Animated GIFs in PowerPoint: Your Tutorial

Animated GIFs

Looking for a way to liven up your PowerPoint presentation’s content? How about using a GIF? Animated images are everywhere these days. So why not use GIFs for your presentation content, too?

GIFs are guaranteed to grab your audience’s attention. They’re a fun and entertaining way to highlight your content and key messages. Plus, GIFs have smaller file sizes than videos, which saves you loading time. Learn how to create GIFs and insert them into your presentation.


What is an animated GIF?

GIF stands for graphics interchange format. This is a type of bitmap image format that supports up to 8 bits per pixel, allowing an image to have access to a 255-color palette. GIF files are perfect for images with a small color palette and, of course, animations. Also, the file size is usually smaller than JPEG files.

Most GIF files are animated. That is, they’re not static images, like JPEG files, but repeat automatically after a few seconds. Other GIFs only once and stop on the last image.

Why use GIFs?

GIFs are a great choice if you want to liven up your presentation and use movement to attract your audience’s attention. There are so many possibilities for using GIFs:

  • GIFs instead of videos → smaller file size and shorter loading time
  • Animated logos
  • Animated pictograms
  • Slideshows
  • Illustrating trends, data, processes

Animated GIFs

GIFs should be chosen and used wisely so as not to distract from your presentation’s content. Learn how to create a GIF and the best way to use it now.


How to create a GIF

So, you’ve decided to insert a GIF into your PowerPoint? Then you have come to the right place. There are several ways to create a GIF, which we will show below.

Create a GIF directly in PowerPoint

GIFs contain a series of images that are displayed in sequence quickly enough to create an animation. To create these in PowerPoint itself, you can use a transition or, as we’ll explain below, use the slide transition, Morph.

1. Before you start creating, you need to determine the shape and size of your GIF. If you are using a standard widescreen slide, the GIF will also adopt the 16:9 aspect.

2. Open the PowerPoint slide on which you want to insert the GIF.

3. Click on the Design In the Customize group you can set your slide size by clicking Slide Size > Custom Slide Size….

4. Now insert your desired object, in our case an icon, by going to the Insert tab and selecting Icons in the Illustrations group.

Animated GIFs

Tip: You can find more professional icons from PresentationLoad for your business here.


5. Choose an icon and create a duplicate of the slide in the thumbnail view by pressing Ctrl+Shift+D (A Morph transition needs two slides with the same object).

Animated GIFS


6. Now go to the slide with the duplicate and make any changes you want to the icon. For example, change the position, the color or text.

7. Click on the duplicate icon and go to Transition > Morph in the Transition to This Slide group.

Animated GIFs


8. Stay on the Transitions tab and go to Effects Options. There you can choose how you want the transition to work.

9. Select Objects, as in our example.

10. Click Preview in the Transitions tab to see what your Morph transition will look like.

11. Now go to File > Export and select Create Animated GIF.

Animated GIFs


12. Select the file size you want and click Create GIF.

Animated GIFs


13. In the same window, you can also choose how many Seconds to spend on each slide.

14. A progress bar for your GIF file will appear in the status bar at the bottom. This normally takes only a few seconds.

Our GIF looks like this:

Animated GIFs


Create a GIF in Photoshop

Looking to create your own content and use custom images to make a GIF for your key messages? No problem. Photoshop allows you to turn your own images into GIFs. This is how you do it:

For this tutorial, you need the Photoshop image editor and some experience using it.

1. Remember to use a tripod when taking pictures so that they are taken from the same perspective.

2. Modify each captured image the way it should appear later in the GIF sequence.

3. Make sure all your pictures have the same number of pixels.

4. Import the pictures to a Photoshop file under File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack. This opens a window. Click Browse to find your pictures. Hold down the Shift key, select your photos, click Open and OK. Your photos will now be imported into a single layer file. On the right side, you’ll see several new layers. These will become the frames of your GIF.

