What is a GIF?


How to open, edit and convert GIF files

A file that has the GIF extension is a Graphical Interchange Format (GIF) file. GIFs, also known as ‘gif’ and ‘jif’, are small image files used to create animated images for sharing on social media. A GIF can also be used with large files.

Gifs: How to Use

GIF files do not contain audio data but are often used online to share video clips. GIF files are often used by websites to display animated objects such as buttons and header images. GIF compression doesn’t affect the image quality because GIF files are saved as a lossless file.

A GIF image.

How to open a GIF File

Before you start looking at the programs listed below, decide what you want. Are you looking for a program that plays the GIF as an image viewer or video viewer? Or do you need something that allows you to edit the GIF?

Most web browsers work on almost all operating systems (Chrome Firefox, Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer, etc.). You can open online GIFs without any additional software. You can open local GIFs using the Open menu, or by dragging-and-dropping into your browser window.

However, other programs like Adobe Photoshop can technically open GIFs like other graphics. However, the software doesn’t display GIFs as you would expect. It opens each frame as a layer in Photoshop. This is great for editing GIFs, but it doesn’t make it easy to view/play them in a web browser.

The default web browser in Windows, Microsoft Windows Photos, may be the most convenient way to view them.

Other programs that can open GIF files for Windows include Adobe’s Photoshop Elements, Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Corel PaintShop PRO. ACD Systems’ Canvas is also available. ACDSee and Laughingbird’s The logo Creator are also available.

GIF files can be used by Apple Preview, Safari and other Adobe programs. GIMP is available for Linux. iOS and Android (and all desktop OSes) can view GIF files within Google Drive.

GIF files can be opened in default photo apps on some mobile devices. It will depend on the age of your device and if you have up-to-date software, but most mobile devices can open GIF files without needing to install additional apps.

Given the many programs that can open GIF files and the fact that you may have more than one installed, it’s possible that the default program that opens them (i.e. Double-clicking or double-tapping on one of them will cause it to not open the file you want. You can modify the default GIF program if you believe that is the case.

How to Convert GIF File

An online converter makes it easy to convert a GIF file into a different format. This way, you don’t need to download a program to convert a few GIFs.

FileZigZag allows you to convert GIFs to many image formats such as JPG, PNG and TGA. It also supports video formats such as MP4, MOV and AVI. Zamzar has similar features.

You might also consider the GIF viewers that we mentioned earlier to save your GIF file in a different format. These programs are often image editors so you might be able to use them to edit and save the GIF to a video or other file format.

How to create GIFs and download free GIFs

is a free online tool that allows you to create your own GIFs from videos. Imgur lets you create GIFs from online videos. You can even overlay text.

GIPHY, in addition to Imgur, is a great place to find new and popular GIFs which you can download or share easily on other websites. You can send the GIF to Facebook and Twitter . GIPHY also provides a link to the HTML5 versions of all their GIFs.

Another way to create GIFs with your photos and videos is through the Workflow automation application, which can be downloaded on iPhones or iPads.

Additional Information about GIF Files

Transparent parts of GIF files can be used to show the background.

GIF files can only display 256 colors. Other graphic formats, such as JPG, can store millions of colors. JPG can be used to create full-size images, like those made with digital cameras. GIF files can be used for websites that don’t require a large range of colors such as buttons and banners.

GIF files can store more than 256 colors but this process results in the file becoming larger than necessary. JPG can do the same thing without affecting its size.

A History of the GIF Format

CompuServe published the original GIF format in 1987 under the GIF87a name. The company updated the format a few years later and called it GIF 98a. This was the second version that supported transparent backgrounds and metadata storage.

Both versions of the GIF format support animations. However, 98a allowed for delayed animations.


  • How can you create a GIF in Photoshop
    To create a GIF using Photoshop, click File> Video Frames to Layers. Then open the video that you wish to convert to a GIF. To preview or edit the Selected range selection, go to Window> HTML3_ Timeline HTML3_
  • How can you edit a GIF image?
    Open the GIF that you wish to modify using the EZGIF.com online tool. You can then rearrange the images, delete images that you don’t need, resize and reorder the GIFs, as well as skip any images. For more information, see Lifewire’s guide on editing a GIF using.
  • How can you post a GIF to Facebook?
    Create a new Facebook post, navigate to the Edit Your Post section, and then select the More Icon (3 horizontal dots) > . You can choose from the suggested offerings or you can use the search bar for a specific GIF that you want to add to your post.
  • How can you create a GIF out of a YouTube video?
    Copy the YouTube link and then go to GIFS.com. Paste the link into the required field, and then select Continue. After the video has been uploaded, you can use the sliders for the start and ending times of your GIF. You can also crop it, add captions or stickers, or create special effects such as blurring.
  • How can you insert a GIF into Google Slides
    Select Insert> . You have two options: upload the file directly from your computer, or search the internet for the right GIF. After you have found the GIF that you wish to use, and added it to your slide, you can adjust the size and position of the GIF.



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