Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 16, 2020)

3

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.

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 Office 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 2 + 9?

2020-06-16 13:50:43

Ronmio

I have found Excel's graphics tools to be very extensive and well implemented. It goes so far as to let you Edit Points to redraft a standard shape into anything you want. Because it is so full-featured and easy to use, Excel is often my go-to graphics program. I have many worksheets that are purely drawings (e.g., landscaping, components, quick-reference sheets, etc.) with no data at all but with dozens of graphic elements in it. Grouping really comes into play then.

If you have several objects that you want to group, rather than use Shift-click, you probably want to use the Select Objects tool. I keep that tool (the icon is an arrow) on my Quick Access Toolbar and use it often. You can also find it on the Home menu under Editing > Find & Select > Select Objects.

With that tool selected, you just need to drag the cursor to encompass the objects you want to group. The way the selection is handled is that it selects every object that is ENTIRELY (including all of its whitespace) within the dragged area. This can be a little tricky when the objects you want are among others you don't want. So sometimes the best thing to do is use Select Objects and then fine tune the group by using Shift-click to add/remove specific objects from that initial selection.


2015-04-20 19:05:46

Russell Robinson

For Excel 2013(I don't know if this will work for earlier versions of Excel)

the quick and dirty answer

for simplicity sake lets assume the simplest group type(2 objects)
What is true here will also be true for larger structures for the most part

Object 1 Chart
Object 2 a shape

Assuming you have created a group you now have the following selection structures that exist

(A) the handle for the group
(B) the handle for Object 1
(C) the handle for object 2

this means basically that you can
do the following three movement options

1. move object 1 by selecting its handle and moving it
2. move object 2 by selecting its handle and moving it
3.move the group by selecting its handle and moving it.

When you are first working with groups this is confusing because you have to make sure what actual object is selected.


2014-08-15 08:54:49

Mandy Hall

This does not seem to work for charts. I created several charts in Excel 2003 and have converted the file to 2007. It looks like everything is grouped, but when I move the chart, the other objects I grouped with it don't move.
Thanks


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