How To Group In Canva (Desktop & Mobile)

When you have a bunch of elements in your design that need similar formatting, grouping them will make your life much easier. In Canva, grouping your elements is as easy as pressing a button and can save you hours of time in the long run.

So let’s walk through exactly how to do it together in Canva desktop and mobile so you can start working more efficiently on all your future projects.

How To Create A Group In Canva

If you’ve never created a group in Canva, don’t worry. The process is super simple, and you’ll be a master at it in no time. 

Step 1: Visualize What Your Design Should Look Like 

Before you start grouping elements and moving them around, take a few seconds to think about which elements you want to be grouped. 

When working on a big project with many elements, planning things out at the beginning is better. This way, you won’t need to ungroup elements later and deal with a complicated mess. 

You don’t have to visualize your design just in your mind. You can move elements, such as vertical text or graphics, around on your Canvas to help you. 

As you move your elements around, you can use the guides that pop up to help guide you. 

Step 2: Lock The Background 

With your general layout in mind and knowing which elements you’d like to group, lock the background, so you don’t accidentally make changes when selecting elements.

To lock the background, click on your background element(s), then click on the Lock icon in the screen’s top right corner. 

Pay close attention when you click the Lock icon. The first time you click the icon, you will enter a mode that only allows you to replace content. This is different from locking the background. 

Click the Lock icon again to lock the element officially. You will know it’s locked when you see a Locked lock icon

Step 3: Select Your Elements 

With the background locked, you can drag your mouse over the elements you wish to group. Doing this will temporarily group the elements you’ve selected. 

You will know that your elements are temporarily grouped by the white bounding box that surrounds the elements. 

You can also temporarily group your elements by clicking on your first element, holding down the Shift Key, then clicking the rest of the elements to select them temporarily.

Step 4: Click The Group Button

Once you have your elements selected, it’s now time to make your group official. 

Click on the Group button. This will form all of your selected elements into a single component. You will know that you did this correctly when you see a purple bounding box surrounding your new group.

You can now move this element around your design by selecting any piece of it and dragging it around.

You can move this grouped element at any time as you work on your design. 

Step 5: Unlock The Background

If you plan to make changes to your background element(s), hit the Lock icon in the top right corner to unlock it. 

How To Temporarily Group Elements In Canva

In Canva, you can quickly move a collection of elements with a temporary group selection. 

To “temporarily group” your elements, first lock any background elements you don’t want to end up in your temporary selection. You can do this by selecting your elements, then clicking the Lock icon. 

With your background secure, you can drag your mouse over your elements. 

You will know that your elements are temporarily selected if you see a white bounding box around each element. The purple boxes represent the edges of the individual elements when working with graphics.

You can now freely move your temporary selection however you wish. Click anywhere else on your canvas to deselect your temporary selection. This is useful for moving multiple things at once without committing to a group that will stay connected.

How To Ungroup Elements In Canva

Grouping your elements doesn’t mean that your elements are glued together forever. You can ungroup your elements at any time with the Ungroup button. 

To do this, first, click on any part of your grouped element. You will see one single bounding box around the entire element. 

Once your element is selected, click on Ungroup in the top right corner of your screen. 

Your grouped element is now successfully ungrouped.

To confirm that this worked, click on the first element and then the last element and see if each one has a separate purple bounding box.

How To Group & Ungroup In Canva Mobile

Grouping elements to make your life easier is not exclusive to the desktop version of Canva. You can easily group elements on your phone, too, using the Canva mobile app.

One of the reasons it’s so easy to group elements in Canva Mobile is the Move button. When you tap on any element in Canva Mobile, a Move button will appear below the element. 

Tap and hold on to the Move button to drag your element around. This is much easier than grabbing onto the element itself, especially if the element is the same size or smaller than your finger. 

Use the Move button to position the elements you wish to group closer to each other. 

Once your elements are in place, tap on one of them and tap the Three Dots that pop up. 

In the Options Menu, you can now tap on Select Multiple

You will see the number 1 displayed in a red bubble

Tap and hold onto the element you want to add to the group. When the element is added, you will see two things: 

  • A purple bounding box around the newly selected element. 
  • The number in the red bubble now reflects how many elements you have selected. 

Repeat this process as many times as you need to. 

Note: This is considered temporarily grouping your elements. This is useful when moving elements elsewhere without making an official group. If you don’t plan on making an official group out of this collection of elements, then skip the next step. 

Once you’re done adding elements to your selection and you want to make your selection an official group, tap on the Group button. This will merge all of the elements into a single component. 

You will know the grouping works when the same purple bounding box surrounds both elements. 

You can move your grouped element around your design as much as you need. 

Repeat this process as needed to form your overall design. 

If, for whatever reason, you need to ungroup one or more of your elements, first tap on the grouped element to open the Options Panel below your canvas. Then, tap on UnGroup

Once you ungroup your element, you will have two separate elements with two separate purple bounding boxes.

You can now make any changes that you need to. 

Grouping is by far one of the easiest time-saving tactics you can use when working in Canva, and it’s saved me hours of time over the last few years. I hope it can do the same for you now that you know exactly how to do it!

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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