Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Grouping and Ungrouping Objects.

Grouping and Ungrouping Objects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2015)

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).

Finally, choose the Group option which is available from the menu visible when you click on Draw on the Drawing toolbar. 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 choose the object you want to ungroup and choose Ungroup from the Draw menu.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2466) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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. ...


Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages

Fields are used for all sorts of purposes in Word, but typically to provide some sort of dynamic information. This tip ...

Discover More

A Fast Find-Next

Tired of the Find and Replace dialog box blocking the view of your worksheet when you are searching for information? Do ...

Discover More

ExcelTips: Amazing Array Formulas

Array formulas allow you to accomplish amazing things with your data, including things you cannot do with regular ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Drawing Simple Objects

Want to draw a few simple shapes or lines on your worksheet? It really is simple; here's how to do it.

Discover More

Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell

AutoShapes can easily contain text—just click on the shape and start typing away. You may want the text in the ...

Discover More

Creating a Drawing Object

Creating simple drawing objects is easy in Excel. All you need to do is use the tools made available on the Drawing toolbar.

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.