How Can I make Animated GIF Image Files?

June 12, 2009

in e-mail,Internet

by David Hakala

You may have seen images that move on Web sites or in emails.

They’re called “animated GIF” images. You can make them too with a bit of work. Actually, there are a few tools that eliminate much of the work.

An animated GIF image actually consists of several images contained in a single file. Each image depicts is subject in different position. The images are displayed in sequence automatically, creating the illusion of motion. You probably did something similar as a child, drawing pictures of a running figure on successive pages of a notepad and then riffling through the pages rapidly with your thumb. Animated GIF images are the same thing done digitally.

You can make your own GIF images using a variety of drawing tools. Microsoft Paint is built into Windows, for example. You can also use ready-made images from whatever sources you may have. (Just be careful not to violate anyone’s copyright.) The trick is putting them together in one file and “riffling the pages” automatically.
GIF Creator does these tricks for you! It’s a free program for creating a simple animated GIF from a set of static GIF images. The author of GIF Creator says:

“The program is pretty easy to use, just click on the ADD button to include the bitmaps (GIFs) you want to use on the animation then click the CREATE button and you’re done. Features include a time delay trackbar to control the length of time each bitmap (frame) is displayed, you can also set the transparent color for the bitmaps and the number of times (repetitions) the animation is played.”

At the Preloader Web site you can choose from a wide selection of ready-made GIF images, combine them in just about any way you want, specify the time delay, transparency, foreground color, size, etc., and an animated GIF image will be created or you to download. There’s no software to install and you don’t to collect or make images.

Animated GIF images are fun to include on Web pages, in emails, and in multimedia messages sent from your phone. Give them a try!

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at