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Navigation: Editing Animated Xplains

Nesting, Grouping & Locking

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Elements in your HelpXplain projects can have a number of different kinds of relationships with each other. The most important of these are nesting and grouping. It's important to understand the basic differences between these two.

The difference between nesting and grouping

Nested elements are contained inside their "parent" element. The parent element is a container. All the elements you add to slides are nested in the slide. In addition to this, you can also nest elements inside other elements.


Nested elements can be edited individually by selecting them.

When an element nested inside another element is selected, the parent is identified with a green highlight outline.

Moving the parent element moves the elements inside it, but resizing a parent element does not resize its nested elements.

Resizing a slide does resize all the elements it contains along with the slide itself.

Grouped elements are elements that are linked together invisibly so that they behave like a single element. You will generally group elements when you want to avoid accidentally changing anything inside the group and their positions in relation to each other. Effectively, a group is exactly the same as multiple selected elements.


Normally, editing operations are applied to grouped elements as a single unit.

You can edit a grouped element on its own by selecting it in the Objects list on the left first, or by holding down SHIFT and clicking on it to select it.

Locking elements and groups to prevent accidental changes


You can also lock single elements or groups to prevent accidental changes while you are working on other elements. Just select the element, then select the Lock tool in the Home tab, or click in the Lock column in the Objects list.

Locking is also available in the right-click context menu. Selecting the Lock option again unlocks the selected element.