Group or ungroup shapes, pictures, or other objects in Word 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. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Cut and paste the shapes or objects that you want to group onto the drawing canvas.
  2. Select the shapes or other objects that you want to group.

For more information about selecting shapes, see Select a shape or other object.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • For shapes without text, under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click Group.
      Drawing Tools, Format tab image
    • For shapes with text, under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click GroupButton image, and then click Group.
      Text Box Tools Format tab image

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

  1. Drag the grouped shapes or objects off of the drawing canvas.
  2. Select the drawing canvas, and then press DELETE.

 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. Right-click each picture that you want to group, and on the shortcut menu (shortcut menu: A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.), point to Text Wrapping.
  2. Click Square or any option other than In Line with Text.
  3. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Cut and paste the pictures that you want to group onto the drawing canvas.
  2. Select the pictures that you want to group.

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 GroupButton image, and then click Group.

Picture Tools, Format tab image

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

  1. Drag the grouped pictures off the drawing canvas.
  2. Select the drawing canvas, and then press DELETE.

 Notes 

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Group a picture and text box

  1. Right-click the picture that you want to group, and on the shortcut menu (shortcut menu: A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.), point to Text Wrapping.
  2. Click Square or any option other than In Line with Text.
  3. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Cut and paste the picture that you want to group onto the drawing canvas.
  2. Cut and paste the text box that you want to group onto the drawing canvas.
  3. Select the picture and the text box that you want to group.

For more information about selecting pictures and text boxes, see Select a shape or other object.

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

Picture Tools, Format tab image

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

  1. Drag the grouped picture and text box off the drawing canvas.
  2. Select the drawing canvas, and then press DELETE.

 Notes 

  • After you group the picture and the text box, you can continue to select each individual object and modify it. Select the group, and then click the picture or text box that you want to select.
  • You cannot group pictures and other objects across multiple programs.

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Add a caption to a picture

You can also add a caption to a picture in Office Word 2007 without using a text box. Do the following:

  1. Right-click the picture, and on the shortcut menu (shortcut menu: A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.), point to Insert Caption.
  2. Select the options that you want. such as pre-existing text, the caption position, and optional numbering, and then click OK.

You can now select the caption and change the text and the text formatting.

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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. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Drag the group that you want to ungroup onto the drawing canvas.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To ungroup shapes without text or other objects, under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click UngroupButton image.
      Drawing Tools, Format tab image
    • For shapes with text, under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click GroupButton image, and then click Group.
      Text Box Tools Format tab image
    • To ungroup pictures, under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click GroupButton image, and then click Ungroup Button image.
      Picture Tools, Format tab image
  3. If you do not see the Drawing Tools, Text Box Tools, Picture Tools, or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a group of shapes, pictures, or other objects.
  4. Drag the shapes, pictures, or objects off of the drawing canvas.
  5. Select the drawing canvas and then press DELETE.

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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. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Drag the shapes or objects that you want to regroup onto the drawing canvas.
  2. 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. Do one of the following:
    • To regroup shapes without text or other objects, under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Button image, and then click RegroupButton image.
      Drawing Tools, Format tab image
    • To regroup shapes with text, under Text Box Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click GroupButton image, and then click Regroup Button image.
      Text Box Tools Format tab image
  2. If you do not see the Drawing Tools, Text Box Tools, or Format tabs, make sure that you selected a group of shapes, pictures, or other objects.
  3. Drag the regrouped shapes or objects off of the drawing canvas.
  4. Select the drawing canvas, and then press DELETE.

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Regroup pictures

  1. Insert a drawing canvas. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, and then click New Drawing Canvas.

Word Insert tab

  1. Drag 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 you want to regroup onto the drawing canvas.
  2. Select any one of the pictures or objects that were previously in a group.
  3. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click GroupButton image, and then click RegroupButton image.

Picture Tools, Format tab image

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

  1. Drag the regrouped shapes or objects off of the drawing canvas.
  2. Select the drawing canvas, and then press DELETE.

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Applies to:
Word 2007