Grouping or joining multiple objects

Hi!
I sometimes like to experiment with models found on sites like Blendswap. Some of these models, -although brilliantly made-, have so many separate meshes, it isn’t funny anymore. And not all authors have grouped them in a proper way.
I could spend my whole afternoon joining them together in one group one by one. But that wouldn’t be a very fun way.
Is there a way to either join multiple meshes together in one group simultaneously? Or joining them in one mesh? That would also be fine.

Thanks!

Grouping with Ctrl-G works on multiples at once - I usually go to wireframe mode and box select the whole lot of armature, mesh objects, etc., and use ctrl-G to group, then in the tool bar I name the group something particular to the objects.

Joining as one mesh, I think that has to be done in the order of first selecting the secondary object, then selecting the object that has the modifiers and object name you want to preserve, then using ctrl-J. I just tried with three separate cubes, and all three joined at the same time with the command, so it should be too slow a process.

There is a little trick when joining Meshes you can select them all at once But You will then need to click the object that has the modifiers and object name you want the rest to join. Example lets say I had a sword and I modeled it in three different shapes. The blade the base of the handle and the fancy decoration of the handle. Lets say I wanted to join all to the Base handle mesh. I would select all then Click the Base handle and then join.

Thanks for your answers! It worked! I know what I did wrong now.
When selecting multiple meshes I used the “Add to Group” button (and the + button next to it) in the Object tab. That way you can only add one mesh at a time. Using the CTRL-G function, -also found in the menu-, it works properly and adds all the meshes to a new group. Alternative, using SHIFT-CTRL-G adds all the meshes to the (existing) active group.

I wonder why there is a difference between the buttons in the Object tab, and the items in the menu.

As for joining with CTRL-J, it works now too. It previously didn’t work. Maybe somehow I mistakenly selected a lamp or camera as well. I did some testing and found out that this prevents the joining process in certain cases, but not always (depends on the order of selecting). And yes, I know, you can’t join a lamp or camera with a mesh. :smiley:
Thanks again!