When having multiple elements in draw.io, I like to group them. Then, when having multiple groups, I'd like to select them by click-dragging a selection box over them. But by doing so, every single element is selected, but not the group itself.

The only workaround I found so far is by Ctrl-clicking every single group.

Is there anypossibility to select groups by click-dragging a selection box over them?

  • 1
    I think the Ctrl is the one for that so far, may be but not sure about dragging to perform this.
    – BDRSuite
    Jun 25, 2015 at 17:04
  • 1
    Unfortunately that does not work for dragging the selection-box.
    – Akerus
    Jun 29, 2015 at 8:55

3 Answers 3


In mac it worked with "option" and drag.


"Option" and drag doesn't work for me on mac (10.14.6) and chrome. One trick I found is:

  • Select the group
  • On the left panel's "Style" tab, click the checkbox next to "Fill". This fills the background of the group object. Now you can click any previously "empty" space of your diagram, and drag the object as desired.

Here is a quick demo (start at 0:15): https://recordit.co/vfCe2ZmdHD


added: distribution not work for multi group(when use movable method instead of ctrl manually, it seems distribution operation ignore movable attribute!!!!!but algin does take movable into account!!!!),,,,its's weird that drawio not treat group as an intege like people espected,,may be powerpoint should be a good substitution

you can treat a group as another object, which also has its style, text, arrange property as common object.

inner elements object -> group object -> multigroup object

"""you need be careful to distinguish the group's dotted line selected rectangle and the inner element's dotted line selected rectangle,, in some situation they may be overlayed, for example in below graph, the group,s profile rectangle is overlayed with the inner "playground" elemnet,s profile rectangle. (one simple method is to fill the group's rectangle temporary, like @cocoaaa says)"""

all you need to do is:

  1. drag and select all inner elements, group them, and go to style tab, set all these inner elements style movable to false (since you have select all, your operation is kind of batch setting) enter image description here

  2. click(or drag) to select the group itself (ps: now there is only one bule rectangle of select), and set the group object itself style movable to true enter image description here

  3. do this to every group, and you can now drag and select multigroup together enter image description here

ps: you'd better save your group to scartchpad, if if you need to reuse or duplicate it. enter image description here

--------------original answer---------------------------

Accidently, i have found that you can drag and select all element in a group, and set all element in that group's style movable to false(just deselect its check box)

then every operation about position change, such as align or distribution or drag to move, will treat the group as an intege.

ps: you need to select the group and change its(note: the group itself, not it inner elements) style movable to true, or else you cannot move the group.

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