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One question I’m often asked when conducting our PowerPoint training course is “Is there a way to add shapes to a grouped object within PowerPoint?”
Whilst for some, the answer is as simple as selecting an additional object and grouping it in with the other group, others realise that in doing this any existing animations that are placed on the original group will get removed.
What most people don’t know is that there’s a way of carrying out this process within standard PowerPoint. All that you need to do is use the control button (Ctrl) on your keyboard. When you hold down this key and click and drag an object in PowerPoint it creates a duplicate, and the duplicate is positioned wherever you let go of the mouse button.
Similarly you can use the shortcut Ctrl+D and you get a duplicate of your original object slightly offset on top of your original. (If you want to create a series of objects in line with each other, move your first duplicate to where you want it to be, you can now press Ctrl+D and your duplicates all appear at the same interval, perfectly in alignment with each other.)
But did you know that this same technique can be applied within a group?
I’ve created a quick video to show the process:
The steps are written out below:
- Simply click on the group first, then select the object you’d like to duplicate.
- Hold down the control key, then click and drag the object to the desired position.
- You have now created an additional shape within the group.
- If you need the shape to be different to the one you’ve duplicated, simply select the object, click on the format object tab in the ribbon, select ‘edit shape’ option, then change the shape to the PowerPoint default of your choice.
Though this method does work, it is pretty time consuming! That’s why, when our resident geniuses decided to develop a PowerPoint add-in, they included an Add to Group tool. With one click you can add an object (shape, line, text box, image – you name it!) to a group without losing the already existing layout or animation settings. Our add-in is called BrightSlide and you can download it for free here. The Add to Group tool can be found under the BrightSlide tab in Selection & Object.
Have fun grouping and animating!
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Principal design consultantView Vincent Thompson's profile
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First of all the deck looks great, once again you guys have done an outstanding job. Second, I’d like to comment on the quality of the training provided by your colleagues - quite simply it was exceptional. I have spoken to the whole team and that view is unanimous. Please pass this on.James Bagan MyLife Digital