The Group, Ungroup and Regroup shortcuts are a few of what I consider CRITICAL keyboard shortcuts that every knowledge worker should know in PowerPoint.

That is because being able to quickly group graphics together to organize your slides, then ungroup those graphics so you can format the pieces, and finally regroup your graphics are critical steps in being able to use PowerPoint effectively.

In other words, if you are not using these grouping shortcuts yet, you are in for a treat. These will not only speed up your workflow, but they also make organizing and arranging your slides easier. Just keep in mind that not all PowerPoint objects can be part of a group (see details further below).

To expand your knowledge and learn other useful PowerPoint shortcuts, read our guide here.

Group Shortcut (Ctrl + G)

The Group shortcut is Ctrl + G

To group two or more objects together in PowerPoint, simply select those objects and hit Ctrl + G on your keyboard. Hitting Ctrl + G, your individual objects will become a single group of objects that you can easily move around yours slides.

If you do not want to learn the keyboard shortcut, you can alternatively access the Group command by right clicking the objects you want to group together.

  1. Select two or more objects you want to group together
  2. Right-click with your mouse
  3. Hover over the Group options
  4.  Select Group
The advantage of grouping objects together is that they are easier to grab and format as a group. You can also further organize your objects by creating groups within groups.

Ungroup Shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + G)

The Ungroup shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + G

Once you have created groups in PowerPoint, you can ungroup those objects back into their individual pieces by using the Ungroup shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + G).

If your graphic has groups within groups, you will need to reselect the pieces of your graphic multiples times and continue using the Ctrl + Shift + G shortcut until all the groups have been ungrouped.

If you do not want to learn the keyboard shortcut, you can alternatively access the Group command by right clicking the objects you want to group together.

  1. Select a set of objects that are already grouped together
  2. Right-click with your mouse
  3. Hover over the Group options
  4.  Select Ungroup

Regroup Shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + J)

The Regroup shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + J

The Regroup shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + J) is not well known as most people do not fully understand how the Regroup commands work.

The Regroup shortcut allows you to reform a group of objects that has been ungrouped, simply by selecting one of the objects that used to be in the group.

For example, if you ungroup a set of 10 rectangles to edit their individual titles, you can reform the ENTIRE group by simply selecting one of the ten rectangles and hitting Ctrl + Shift + J on your keyboard.

If you don’t like keyboard shortcuts, you can also access the Regroup command using your mouse:

  1. Select an object that was part of a group
  2. Right-click with your mouse
  3. Hover over the Group options
  4.  Select Regroup

The one limitation of the Regroup shortcut is that you can only reform a group back to its last group. That means that the Regroup shortcut cannot recreate groups within groups. It can only reform the last group that the objects were in.

Note: If you ungroup a set of objects and close your presentation, when you reopen your presentation the Regroup command will not be able to reform that group. The Regroup shortcut can only reform recent groups, as defined as things you have ungroup in your open presentation.

Grouping Shortcuts Not Working?

Not all objects in PowerPoint can be part of a group.

So, if your grouping shortcuts are not working, or the grouping commands are greyed out in your right-click menu, that means you are trying to group objects together (or ungroup objects) taht cannot be grouped or ungrouped.

Below are lists of PowerPoint objects that can and cannot be part of a group.

1. PowerPoint objects that cannot be part of a group

A few common PowerPoint objects that cannot be part of a group are:

  • Content Placeholders (footers, headers, page numbers, etc.)
  • PowerPoint Tables
  • SmartArt graphics

Trying to include any of these objects in a group will result in a pinging noise on your computer. If this happens to you, simply unselect the incompatible object and trying hitting Ctrl + G for Group again.

2. PowerPoint objects that can be part of a group

Most objects in PowerPoint can be part of a group, including:

  • Text boxes
  • Shapes
  • Lines
  • Charts
  • Pictures
  • Icons
  • Equations
  • Ink annotations (anything you insert using the Draw Tab)
  • Screenshots
  • Symbols
  • Videos and screen recordings

Closing thoughts

The Group, Ungroup and Regroup shortcuts are critical keyboard shortcuts to learn if you build and edit lots of slides in PowerPoint.

If you are just starting out with these shortcuts, it might take a few reps before they become second nature to you, but it is worth the effort.

Once you have these shortcuts down, you will find it extremely easy to not only create groups to organize your layouts better, but also quickly ungroup and regroup those graphics to format and edit them.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and resources here.