How to Create a GIF in Photoshop

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The Graphics Interchange Format or GIF files are the best way to express your imagination as visual representation. GIFs are not only small in size, they don’t need any particular program to be installed on your computer to open.

Although a plethora of websites offer GIF creation services at absolutely no cost, you don’t have much control over the final output. This approach is even more unreliable if you want to create a GIF for your business, and keeping it copyright protected is one of the concerns.

That said, if you have Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and have Photoshop installed on your PC, creating professional-looking GIF’s is merely a matter of a couple of clicks.

You can follow the instructions given below on how to create a GIF in Photoshop file from your favorite images in Photoshop:

Step 1: Add Source Images to Photoshop

  1. Click File from the menu bar at the top.
  2. Go to the Scripts menu.
  3. Click Load Files into Stack from the submenu that appears next.
  • Click Browse from the Load Layers box that opens up. (Make sure that Files is selected in the Use drop-down list.)
  • Use the Open box to browse for, locate, and select all the images you want to create a GIF with. (Four images are used in this example.)
  • Click OK to get back to the Load Layers box with all the selected images added to the list.
  • Click OK again to close the Load Layers box.

Note: Depending on the specifications of your computer, it may take some time to add all the selected images to the Layers panel.

Step 2: Add the Timeline Panel

  1. Click Window from the menu bar.
  • Click Timeline from the menu that appears.

Note: The default position of the Timeline panel is at the bottom of the interface. You can move and place it anywhere as per your convenience.

Step 3: Configure Timeline for GIF

  1. Click the down-facing arrow next to the button at the center of the Timeline.
  • Select Create Frame Animation from the list.

Step 4: Add Source Images to the Timeline

  1. Click the Create Frame Animation button from the center of the Timeline.
  • Click the Timeline’s menu icon from the top-right corner of the panel.
  • Click Make Frames From Layers from the menu that appears.
  • Wait while all the layers with the source images are added to the Timeline.

Step 5: Set Up GIF Animation Preferences

  1. Click the base of the first source image in the Timeline (where 0 sec. is present).
  2. Select your preferred duration from the menu that appears. (0.5 is selected for this tutorial.)

Note: This is the duration in seconds the selected image will be displayed on the screen when the GIF file is open.

  • Repeat the above two steps for all the images added to the Timeline.

Note: You don’t necessarily have to set equal duration for all the source images.

  • Click the looping options list from the bottom of the panel, and select your preferred number of loops, i.e. number of times you want the animation in the GIF to repeat. Forever is selected for this tutorial.

Note: At the time of this writing, it’s the second option from the left. Looping can also be configured while exporting the project as GIF.

  • Click the Play button at the bottom of the panel to preview the GIF animation. (Optional but highly recommended.)

Step 6: Export the Project as GIF

  1. Go to the File menu.
  2. Go to Export.
  3. Click Save for Web (Legacy) from the submenu.
  • Ensure that GIF is selected in the drop-down list right below the Preset option.
  • Also ensure that Forever is selected in the Looping Options drop-down list in the Animation section at the bottom.

Note: If you want to change the looping options, you can do so from this section.

  • Click the Play button below the Animation section to preview how the exported GIF would look like. (Optional)
  • Click Save once you’re satisfied with the settings.
  • Use the Save Optimized As box that opens up next to locate the folder you want to save the GIF file to.
  • Type a name for the output file in the File name field.
  • Click Save to generate the GIF file.

Once exported, you can use File Explorer in Windows 10 (or Finder on Mac) to locate the GIF you just created, and double-click the file (and choose the app if prompted) to view the animation.

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