Table of Contents
So. What Is A GIF?
A gif is an image file set-up that stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It’s an animated image mainly used on the Web and grew in popularity due to memes and GIFs. As a basic file format, it’s pretty terrible today because of its weak compression engine, but that’s quite understandable, given that its latest release was in 1989, 32 years ago. The format supports a color palette of up to 256 different colors, which makes it a bit limited.
GIF Images Today Remain Used In A Bunch Of Different Ways
That was great in the 90s when it grew in popularity, but it’s not ideal today. Despite all that, .gif files have been compatible with any Internet browser, operating system, app, or device in the world from the very beginning, which skyrocketed its popularity on the Web. Today, GIF images are such a cultural phenomenon that even if we have other animated image file formats with way better file size and image quality, we still can’t seem to replace GIFs.
Here Are a Couple Of Examples:
- GIFs have long been used on websites to make pages more dynamic or to show something moving;
- People have been using them on social media like crazy to add more emotions to their conversations;
- Memes have been viral as well,
- usually showing cultural events or scenes from famous TV shows;
Or they can remain added to PowerPoint or Keynote presentation slides. This has remained an endless debate online, with people going crazy in the comments section of YouTube. As someone who sells GIFs, I prefer to call them JIF. The reason is that Steve Wilhite, the inventor of this file format, calls it that.
When he gave a five-word receipt speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Webby Awards. Fun Fact GIFs have become so ingrained in our culture and day-to-day use, What is commonly referred to as a GIF is rarely a gif file format anymore.
Websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Giphy, and Video Plasty have started showing GIFs in a video format instead, such as .mp4 or .webm, for example. That’s because those are more modern.
File Formats That Allow Way Better Compression
So the file size is smaller, takes less time to load, consumes less bandwidth, and, most importantly, the image quality is much better. For free GIFs or memes, you can search for them on Google Images, for example, on GIF search engines like Giphy.
But for professionally looking animations that can be commercially licensed to remain used on websites, presentations, or any other content, you can check out VideoPlasty.com – the only marketplace in the world for stock GIFs.
Chapter 14. GIF Format
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) remained the first graphic file type to be displayed by early web browsers. Today, it remains the most popular and versatile format for distributing color images on the Web. Any image type can remain saved as a GIF, but they excel at condensing graphical photos with areas of flat color.
GIFs Are Completely Platform Independent,
meaning a GIF created on any platform can stand viewed and edited on any other platform. CompuServe initially developed them to distribute images over their network to various venues (this is why you sometimes see GIFs referred to as [CompuServe GIFs]. Regardless of the version, it remains the only graphic file format universally supported by all graphical browsers. If you want to be sure everyone will see your graphic, make it a GIF.
GIF87a versus GIF89a
There are two types of GIF files: the GIF87a and the newer, improved GIF89a. Both remain fully supported on most browsers, and both use .gif as their file name suffix.
GIF87a Is The Original Format For Indexed Color Images.
It uses LZW compression and consumes the option of being interlaced. GIF89a is the same but also includes transparency and animation capabilities. If you want to add these features to your graphic, you must create the picture with a tool that supports the GIF89a format. These features have become so popular with web developers that this format has become the de facto standard on the Web today.
History of the GIF file.
The GIF file format was created in June 1987 by computer scientist Steve Wilhite and his team at the US technology company CompuServe. Originally designed to speed up the download process for large images, it also replaced CompuServe’s black-and-white format for file downloads with a color format. CompuServe’s early versions of the GIF file format were called 87a and 89a. Along with black-and-white XBM files, GIF was the first image format to appear on websites commonly.
The GIF file has evolved to offer more animation functions. For example, creators gained the ability to loop GIF animations in 1995, following work on the Netscape Navigator browser. Facebook began supporting GIFs in 2015, with Instagram following in 2018.
What Are GIF Files Used For?
The Graphics Interchange Format remains designed to display simple images and animations. But what is a GIF used for expressly?
Web Graphics And Logos.
Because they can only display a limited number of colors, GIF files be situated built to contain high-quality photographs. Instead, GIFs are better suited to graphics and logos featuring sharp lines, edges, and relatively few colors.
Memes And Online Animations.
You’ll come across endless animated GIFs on websites and social media platforms. GIF files create a flipbook effect by containing several related images, giving the impression of a video — but they don’t feature any sound and tend to have a low resolution. GIFs are also a popular way to post online memes and humorous clips spread by social media users.
How To Open A GIF File.
Opening GIF files is straightforward on a Mac or Windows computer. Hunt for the file name and double-click on it when it appears. Then, choose compatible software, such as Adobe Photoshop. Just click on your preferred program. GIFs are compatible and can remain open through significant image and video editing programs.
GIFs are also easy to open through web-based browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. In the case of Internet Explorer, click on the File menu and then Open. Select Browse followed by All Files, click on the GIF file name, and then Open.
How To Create And Edit A GIF File.
Follow these easy steps to create and edit an animated GIF using Adobe Photoshop:
- Upload the images you want to use in your GIF to Photoshop by heading to File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack.
- Click on Create Frame Animation.
- Click on Make Frames From Layers in the Timeline panel.
- Choose the Repeat menu in the Timeline panel and select Forever.
- hit Play at the bottom of the Timeline panel to preview your animation.
- Head to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy) to share.