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Changing an Arrow’s Direction (Reversing Paths)

When you assign a Start or End style for a path in the Strokes palette (for example, putting an arrowhead on the end), you sometimes get the arrow on the wrong side of the line. You can fix this in the Strokes palette, of course (by changing the popup menus), but you can also change it by reversing the direction of the path. That’s right, paths have “direction” — from start to end — and InDesign lets you reverse it by choosing Object > Path > Reverse Path. There is also a Reverse Path button in the Pathfinder palette.

If you all go try that right now, I bet 95% of you will find that feature grayed out (unaccessible). Why? Because for some unfortunate reason, both the palette button and the menu item are grayed out if you have the Selection tool chosen in the Tools palette. Instead, you must use the Direct Selection tool.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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5 Comments on “Changing an Arrow’s Direction (Reversing Paths)

  1. Actually, it appears that you have to select any point or segment on the line first. I agree that this is strange. In fact, the whole thing is strange. Tune into our next podcast for more on this bizarre (and obscure) topic.

  2. Ha! I forgot this blog post until doing podcast 159. Looks like sometime in the past 5 years, Adobe fixed this: Now you can use the Selection tool… Reverse Path is no longer grayed out. Yay!

  3. Pingback: InDesignSecrets Podcast 159 | InDesignSecrets

  4. Pingback: Alterando a direção das pontas de seta (Invertendo Caminhos) | Clube do Design | Dicas para designers

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