5. Now it’s time to design a frame animation. To do this, go to Window > Timeline at the bottom of your workspace.

6. Click the arrow on the button in the middle of the panel and select Create Frame Animation. Your first photo will now be inserted into the timeline for you.

7. To convert layers into animation frames, go to the upper-right corner of the Timeline panel and click the menu icon. Now select Make Frames From Layers.

8. If your photos are playing in reverse order, go back to the Timeline menu icon again and select Reverse Frames.

9. Click under each frame and select how long it should appear for before switching to the next frame. A transition of one to five seconds is optimal.

10. You can also set an infinite loop for your GIF, copy, paste, and flip the images. Before copying and pasting, set the playback time so you don’t have to set it again for each copy. To copy the images, click on the first image, hold down the Shift key and click on the last image. Then go to the right menu and click Copy Frames. Then switch to Paste Frames in the same menu.

11. When the Paste Frames window opens, be sure to select Paste After Selection. Now you can reverse the frames.

12. Go back to the menu and click on Reverse Frames (as in point 8). Two identical frames should now appear in the center. Delete one of them so that your GIF doesn’t lag.

13. You can preview your GIF by clicking the play button at the bottom of the timeline window.

14. Now save your file as a GIF. First make sure the infinite loop is set to Forever (in the bottom left corner). Now select File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy) to save it.

This quick guide can also be found as a video here.



Find animated GIFs on the internet


Animated GIFs

Want to insert a GIF into PowerPoint but don’t want to create your own? You can find GIFs on the web using PowerPoint’s online image search.

In PowerPoint, go to Insert > Pictures > Online Pictures…. or Insert Clip Art for older PowerPoint versions. Go to the search box and type animated GIF. Now you can select a GIF from the category you want.

How to insert a GIF in PowerPoint

Now that you know how to create GIFs, let’s show you how to insert them into PowerPoint:

For Windows:

1. Select the slide where you want to insert the GIF.

2. Now go to Insert > Pictures. This will open the Insert Picture From drop-down menu.

3. Select the file you want from one of the locations in the drop-down menu and click Insert.


For macOS:

1. Select the slide where you want to insert the GIF.

2. On the Home tab under Insert, go to Picture > Picture from File.

3. In the window that opens, browse for the file you want and click Insert.


How to play animated GIFs

You’ve inserted your GIF on a slide and it still appears as a just a picture. Don’t worry, with just a few clicks, you can play back your GIF.

For Windows:

1. Go to the Slide Show tab.

2. In the Start Slide Show group, click From Current Slide.

3. The GIF file will now play in a continuous loop.


For macOS:

1. Go to the Slide Show menu.

2. Now select Play from Current Slide.

3. The GIF file will now play in a continuous loop.


How to adjust the animation loop frequency

Your GIF is now inserted into PowerPoint and playing in an endless loop. To set how often it plays, use the online editor at

Animated GIFs

Go to the GIF frame extractor on and upload your GIF file. You can set the repetition by selecting Split to frames > Edit animation > Loop count > Make a GIF! Save the new file and paste it into the presentation again.

Animated GIFs


Some limitations when using GIFs

Keep the following points in mind when using a GIF in PowerPoint:

  • GIFs start automatically when you switch to a slide. This means that it’s not possible to control playback with a mouse click, so keep this in mind during your presentation.
  • GIFs have only 256 colors, which can reduce the image quality for photos.
  • You can’t create transparent areas with a GIF.
  • You can’t crop a GIF.

GIFs liven up a presentation

If you want something entertaining to catch your audience’s eye and attention, choose a GIF.

You don’t always have to turn to elaborate videos. A GIF is a great way to illustrate a process or even your key messages. And thanks to its small file size, you won’t have to deal with long loading times. You can also customize your animated GIF by adjusting its loop frequency however you like. Plus, they’re fun and easy to create!

Use an animated GIF; you won’t regret it.