Object grouping is a handy new feature ActivePresenter 7 offers you. It allows you to work with multiple objects as if they were a single object. In this article, we’ll show you how to group objects and work with groups.
Object grouping lets you move, rotate, or resize multiple objects at the same time as if they were a single object. For example, you want to move several objects without changing their relative distance to each other. To do that, you have to select all of them, then drag the mouse. And do the same things each time you want to move them. Now with object grouping, things get much easier. Just group all objects you want. That way, the objects act as one object and they will stay together when being moved.
How to Group Objects
ActivePresenter allows you to group objects of several types: shapes, images, text captions, etc. Note that object grouping is unavailable to some objects including closed captions, audio clips, spotlights, videos, web objects, YouTube objects, zoom-n-pans, gesture effects, and questions.
Do the following steps to group objects:
Step 1: Hold down CTRL while selecting all objects that you want to include in a group.
Step 2: Right-click and select Group > Group from the context menu. Or, find the command in the Home tab > Arrange or in the Format tab > Group.
The selected objects are grouped. A single box with resizing handles appears around the entire group.
At the same time, in the Timeline pane, ActivePresenter merges all child objects’ Time Bars into the only Time Bar of the group.
The Selection pane lists all child objects under and at the next indent level compared to their group. Click the +/- button to expand or collapse these child objects.
- Another way to select multiple objects is drag the mouse across them. In other words, use a rubber-band selector. Click on a slide, and then drag the mouse, a rubber-band selector appears. All objects that stay in or intersect with the selector will be selected.
- If you’ve already selected several objects and want to select more, hold down CTRL and click them. If you include some objects you don’t want, hold down CTRL and click redundant objects to deselect them.
- After you make a group, you can still work with child objects in that group. Select the group, and then click an object to select it.
- A group and its child objects are mutually exclusive when it comes to converting objects into drag sources/drop targets. That is, you can only convert either a group or its child objects into drag sources/drop targets.
- Some features are not available to child objects, including Attached audio, Show to the end of slide, Show In Mode, and Pause presentation to wait for user input.
Once you group objects together, rename the group to make it easier to find and work with. This is beneficial when you are working with lots of objects on a slide. Or, when you need a descriptive name so that you can easily create interactions using the group.
To rename a group, do either of the following:
- Go to the Properties pane > Interactivity > General > enter a name in the Name box.
- Go to the Selection pane > double-click the group name to make it editable.
Add Objects to a Group
ActivePresenter lets you add objects to an existing group. Do the following:
Step 1: Select a group and one or more objects that you want to add to the group.
Step 2: Right-click and select Group > Add to Group from the context menu. Or, find the command in the Home tab > Arrange or in the Format tab > Group.
In the Timeline pane, ActivePresenter merges the extra objects’ Time Bars into the group’s Time Bar. In the Selection pane, extra objects are listed as child objects of the group.
Nest a Group in Another Group
Nested groups are available in ActivePresenter 7. You can nest groups within groups. Simply put, groups can contain groups as members.
To nest a group in another group, use the same techniques for grouping objects. Just select all objects/groups you want, right-click > Group > Group . A new group is created containing all selected objects/groups as members.
In the example above, a slide contains two groups (Group_1 and Group_2) and a Diamond. By nesting all in another group, you create a new group (Group_3). Both Group_1 and Group_2 become a nested group aka subgroup of Group_3.
Sometimes, you no longer need a group. You want to break it apart so that you can more easily select and format each individual objects.
To ungroup a group, first select the group. Then, right-click and select Group > Ungroup from the context menu. Or, find the command in the Home tab > Arrange or in the Format tab > Group.
Change Group Layout
ActivePresenter supports grid layout for groups. This feature places child objects of a group in a grid pattern. This is useful when you want to draw tables to display fields in a grid layout or when you want to align child objects in a group.
To change the group layout to grid, select the group and follow the steps:
Step 1: Go to Properties > Size & Properties > Group Layout.
Step 2: Click the Mode drop-down list and select Grid. The Grid layout ignores the original size of all objects in a group. Instead, it assigns a fixed size to all of them.
The grid size is defined by the number of columns, horizontal spacing between columns, and vertical spacing between rows. Change the values for these parameters if needed. The number of rows will be automatically counted based on the number of child objects and columns.
For further modification, click Advanced Settings…. A dialog appears allowing you to define the width ratio between columns or the height ratio between rows. If the value is 0, the minimum size of objects will be used.
For example, the group below has two columns (width ratio 1:2) and two rows (height ratio 1:3). As you can see, the width of the blue box is one-half of the green one. Meanwhile, the height of the blue box is one-third of the orange one.
That’s it! You’ve learned all about object grouping in ActivePresenter 7. Remember to group objects whenever necessary to streamline your editing and speed up your workflow. In case you want to arrange objects by ordering and aligning them, see Ordering and Aligning Objects.