B4J Library {B4X] A class to draw on canvas many types of arrows at any angle.

Once again I found myself writing code to draw arrows on canvas.
@klaus has provided a basic technique that I also use: define the set of points on the arrow as a path and then draw the path.

I finally decided to write a more general class to do this job. It is a cross-platform design.
It is small, about 120 lines of code. It's compactness is achieved by the use of a point object type.
Points have x and y coordinates and a set of public utility functions (Add, Subtract, Distance, Midpoint, etc.)

Arrows can be drawn by three methods.
-draw. Specified by the two points, start and end
-draw2. The most general specification: a portion of a vector
-draw3. Specified as a start point plus length and angle

The style of the arrow is specified through a Map object, keys: Color, Filled, Tip width, and Tip height
There are 4 optional parameters: DashColor, Inside Text, Font, and FontColor
(if omitted: undashed, no text, default font(18), black)

Please use the class in any way you like and modify it to meet your needs.
Let me know if I missed an edge case.

Note: if you need the arrow as an image, you can get the bitmap from the canvas.



  • arrows.zip
    50.4 KB · Views: 114
Last edited:

William Lancee

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Longtime User
The code to generate the above screenshot.

Private Sub B4XPage_Created (Root1 As B4XView)
    Root = Root1
    'in Globals Private arrow As arrows
    'square drawing surface made to fit screen for demo, landscape / portrait
    Dim wh As Float = Min(Root.width, Root.height)
    Dim xoffset, yoffset As Float
    If wh = Root.height Then xoffset = Root.Width/2 - wh / 2 Else yoffset = Root.Height/2 - wh / 2
    Dim surface As B4XView = xui.CreatePanel("")
    Root.AddView(surface, xoffset, yoffset, wh, wh)
    Dim cv As B4XCanvas: cv.Initialize(surface)
    Dim rx As B4XRect: rx.Initialize(0, 0, wh, wh)
    cv.DrawRect(rx, xui.Color_Black, False, 1)
    Dim arrowSpec As Map
    'Arrow 1    specified by the two end points, style dashed
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Black, "Filled": False, "DashColor": xui.Color_White, "Thickness": 10, "TipWidth": 25, "TipHeight": 30)
    arrow.draw(rx.Right - 100, rx.Bottom - 100, rx.Left + 100, rx.top + 100, arrowSpec)

    'Arrow 2    specified as a portion of a vector
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Blue, "Filled": True, "Thickness": 10, "TipWidth": 25, "TipHeight": 30)
    arrow.draw2(rx.Left, rx.Bottom, rx.Right, rx.top, 20, 70, arrowSpec)

    'Arrows 3, 4, 5    specified as a start point plus length and angle - start point is a circle
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Red, "Filled": True, "Thickness": 5, "TipWidth": 12, "TipHeight": 15)
    arrow.draw3(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY + 80, 200, 25, arrowSpec)
    arrow.draw3(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY + 80, 200, -25, arrowSpec)
    arrow.draw3(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY + 80, 200, 145, arrowSpec)
    cv.DrawCircle(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY + 80, 10, xui.Color_White, True, 0)
    cv.DrawCircle(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY + 80, 10, xui.Color_Black, False, 1)

    'Arrow 6    specified as a start point plus length and angle - will be outlined
    Dim lineLength As Float = surface.Width / 3
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_RGB(220, 220, 255), "Filled": True, "Thickness": 10, "TipWidth": 25, "TipHeight": 30)
    arrow.draw3(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY - 50, lineLength, -90, arrowSpec)
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Black, "Filled": False, "Thickness": 10, "TipWidth": 25, "TipHeight": 30)
    arrow.draw3(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY - 50, lineLength, -90, arrowSpec)

    'Arrow 7, 8    specified as a start point plus length and angle - will have a caption, two similar arrows
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Black, "Filled": False, "Thickness": 20, "TipWidth": 30, "TipHeight": 40)
    arrowSpec.Put("Caption", "Go There")
    arrowSpec.Put("Font", xui.CreateDefaultBoldFont(16))
    arrowSpec.Put("FontColor", xui.Color_Blue)
    arrow.draw3(rx.Left + 100, rx.Bottom - 50, lineLength, 0, arrowSpec)
    arrow.draw3(rx.right - 100, rx.Bottom - 50, lineLength, -160, arrowSpec)
    'Arrow 9    specified as a start point plus length and angle - will be skinny and filled and dashed
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Black, "Filled": True, "DashColor": xui.Color_White, "Thickness": 2, "TipWidth": 7, "TipHeight": 10)
    arrow.draw3(rx.CenterX, rx.CenterY + lineLength / 1.5, lineLength / 2, 90, arrowSpec)

    'Arrow 10    specified as a start point plus length and angle - filled WITHOUT an arrow tip - looks simply like an angled line
    arrowSpec = CreateMap("Color": xui.Color_Black, "Filled": True, "Thickness": 2, "TipWidth": 0, "TipHeight": 0)
    arrow.draw3(rx.Left + lineLength / 5, rx.CenterX, lineLength / 2, -70, arrowSpec)
End Sub