Can’t Group Objects In PowerPoint

Grouping objects in PowerPoint is a very useful tool. When you group together a number of objects, you can move them all as one instead of moving them individually, thus making the process quicker and easier. You can move them more accurately, too, especially if you’ve already spent some time aligning them first.

To group objects, you first of all select them and then, on the Home tab, click the Arrange command (in the Drawing group) > Group.

Group Objects

Group Option Grayed Out

Sometimes, however, the Group option will be grayed out, meaning you can’t select it. Why?

Faded Out Group Option

Some combinations of elements just can’t be grouped in PowerPoint. In our example, we inserted two text boxes, which we could group, and then added an additional picture. We found we couldn’t group the picture with either of the text boxes. You might think that it is the picture that is the problem. Wrong! It’s text boxes.

You cannot apply the Group command to a selection that contains a placeholder – unless all the elements are placeholders. We could group the text boxes together, because they are both placeholders, but as soon as we introduced an element that wasn’t a placeholder too – the image – the group option disappeared.

To make things more complicated, you also can’t group a table. To be more precise, when your selection includes a table, the Group command is unavailable. If you want a really unwieldy workaround, you can ungroup the table to turn the individual cells into shapes and then use the Group command.

Shortcuts For The Group Command

We used the commands in the ribbon for grouping so that we could show the grayed out Group command, but often people prefer keyboard shortcuts as they are quicker. The keyboard shortcut for Grouping is ctrl + g.

You can return a group to its constituent parts by ungrouping it. You’ll find the ungroup command using the ribbon, and, in fact, you can see that option in the images above, albeit grayed out. The keyboard shortcut for ungrouping is ctrl + shift + g.