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

This article is about grouping and ungrouping shapes, pictures, and other objects. If you want to merge cells, rows and columns, or worksheets in Microsoft Office Excel 2007, see the following articles:

In this article

Overview of grouping shapes, pictures, and objects

Group shapes or objects

Group pictures

Ungroup shapes, pictures, or objects

Convert a SmartArt graphic to individual shapes

Regroup shapes or objects

Regroup pictures

Overview of grouping shapes, pictures, and objects

To work faster, you can group shapes, pictures, or other 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 of all of the shapes in a group 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 or pictures 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.

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

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

    Drawing Tools Format tab image

    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.

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

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

    Picture Tools tab

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

    Notes: 

    • After you group pictures or other objects, you can continue to select any single picture or object within the group. Select the group, and then click the individual picture or object that you want to select.

    • You cannot group pictures and other objects across multiple programs.

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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 image

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

      Picture Tools tab

  3. 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.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy.

  3. 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 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.

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

    Drawing Tools Format tab image

    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 that were previously in a group.

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

    Picture Tools 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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