How to make an Animated GIF



Animated GIFs:  GIFs are the only type of images that can be animated.  Can’t use .jpg, etc.  They must be type GIF89a


            Saves multiple images in the same file and displays them one after another-any number of images.





With animated GIFs you can vary several aspects of the playback:


            Cycling - # of times it displays a series of images (slides).


Timing – the # of milliseconds – how long to hang on to each frame before moving to the next one and the total length of the show.  You can modify the timing either globally or locally (inter-frame), by varying the amount of time between frames or have it the same for all frames.


The size of frames, number of frames, number of colors, etc. all determine how long it takes to download an animated GIF.  Make the first frame interesting or good enough to keep the viewer’s attention during downloads, otherwise visitors may leave the site.  The first frame is displayed until the entire animation downloads and then starts playing.


Animagic: shareware to stick together GIF images to create animated GIFs.  Download trial version at


Steps in creating animated GIFs:


1.   Create a frame – 100 x 100 pixels is a reasonable size

Every frame must be the same size (dimensionally) – call first frame, frame 0 then rename each following frame.  Create as many frames as you need, saving each with a different name (e.g. frame 1, frame 2, etc….)


Use MS Paint to create your frames (pictures) and save each as a .gif file. Remember to name them so you can tell the order in which you intended them to appear. For example, jumpfrog0.gif, jumpfrog1.gif, jumpfrog2.gif, and so on.


Use Animagic GIF animation program from toolkit ( to put frames together. You can download a trial copy at:


2.   Using Animagic:

a.       File – Open: open first frame (frame 0)


b.      File – Append: append all other frames to it in order – you can adjust or add/delete frames as required to tweak your animation when done.


c.       File – Save As: give the GIF file a name (possible names should identify subject and the fact that it is an animated file (e.g., jumpingfrog_amin.gif)


d.      Test the animated GIF: select the play button in Animagic or open the GIF in a browser and it will play.  You can adjust the play speed and the time between frames, etc. with Animagic, then resave.

© Russ Erdman, March 8, 2001