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Posted 30 Jan 2007

Draw Straight and Curved Arrows

, 30 Jan 2007
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Render custom arrows on any graphics

Sample Image - ArrowRenderer1.png

Sample application using ArrowRenderer routines. Drawing random colored curved arrows.

Sample Image - ArrowRenderer1.png

Another sample application that shows mouse cursor position using many arrows.


This article presents some useful routines that help drawing custom arrows on any Graphics object. It allows to choose whether an arrow should be straight or curved. In the second case, the main arrow line is drawn using the Bezier curve.


I know that any question about how to draw an arrow is probably answered quickly, advising the inquirer to read something about different line ending caps. That is true, however one doesn't have a big influence on how the final arrow will be like. Pissed about that, I decided to write my own library that allows a user to draw custom arrows both straight and curved.


  • Width - Gets or sets width (in pixels) of the full base of the arrowhead
  • Theta - Gets or sets angle (in radians) at the arrow tip between the two sides of the arrowhead
  • FillArrowHead - Gets or sets flag indicating whether or not the arrowhead should be filled
  • NumberOfBezierCurveNodes - Gets or sets the number of nodes used to calculate the Bezier curve
  • DrawArrow - Renders the arrow on given graphics using desired parameters
  • DrawArrowOnCurve - Renders the curved arrow on given graphics using desired parameters
  • DrawArrows - Draws arrows between consecutive points

Points of Interest

This code is especially useful when graphs need to be rendered. DrawArrows is particularly useful for that.

Sample Usage

Last semester, I was developing a program that solves the Vehicle Routing Problem for a project at Operational Research. That approach used genetic algorithms. The following picture was generated using my renderer that utilizes, among others, the presented ArrowRenderer class. Grey circles represent depots, while red ones are cities that need to be visited. Arrows are used to show how the route should be performed.

Sample image


  • Routine that generates the Bezier curve nodes array is a refined version of the one found in "Beziers and Other Splines" chapter from "Programming Microsoft Windows with C#" by Charles Petzold.
  • Simple Vector structure was found long ago somewhere on the Internet. If you own this piece of code, please let me know so I can give you credit.


  • 30.01.2007 - First version


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Michal Brylka
Architect Nokia Siemens Networks
Poland Poland
Michał is C# and whole .NET enthusiast. He graduated from computer science MSc studies at Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland.

He is interested in photography and diving. He is member of PADI, currently with divemaster certificate.

His favorite movies are Matrix, Amélie(Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain), Stargate SG-1 TV Serie and comedies of Mel Brooks.

Michał lives in Wroclaw, Poland. To contact Michał, email him at michal.brylka[mail-'"at'"-sign]

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionVRP with GA Pin
Member 107288248-Jan-15 11:12
memberMember 107288248-Jan-15 11:12 
General5! Pin
Ulen15151510-Nov-13 4:35
memberUlen15151510-Nov-13 4:35 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
manoj kumar choubey26-Feb-12 22:49
membermanoj kumar choubey26-Feb-12 22:49 
QuestionGood work.. small issue not resolved Pin
Manoj Mathew6-Mar-09 13:29
memberManoj Mathew6-Mar-09 13:29 
GeneralDrawing custom arrows Pin
crockettk6-Apr-07 5:26
membercrockettk6-Apr-07 5:26 
GeneralRe: Drawing custom arrows Pin
Michal Brylka6-Apr-07 12:16
memberMichal Brylka6-Apr-07 12:16 
GeneralRe: Drawing custom arrows Pin
blue.it8x21-Feb-09 6:22
memberblue.it8x21-Feb-09 6:22 
GeneralGreat bit of Code Pin
matt_Altis29-Mar-07 0:21
membermatt_Altis29-Mar-07 0:21 
GeneralRe: Great bit of Code Pin
Michal Brylka29-Mar-07 10:05
memberMichal Brylka29-Mar-07 10:05 
Thanks for you appreciation. Did you use this code somewhere specifically?

Michał Bryłka

GeneralRe: Great bit of Code Pin
matt_Altis30-Mar-07 1:56
membermatt_Altis30-Mar-07 1:56 
GeneralRe: Great bit of Code Pin
Michal Brylka30-Mar-07 16:34
memberMichal Brylka30-Mar-07 16:34 

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