Grouping Objects

Is there a way to group objects, so that they can be copied, pasted, moved, rotated, or scaled, as a whole? I know about control-J. But, that approach is a little too permanent. Sometimes, I want to be able to manipulate the group as a whole, but still have the option to separate the pieces, so that I could work with individual materials, textures, etc.


Thanks. There is still one small problem with that method. When I copy the grouped objects from one file, and past them into another, the objects ungroup. I then have to stop, reselect all of the objects, and regroup them.

Appending the group keeps the grouping. File -> append: blend file -> group -> group

Thanks. Seems to do what I need.