Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Grouping and Ungrouping Objects.

Grouping and Ungrouping Objects

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 16, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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Excel provides a feature found in many graphics programs—the ability to group graphics objects. For instance, you can spend a great deal of time positioning graphics objects in just the right position in order to achieve a desired effect. It is not unusual to create compound objects that are comprised of dozens of smaller objects.

Rather than risk getting the objects out of order or having their positions changed, you can group them so that they are treated as a single object. This is done by selecting all the objects you want grouped together (hold down the Shift key as you select each object you want in the group).

Finally, right-click on one of the images in the group. Excel displays a Context menu from which you should choose Group | Group. Notice that the individual handles for each object disappear, and instead, handles appear around a rectangle that encompasses all the objects in the group.

If you later want to ungroup the objects, simply right-click the group and choose Group | Ungroup.

Note, as well, that this tip refers to grouping graphics objects, not grouping charts or portions of charts. (Charts are an object in Excel, but they are not a graphics object.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10036) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Grouping and Ungrouping Objects.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is five more than 6?

2021-10-18 16:01:24

Mike D.

Sorry, my words did not come out properly in the second paragraph of my post, this is what it was supposed to look like.

This is because when you resize a column or row, objects in their range will change shape and size if you don't. If different objects inside the group are set different from each other some will change shape and size and others will not. This will mess up object to object spacial relationships inside the grouping.


2021-10-18 08:32:20

Mike D.

I do this all the time with my graphical spreadsheets. I thought I would share a couple of things I have discovered along the way.
Make sure all of the objects, pictures, text boxes, shapes (e.g. arrows) have their properties set with "Move but don't size" or "Don't move or size with cells".

This is because when you size a column or row objects in their range will change shape if you don't. If some are set don't size and other are not different objects inside the group will change and other will now messing everything up inside the grouping.

When you right click inside the objects you want to group do not right click on a text box. This will un-select everything except the text box and go to "edit text box" mode. However there is one way you can get the pop up menu if you are grouping text boxes, press and hold the 'Shift' key when right clicking.

I hope this help you to not make the learning mistakes I have made (more than once) when grouping objects.


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