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Draw arrow

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Description.png47.5 KB
arrow.scm11.24 KB

Update [11/15/2009] : Added fixed brush width and double headed error, removed bug 1) one-point-paths, 2) horizontal paths
Update [11/16/2009] : Fixed image type restriction string
Update [11/19/2009] : Added feature for absolute wing length, fixed handling gray-scale images
Update [25/01/2010]: Fixed fixed opacity bug (thanks to Richard)

This plugin enables GIMP to draw an arbitrary arrow into an image or a new layer. The plugin has reasonable default values for every paramtere but is freely adjustable to ones needs. Parameters are:

  • wing length and line width freely adjustable (relative & absolute)
  • angle between arrow tail and wing
  • optional draw arrow in new layer
  • optional filled or not filled head
  • optional notch in arrow head
  • optional delete used path
  • optional draw double headed arrow

Create a path (usually <B>) with the head of the arrow (first anchor point) and the end of the tail (second anchor point). Then call the script which adds itself to the "Tools" menu (I use <AltGr+P> as the shortcut as "Pfeil" is the german word for arrow).


  • Write documentation (any one can help me with that and knows how to?)
  • Open for suggestions
  • Enable a more angularly arrow

You can also contact me via ICQ #52712314 and Jabber/XMPP

Code License: 
GIMP Version: 
Scripting Engine: 


Hi, I've translated your plugin in French, it is available here : .

Here is also a tutorial, in French :

Thanks for the plugin :)

OK, I'm a gimp newbie and have placed arrow.scm in the appropriate place, and it appears under my tools tab. BUT, I can never get it to work. It is probably just my idiocy in understanding the steps required to make a bloody arrow, but all I ever get is:

Error while executing
(script-fu-draw-arrow 1 2 -2.5 25 TRUE 75 -25 TRUE FALSE TRUE FALSE FALSE)
ERROR: unbound variable (errobj gimp-image-get-active-vectors)

Does this create an "Oh yeah - the dummy isn't doing X right"? response? If so, please let me know what I'm doing wrong. Step by step instructions on how to make the arrow would be wonderful. I'm confused by the layers, whether to use pencil or brush, etc... however, no matter what I do, I only get the above error. Every time. I'm running Debian. Apparently I'm not doing things to create appropriate "active vectors", but I have no idea why or how to fix this. Thanks, Bill

Just in case that is of any use to anyone.

Seriously, GIMP 2.2 doesn't support some Script-FU procedures. So you should use at least GIMP 2.6.
2 B-Ranger: please change version identeficator to 2.6 (in script edit interface).


whilst using this plugin, I tried to draw an arrow with only one point. Naturally, this didn't work and arrow.scm painted the whole background in the selected color (or created a new, transparent layer only.)

Please include some warnings depending on the count of selected path points:

Zero to one path point: no arrow drawing possible.
Two path points: no error message.
Three or more path points: draw arrow, but though warn the user that only the first and last path points will be used as the arrow's head/tail.

Thank you for your help once again.

Best regards,


I'm not sure that Berengar is still supporting this script - if not I will make these changes in a few days time.

First of all, congratulations for this superb plugin.
It works great for me, I'm using it for writing manuals with pictures.
If the plugin save the user settings f.e. with a "save settings" button, the arrow tool would be nearly perfect.
Do you know a way to realize this?


I stand to be corrected but I don't know of a way to access data files (to store the settings) from Script-fu scripts.

If there is a way then this would be possible but it would not be elegant due to the way that the script sets the default values for the parameters. You could have an option box that allowed three options:
1) use the parameters from the script dialog
2) use the parameters from the script dialog and save them for next time
3) use the saved values
The problem is that you wouldn't know what the saved parameters were - the script can't (so far as I am aware) read the previous settings and display in the parameter boxes of the dialog for you to change.

If you want one or more of the parameters always set to the same value then the easiest thing to do is to edit your copy of the script file (any text editor can be used for this).

This is a great script. Thank you so much for creating it. I'm not a Gimp guru, so maybe this question is on the dumb side, but I do not see a way to adjust the line width. I would like to have an arrow with hard corners and a wide line, but it seems that the larger the brush stroke the softer (curvier) the arrows. Any suggestions?

Many thanks for the great work!

Thank you very much for this script! I have been missing a good arrow tool very much for a long time. Moreover, the arrows that this scripts makes are really nice.

However, it was very difficult to find out how this script works. I did what you suggested: made a path and ran the script, and it did nothing. If Fill head arrow was on, a nice little head was drawn without the line of the arrow.

I never dreamed that after drawing the path I have to switch to a brush tool to get the script work as it is intended. Without the last comment, I would never found out how to use the script. Now it works, but it is pretty slow and annoying that after drawing the path, I have to choose a brush tool. If you only make one or two arrows, this may be no problem, but if you make a lot of arrows, this slows down the workflow. And I don't really see the point of it.

Anyway, the script is nice, just that it could be more straightforward.


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