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I'm drawing a flow chart in Word 2010 with the drawing canvas and shapes. I have a subset of the canvas that I want to visually "group" together (maybe draw a dotted box around these shapes) so that I can then label it as "ongoing" (in contrast to events in the flow chart that only happen once and complete).

How can I create this visualized grouping in Word 2010?

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You might want to be a bit more specific. – Andreas Rejbrand Oct 9 '12 at 14:51

You can try to add a rectangle shape around the shapes (objects) you want to "visually" group together, then change the "Wrap Text" setting for that newly created rectangle to "Behind Text", then change the "Shape Outline" of that rectangle to "Dashes".

Here's a how-to screenshot:

  1. This is the sample flowchart already drawn with shapes.

    enter image description here

  2. Draw a rectangle or any shape you want around the shapes (objects) you want to visually group together. As shown, the rectangle will be drawn on top of the shapes and therefore would not be visible.

    enter image description here

  3. Change the "Wrap Text" for the rectangle to "Behind Text", by selecting "Wrap Text" button in the Arrange group of the Format tab. As shown below, the shapes under the rectangle are now visible.

    enter image description here

  4. Change the "Shape Outline" of the rectangle to "Dashes" or any line style you want.

    You can do this via "Text Box Styles" of the Format tab.

    enter image description here

    You can also do this via "Shape Outline" button of the Format tab.

    enter image description here

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