Group or ungroup shapes, pictures, or other objects in PowerPoint 2007

In this article


Overview of grouping shapes, pictures, and objects

To work faster, 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 flip, rotate, 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 changing the fill color or adding a shadow, for example. Effects cannot be applied to the group as if they are one object, so an effect such as a shadow applies to all of the shapes or objects in the group and not to the outline of the group. 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 ungroup a group of shapes at any time and then regroup them later.

Think of SmartArt graphics as automatically grouped shapes with specific, automatic layout features. If you convert your SmartArt graphic to individual shapes, you lose the design and formatting tools available on the SmartArt Tools tabs, including the Layouts, Change Colors, and SmartArt Styles galleries. However, you can format the individual shapes by using the options on the Drawing Tools tab instead. After you convert a SmartArt graphic to individual shapes, it is not possible to convert the shapes back to a SmartArt graphic.

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Group shapes or objects

  1. Select the shapes or other objects that you want to group.

To select multiple objects, such as pictures, shapes, or other objects, hold CTRL and click each object that you want. For more information about selecting shapes, see Select a shape or other object.

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

Drawing Tools Format tab

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a shape or other object.

 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. Select the pictures that you want to group.

To select multiple objects, such as pictures, shapes, or other objects, hold CTRL and click each object that you want. For more information about selecting pictures, see Select a shape or other object.

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

Picture Tools, Format tab

If you do not see the Picture Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture or other object.

 Notes 

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

Picture Tools, Format tab

  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

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Convert a SmartArt graphic to individual shapes

If you want to give the shapes of your SmartArt graphic a complex look or get fine control over resizing and positioning of shapes in your SmartArt graphic, convert your SmartArt graphic to individual shapes.

 Important   After you convert your SmartArt graphic to individual shapes, it is not possible to convert them back to a SmartArt graphic. When you convert a SmartArt graphic, you cannot automatically layout shapes, and you lose the design and formatting tools available on the SmartArt Tools tabs, including the Layouts, Change Colors, and SmartArt Styles galleries. However, you can still format the shapes by using the options on the Drawing Tools tab instead.

  1. Select all of the shapes in your SmartArt graphic.

To select all of the shapes, click a shape, and then press CTRL+A.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy.
  2. To convert your SmartArt graphic to individual shapes, click a different area in your document, and then on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Paste.

 Note   When you convert to shapes from a SmartArt graphic, each individual shape becomes a grouped shape. So for every shape in your SmartArt graphic, two shapes are grouped when you paste — one shape is for the text, and the other shape is for the geometry. If the shape in your SmartArt graphic did not contain text, you may see a font or text size that is different from the other shapes when you enter text in the shape.

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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.

If you converted your 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 Group, and then click RegroupButton image.

Drawing Tools Format tab

If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a shape or other object.

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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.

Picture Tools, Format tab

If you do not see the Picture Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture or other object.

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The Group button is not available

 Note   If moving the shape, picture or object does not make the Group button available, you can search the PSS Knowledge Base, post your question to the Microsoft Office Discussion Groups, or find answers from other users in the PowerPoint community.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2007