PowerPoint 2003: Grouping and Ungrouping Objects on a Slide


Grouping and ungrouping objects is an important skill when creating PowerPoint presentations. It allows you to easily manipulate multiple objects at once and adjust parts of your slide. This article will cover:

  • What grouping and ungrouping is
  • When to use grouping vs ungrouping
  • How to group objects
  • How to ungroup objects
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Troubleshooting tips

What is Grouping and Ungrouping?

Grouping combines multiple objects so they act as a single unit. Once grouped, you can move, resize, rotate, format, copy and paste all the objects together.

Ungrouping separates the objects so they act independently again. This allows you to manipulate single objects within the group.

Grouping is useful when:

  • You have several related objects you want to move together
  • You want to quickly format multiple objects the same way
  • You need to flip or rotate multiple objects at once

Ungrouping lets you:

  • Edit or move a specific object within the group
  • Change an object’s individual formatting

When to Group vs Ungroup

Use grouping when:

  • You need to move/edit multiple objects together
  • You want to apply formatting to multiple objects at once

Use ungrouping when:

  • You only need to adjust one part of the grouped objects
  • You need to change an object’s individual position or formatting

In general, group objects together when working with them initially. Then ungroup later if you need to tweak parts individually.

How to Group Objects

To group objects:

  1. Hold down Shift and click to select all the objects
  2. Go to Draw > Group > Group
  3. A selection box will appear around the grouped objects

Or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + G

Once grouped, you can move, format, copy and manipulate all objects together.

How to Ungroup Objects

To ungroup objects:

  1. Select the grouped object
  2. Go to Draw > Group > Ungroup
  3. The objects will now act independently

Or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + G

You can now click and edit individual objects within the group.

Keyboard Shortcuts


  • Ctrl + G (PowerPoint 2003)
  • Ctrl + Shift + G (PowerPoint 2007+)


  • Ctrl + Shift + G (PowerPoint 2003)
  • Ctrl + Shift + H (PowerPoint 2007+)

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If grouping is grayed out, ensure you do not have a placeholder selected
  • Try saving as an older .ppt format if you still cannot group
  • Make sure no single object is preventing the group. Delete and re-add problem objects.


Learning to effectively group and ungroup objects will improve your PowerPoint editing efficiency. Use grouping to quickly move and format objects together. Then use ungrouping to tweak parts individually. With some practice, you’ll be able to optimize and fine-tune your slides much faster.