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How to create a GIF in Photoshop

Looking to create a GIF in Photoshop? Here’s how to do it in under five minutes using any photo, video or illustration.

The acronym GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. The file type is commonly used to upload moving graphics to websites and create silent looping clips to be shared across social media and instant messaging apps.

While GIFs aren’t the most high-quality files around (the 8-bit format is limited to just 256 colours) they are small and easy to share amongst others. This has made them a popular choice for creating memes and animated reactions to post on Facebook and Twitter.

We’ve put together this guide to teach you how to create your own GIFs in Photoshop.

What you’ll need: 

  • Adobe Photoshop 
  • A Creative Cloud subscription 

The Short Version 

  1. Open the frames of your GIF as separate layers in Photoshop 
  2. Open the timeline panel 
  3. Click Create Frame Animation 
  4. Select Make Frames From Layers 
  5. Export your GIF

How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  1. Step
    1

    Open your frames as separate layers in Photoshop

    You can use photos, illustrations or individual frames from a video to make your GIF. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  2. Step
    2

    Click Window

    You can find this menu at the top of Photoshop. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  3. Step
    3

    Select Timeline

    This will open the timeline panel. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  4. Step
    4

    Click Create Frame Animation

    You might need to click the small arrow to find this option. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  5. Step
    5

    Click the four-line icon on the right

    This will open up the timeline menu. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  6. Step
    6

    Select Make Frames From Layers

    This will create a frame from each Photoshop layer. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  7. Step
    7

    Use the timeline panel to make any changes to your GIF

    You can choose how long each frame lasts, how many times it’ll loop and preview your GIF from here. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  8. Step
    8

    Once you’re happy with your GIF, click File

    Now we’re going to save the GIF. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  9. Step
    9

    Select Export

    This will be under File. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  10. Step
    10

    Choose Save For Web (Legacy)

    You can also skip steps 8 to 10 using the shortcut Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

  11. Step
    11

    Hit Save

    Then just choose a location to save your GIF. How to create a GIF in Photoshop

Troubleshooting

How to make a GIF from a video

To make a GIF from a video, you’ll first need to open your video in Photoshop by clicking File, Import and Video Frames To Layers. Choose your video and select the frames you want to use. Then follow the steps above to edit your frames using the timeline panel and export your GIF.

Can GIFs have transparent backgrounds?

Yes, you can create a GIF with a transparent background.

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