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Workday Adaptive Planning Knowledge Center

Create and Manage Element Groups

Explains how to create and apply an element group to a report. Explains how to update a report dynamically with changes in your model.

Create element groups to dynamically update your reports with latest changes to your reporting structure.

Before You Begin

Create and Apply Element Groups

When you apply an element group to a row, each element in the group is a new row in the report. If you apply to a column, each element in the group is a new column. 

You can only group elements that are currently not in the report.

Apply Direct Children as a Group

apply immediate children as a group

To create and apply all direct children of a parent element as a group:

  1. Select the row or column where you want to apply the group.
  2. In the task pane, select a parent element such as Assets. 
  3. Right-click the parent element and select Apply Immediate Children as a Group.
    All direct children of the parent element are applied to the grid. These elements now have a group status.

Apply Selection as a Group

apply selected siblings as a group

To create and apply selected siblings of the same parent element as a group:

  1. Select the row or column where you want to apply the group.
  2. In the task pane, select siblings. Use the Shift key or Ctrl key to make contiguous and non-contiguous selections. For example, select Current Assets, Fixed Assets, and Other Assets and skip Long Term Assets. 
  3. Right-click the selection and select Apply Selection as a Group.
    The selected siblings only of the Assets element are applied as a group to the grid.

Apply Secondary Element to a Group

apply a secondary element to a group

To apply a secondary element that is not related to the primary elements already in a group: 

  1. Select a row or column of the existing group. For example, if you have levels as a group on the columns, you can select Sales -North.
  2. In the task pane, select the secondary element to apply to the existing group. For example, select FY 2020 to apply this time element across all the levels.
  3. In the task pane, right-click the secondary element and select Apply to Selection. A confirmation message appears.
  4. Select Yes to apply the secondary element across all elements of the existing group. In this case, apply to all levels in the existing group.

Update Element Groups

You can add, remove, or reorder elements in your model that are part of a group. Make these changes in Modeling and use the OfficeConnect Update Groups option to reflect the changes in your reports.  Update Groups is separate from Refresh. Selecting Refresh does not update any element groups applied to your reports. 

Update Groups:

  • Adds or removes rows or columns from the report. The new row or column picks up the formatting from the last row or column in that group.
  • Reorders rows or columns based on the latest element hierarchy.
  • Does not add back elements that were excluded from the group before. For example, if you originally skipped Long Term Assets from the Assets group, updating the group now does not add back Long Term Assets.

Do the following:

  1. Review the task pane to verify you're seeing the latest element structure. Or, select Update Elements to get the latest changes for your model.
  2. Select Element > Update Groups.  Update Groups does not update the reporting data.
  3. To populate the report with the latest data, select Refresh

Considerations for Reordering Rows or Columns

You can reorder your rows or columns containing element groups by inserting new rows or columns. The following exceptions apply: 

  • You can’t insert a column because Excel throws an exception indicating that a column containing data or formatting will go out of the bounds of the worksheet.
  • You can’t insert a row because Excel throws an exception indicating that a row containing data or formatting will go out of the bounds of the worksheet.
  • The row or column ranges contain one or more merged cells.

You can continue to update the element groups in these situations.

Identify Existing Element Groups

To identify existing element groups:

  1. Select a single a row or column.
  2. Select the Review tab.
  3. If an element group applies to the row or column, you see the group icon next to it.

see an existing element group in the Review tab

Breaking an Element Group: Best Practices

The following actions can cause an element group to break. The elements continue to appear in the report as individuals. Their group status removes and they no longer update dynamically.

  • Inserting rows or columns that separate the grouped elements. 
  • Adding a secondary element that does not apply to all primary elements in the group.
  • Replacing a single element from an element group.
  • Cutting and pasting or deleting elements from a group.


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