Group or ungroup shapes, pictures, or other objects

You can group shapes, pictures, or other objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.). Grouping lets you rotate, flip, move, or resize all shapes or objects at the same time as though they were a single shape or object. You can also change the attributes (attribute: An object or text feature, such as line fill or text color, that you can manipulate by using drawing tools and menu commands.) of all of the shapes in a group (group: A collection of objects that behave as one for the purpose of moving, resizing, or rotating them. A group can be composed of multiple sets of groups.) at one time, by adding a shape fill or shape effect, for example. You can select an item within a group and apply an attribute without ungrouping the shapes, or you can create groups within groups to help you build complex drawings.

You can also ungroup a group of shapes at any time and then regroup them later.

In this article


Group shapes or objects

  1. Hold CTRL and select the shapes or other objects that you want to group.
  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click Group Button image.

The Format tab under Drawing Tools

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a shape or other object. You might have to double-click the object to open the Format tab.

 Notes 

  • After you group shapes or other objects, you can continue to select any single shape or object within the group. Select the group, and then click the individual shape or object that you want to select.
  • You cannot group shapes and other objects across multiple programs.

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Group pictures

  1. Hold CTRL and select the pictures that you want to group.
  2. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click Group Button image.

The Format tab under Picture Tools

If you do not see the Picture Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a shape or other object. You might have to double-click the object to open the Format tab.

 Note   

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Ungroup shapes, pictures, or objects

To ungroup a group of shapes, pictures, or other objects (for example, if you want to move a group but leave one shape behind or make extensive changes to one shape without changing the other shapes), do the following:

  1. Select the group that you want to ungroup.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To ungroup shapes or other objects, under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click GroupButton image, and then click UngroupButton image.

The Group list with Ungroup selected

  • To ungroup pictures, under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click Ungroup Button image.

The Group list with Ungroup selected

  1. If you do not see the Drawing Tools, Picture Tools, or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a group of shapes, pictures, or other objects. You might have to double-click the object to open the Format tab.

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Regroup shapes or objects

  1. Select any one of the shapes or objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.) that were previously in a group.

 Note    If you converted a SmartArt graphic to individual shapes, it is not possible to convert them back to a SmartArt graphic or to regroup them.

  1. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click RegroupButton image.

The Group list with Regroup selected

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a shape or other object. You might have to double-click the object to open the Format tab.

 Note    The Regroup button is not available in Word 2010. To regroup pictures, select all of the pictures that you want to regroup and then click Group.

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Regroup pictures

  1. Select any one of the pictures or objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.) that were previously in a group.
  2. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click RegroupButton image.

The Group list with Regroup selected

If you do not see the Picture Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture or other object. You might have to double-click the object to open the Format tab.

 Note    The Regroup button is not available in Word 2010. To regroup pictures, select all of the pictures that you want to regroup and then click Group.

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The Group button is not available

Applies to PowerPoint 2010

   

The Group button may not be available if the shape, picture or object (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.) has been inserted into a placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted or hatch-marked borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) or you are trying to group a placeholder, as placeholders cannot be grouped with other shapes, pictures, objects.

A slide with two placeholders and two separate objects

Fig. 1  In the example above, the blue square and the green circle can be grouped together. However, the blue square cannot be grouped with either the content placeholder (“Click to add text”) or the title placeholder (“Click to add title”).
  • Move the shape, picture, or object to another location on your slide outside of the placeholder or remove the placeholder from the objects that you want to group.

 Note    If moving the shape, picture or object does not make the Group button available, you can search the PSS Knowledge Base or post your question to the Microsoft Office Discussion Groups.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010