sizes) by the factor given as argument. So scale=5 would make the result 5 times bigger in all dimensions.

• I want it MUCH bigger. This is for a directional sign in a building! – murray Jan 4 '18 at 21:50
• @murray If you want it bigger, just change the coordinates and line width! \draw [->, line width=5cm] (0,0) -- (20, 0); – Torbjørn T. Jan 4 '18 at 21:52
• @TorbjørnT.: No, using second coordinates like (20,0) extends the arrow much longer than the paper width! – murray Jan 4 '18 at 21:54
• @murray That was just an example, my point was that you just have to change the line width and the second coordinate so that you get a sufficiently large arrow. – Torbjørn T. Jan 4 '18 at 21:58
• @murray: Are you trolling? If 20 is too long make it shorter by decreasing the number. – hpekristiansen Jan 4 '18 at 22:00

You need to supply the scale option to the arrow. For example if you want the old arrow with arrows.meta library you can do it via

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{arrows.meta}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\draw[-{Classical TikZ Rightarrow[scale=5]}, line width=5mm] (0,0) -- (3,0);
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


But this would look ugly. Choose a better arrow head from the TikZ manual section 16.5. The other options are given in Section 16.