Group Objects In PowerPoint

When you group objects in PowerPoint, it enables you to move them as a whole on your slide. This has many advantages:

  • it’s quicker and easier than moving them individually.
  • any object alignment you’ve made is retained when you move the objects.
  • you don’t need to spend time reselecting all the objects that you need to move. If it’s a complex group of objects, you would need to open the selection pane to do this.

If you have experience using an image editor like Adobe Photoshop, you probably already appreciate the advantages that grouping objects brings.

Let’s look at grouping objects in PowerPoint 2013 by following an example.¬†Below we have two objects: a star shape, and a rectangular text box with some text inside.

You're A Star

To make things easier, let’s open up the selection pane. We can do this in a couple of ways. If you have an image selected, you should see the Format tab appear within the Picture Tools tab. In the Arrange group, click Selection Pane. Another way to open up the selection pane is to go to the Home tab > Arrange (in the Drawing group ) > Selection Pane.

Selection Pane

The Selection Pane lists all the objects that are on the current slide and allow us to select each one individually. There are two ways to select an object now: click on the object on the slide itself, or click on it in the selection pane. To select more than one object at the same time, hold down ctrl as you click on additional objects.

Let’s select both of the objects on our slide by holding down ctrl as we click on them. The Selection Pane should then look like this:

Selection Pane Selections

Rectangle 12 is the text box with our text inside and 5-Point Star 11 refers to the star shape. See our Selection Pane tutorial for more details on all the ins and outs of using Selection Panes. With both the star shape and text box selected, press Ctrl + g to group them. Alternatively, if you prefer clicking things with your mouse, click Group > Group (in the Arrange group on the Format tab). You should now see just one bounding box around both objects, instead of a bounding box around each,

One Bounding Box

Now you can click and drag the group and every object within the group is moved as one. Our example is a relatively simple one where the group contains only two objects, but your group can be as complex as you like and may contain as many objects as you wish.

PowerPoint Borders

There are two was in PowerPoint 2013 that you can add borders to your slides: you can insert a shape (like a rectangle) and give it a stroke (nice rectangle…) or you can insert an image that has the border you want.

Insert A Rectangle

Go to the Insert tab and click Shapes > Rectangle.
Insert Rectangle

With the rectangle tool active, the cursor should look like a “+”. Drag out a rectangle so that it covers the whole slide. Now, with the rectangle still selected, go to the Format tab and look in the Shape Styles group. We don’t want a fill colour for the rectangle so click on Shape Fill and select No Fill.

No Fill

Now we have a border – but we need to style it. Click on Shape Outline, also in the Shape Styles group.

Shape Outline

Using this panel we can only change the colour (which might be all you want to do). If you want to change the style of the border, we’ll need to explore the other options. The things you’ll most likely want to change are the:

  • colour
  • weight – how thick the border is
  • dashes

Let’s follow along as we do an example. Click Shape Outline > Weight, and select from one of the different weights on offer.

Line Weights

6 pt is the widest option here, but that’s not wide enough for us so click on More Lines. Doing so opens up the Format Shape panel on the right of the workspace, positioned at Line. Here we have a lot of control over how the border is going to look.

Format Shape - Line

Let’s change the width to be 20 pt and select the second option in Compound type. This will change the border to be a double one with a bit more thickness.

The Dash type selector does just what you’d expect it to do: it changes the line into a dashed or dotted one. You can get some quite fancy results by playing with the different options in this panel.

Insert An Image

If you already have an image that has borders on, the task is much simpler. All you have to do is insert the image. Let’s use this sample image:

PowerPoint Borders
Right click to download

Right click on the borders image above and save it to your computer. Now in PowerPoint, go to the insert tab and click Pictures, in the Images group.

Insert Border Image

Navigate to where you saved the borders image, select it and click insert. The image might not cover the whole of the slide so drag on the resize handles to get it to fit.

Whichever method you choose to add borders to your PowerPoint presentation, getting them to appear on all slides requires a little bit of know how. Check out our tutorial on the Slide Master to find out the best way of doing this.