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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 24, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. ...

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