Grouped objects - Adding/Removing objects to a group

Jul 25, 2012

Hi.  I have a few objects that are grouped together.  If I want to add one to the group, I would think I could drag or cut and paste and object into that group?

I can't figure out how to add, or remove an object from a group other than ungrouping the whole group, making my changes, then re grouping the objects I want grouped.

Is there an easier way?  Thanks!

96 Replies
Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Just a small point of clarification as to why ungrouping may not work as expected after including a new item in a "previous" group. You've actually formed a new group.

So, if you group two circles and a rectangle, you'll see in the time line (or in PowerPoint's selection pane) Group 1. If you then add another shape, say another rectangle to the first group with Ctrl+G and look in the timeline or selection pane, you'll see Group 2.

And if you collapse Group 2 in the timeline, you'll see that Group 1 is no nested inside. (I've attached a screenshot)

So, when you ungroup the first time, you're ungrouping Group 2. And when you ungroup the 2nd time, you're ungrouping Group 1.

Joseph   Peterka

Right click what?  I have a group with 3 objects and need to add a fourth. 

I have tried to right click each item, control clicked all three and right click,  right click the boxes to the left for each in the group and the group box itself.

Your answer is simple but lacks detail as to what and how to right click. 

Sorry I if I seem frustrated...but I am.  

But thanks for your help!

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Joseph,

You don't necessarily need to right-click to add an item to a group, although that is one way to do it. Instead:

To add an object to a group:

1. Click (regular left-click) the group of 3

2. Hold the shift key down while clicking the 4th object. By holding shift down you're telling the computer you want all objects to be active (or selected).

3. Release the mouse, and on the keyboard press Ctrl+G.

As Phill stated, right-clicking allows you to easily ungroup.

To ungroup:

1. Right-click the group

2. From the shortcut menu, select Group >Ungroup

As I mentioned above, if you've added items to a previous group, the first time you do this you'll be ungrouping Group 2. To ungroup Group 1 you'd need to repeat the process.

Ben Mueller


Sorry if I'm late to the party, but a point of clarification.  Is it the case that if you select an existing group and then an item not currently in that group and then hit CMD-G, a new, second group is created which contains the first group and the item?  That appears to be the behavior.

Is there no way to add an item to a pre-existing group?  Seems like that is what you'd want more often.  I know you can do it by ungrouping all the items and then re-grouping, but I'd think on complex slides, that could get tedious and/or tricky.

Jeff Wilson

A good trick for adding to a group, without loosing existing effects, like animations, for the existing group, is to: 1) select a shape that is already a member of the group, 2) ctrl-drag the existing shape to create a copy of the shape  - this will be a member of the existing group, 3) use the "change shape" feature to change the type of the new shape to whatever shape you need, 4) finish editing your new shape to have the characteristics you want.    I have not used this a lot yet, but I have used it, and it works for me.  Note that copying and pasting an existing object does not seem to make the new shape be a member of the group, only ctrl-drag copying.   I've only tried this in PPT 2010.

sachin patil

Jeff Wilson said:

Sachin, please see my earlier post.  It is possible to add a new object to an existing group.

i tried the same way that you said earlier. but CTR+drag is not making object as a part of group. i am not sure, but may be because of i have older storyline trial version (update 2: 1212.1412). Thanks for a kind reply.
Daniel Sposato (Philly)

So I discovered something interesting in relation to this issue....

If you use "Ctrl = g" to add an object you selected using "Shift" (as has been stated above) it puts the new object inside of a new group that also contains the group you probably wanted to combine it with. (already know)

But if you then select just the group inside of the new group you made and break that using "Ctrl + Shift + g" it breaks the group inside and puts everything in the new group that contained that group.

Unfortunately this breaks any triggers related to the group that existed and doesn't solve the issue really.  =(

Linda Poole

Just reading all the posts about this and wondering if anyone has made it work in SL2. I have a timeline template and need to add an additional shape to an existing group. I've tried adding a shape to the existing group (works well) but when I try to change the trigger to reflect the new group, the triggers (for a motion path) don't work. (Control drag doesn't work for me either)

Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Linda!

This thread is a bit dated and I'm not sure that I've seen much discussion about this topic.

If you were wanting to ask Jeff directly, you are welcome to utilize the 'Contact Me' option on his user profile.

Do you need our support team to take a look at a file? You are welcome to share here.

Nadia Zaid

Has this issue been fixed in Storyline 2? I have a group that is set with various triggers and motion paths. It creates a cool effect; however I decided to add two shapes to the group. I used the shortcut to add the shapes but now they are called group 2 and group 2 doesn´t recognize any of the motion paths I had set for group 1. 

I know in SL 1 it wasn´t possible, but in SL2 is there a way to add objects to an existing group 1?