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Thomas Lowry
Thomas Lowry
Designer Advocate at Figma

Groups and Frames

Resource Center GroupsVsFrames

Do you have trouble knowing when to use a frame or a group in Figma? They are both containers for housing objects, but they have their own unique properties and use cases. It's not always obvious how they differ from each other, so to help distinguish between them I wrote up this primer.

Groups

Similar to other design tools, groups in Figma allow you to combine multiple elements together as a single top level layer. A group's bounds are determined by its child elements, so resizing or moving those elements will cause the group's bounds to adjust automatically. You can create a group by selecting objects and pressing: ⌘ + G (Mac) or Ctrl + G (Win).

Adjusting group bounds
A groups bounds automatically adjust as child elements are resized or repositioned.

Making a group is non destructive—meaning it won't flatten or permanently combine the layers together. At any point you can ungroup the elements, by pressing: ⌘ + Shift + G (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift G (Win).

Groups are really useful when you want to combine similar items together and manage less layers within your design. For example, you may have a selection of company logos that need to stay together. Grouping them is a great way to combine them into one single more manageable layer—clicking on any of the elements within your group will select the entire thing and allow you to move or manipulate it as a single object on the canvas. If you need to select a particular child element within a group, you can do so by double clicking.

You can also leverage features like Smart Selections inside a group to adjust the spacing between elements. In the example below you can see the group's bounds auto adjust to match the overall dimensions of the child elements when the spacing changes.

When you resize a group, its child elements will scale as you would expect vector artwork to scale. However effects, strokes, and type sizes will not scale. If you wish to scale these properties too, use the scale tool (K). If you want to apply constraints to define how elements will be resized, consider using a frame instead. Constraints applied to elements will always be relative to the closest parent frame—not relative to the bounds of the group. More on that as we uncover frames!

Scaling groups comparison
A comparison of scaling groups containing vector artwork and text using normal resize behavior and resizing with the scale tool (K).

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