Ultimate Guide to Using GIFs in PowerPoint

Do you want to learn how to insert an animated GIF into PowerPoint? Perhaps you are looking for the best websites to download animated GIFs from? Or even, how you can create your own animated GIF for use in your PowerPoint template? You’re in the right place. This guide will show you everything you need to know about using animated GIFs in PowerPoint.

What is an animated GIF?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, a compressed image file format developed by CompuServe scientists back in 1987. Despite being around for over 30 years, people still argue how to pronounce GIF. Should it be a hard ‘g’ like in graphics? Or pronounced JIF, like the peanut butter. The debate continues. Essentially a GIF consists of a series of layered images that are stitched together to form a short soundless video clip that loops. They make great funny cat and reaction videos.

PowerPoint Animated GIF

Should You Use Animated GIFs in Your Presentations?

This really depends on what message you are trying to deliver. If adding a GIF helps to get your message across then possibly. For example, if you are trying to inject some humor into your presentation. I have attended several conferences where presenters have strategically inserted animated GIFs after presenting a slightly dull topic to shock the audience into paying attention.

In other situations, typically business presentations where the topics are more formal and businesslike for example a weekly sales presentation or shareholder meeting, adding an animated GIF might not be acceptable.

How to Insert an Animated GIF into PowerPoint (Windows)

Embedding a GIF into your PowerPoint presentation is an easy process. If you are using Windows you can insert a gif into your presentation by following these instructions.

  1. First, you will need to navigate to the slide that you want to embed the GIF.
  2. Go to Insert and click on Pictures > This Device.
  3. Using the Insert Picture dialog box, browse to where the GIF file is located on your computer, select the file, and click Insert.

Here’s an animated GIF to illustrate how to add an animated GIF into PowerPoint:

Animated gif - how to embed into PowerPoint

Alternatively, you can easily just copy and paste (CTRL + V) the animated GIF from your computer or website, into PowerPoint.

How to Insert a GIF in PowerPoint (Mac)

If you are using PowerPoint from the Microsoft Suite on Mac you will need to do the following:

  1. Navigate to the slide that you wish to insert the GIF file.
  2. Click on Insert > Pictures > Pictures from File.
  3. Browse to where the file is on your computer and select Insert.

How to Loop an Animated GIF in PowerPoint

Most animated GIFs are designed to loop endlessly. But what if you wanted to loop a GIF a fixed number of times before stopping the animation? Unfortunately, there is no built-in way in PowerPoint to change the number of times a GIF loops, however, you can use websites such as Ezgif.com to do this. Simply upload the GIF, change the loop count, and download again.

Change GIF Loop Count

Where to Find the Best GIFs for Your Presentation

Now that you have learned how to embed a GIF in PowerPoint and how to prevent the GIF from looping endlessly, the next step is to understand where you can go to download GIFs for your presentation. Thankfully, there are numerous websites that you can use, here are some of the more popular ones:

  1. Giphy.com


Founded in 2013 by Jack Cooke, Alex Chung, and Henry Lockwood and recently acquired by Facebook for $400 million, Giphy has grown to become arguably one of the largest GIF libraries around. Search by keyword and category or create and upload your own GIFs, all for free.

2. Imgur.com


Developed by Alan Schaaf in 2009. Imgur is an online image sharing community with a sizable reach of over 250 million people each month. As with most image sharing websites, you can search by keywords and filter by the most viral, newest, or user submitted images.

3. Tenor.com

Tenor.com Screenshot

Tenor.com is a GIF search engine and GIF keyboard founded by David McIntosh, Erick Hachenburg and Frank Nawabi in 2014 and brought by Google in 2018. It is one of the most popular platforms around boasting 12 billion GIF searches every month.

How to Create Animated GIFs Using PowerPoint

There might be times where you need to convert your PowerPoint presentation into an animated GIF. For example, if you want to include the presentation in an email newsletter, share on social media, or use across other digital channels. There are a couple of ways you can do this, depending on what version of PowerPoint you have.

Tip: In each approach, the final animated GIF will use the original dimensions of the presentation. If you are intending to share the GIF on social media or use it in an email newsletter, you might wish to change the dimensions. To do this click on the Design Tab > Slide Size > Custom Slide Size.

PowerPoint for Microsoft 365

In Office 365, Microsoft has made it easy to create GIF files from slides:

  1. Open the presentation or slides that you want to convert into an animated GIF
  2. Click on File and then Export
  3. Select Create an Animated GIF
  4. Select the file quality and the number of seconds to spend on each slide
  5. Click Create a GIF

Microsoft 365 for Mac

For the Mac users out there the steps are a little different:

  1. Open the slides or presentation that you want to turn into an animated GIF
  2. Click File and then Export
  3. In the dialogue box that appears set the File Format to GIF
  4. Select Export
  5. You can then set the quality and duration spent on each slide
  6. Click Create GIF

Note: In both methods, the animated gif will continuously loop. As discussed earlier, PowerPoint does not currently support looping x number of times so this will need to be done using other software.

Convert a Slideshow into a GIF Using Earlier Versions of PowerPoint

Earlier versions of PowerPoint do not have the Create an Animated GIF function. Instead, you will need to save the presentation as a video and convert the video into a GIF using an online conversion tool such as Ezgif.com, or, export each slide as a separate GIF and combine these together into an animated GIF again using a website such as Ezgif.com.

Export PowerPoint as a video and convert into a GIF

One way to convert a PowerPoint presentation into a GIF if you have PowerPoint 2016 or earlier is by converting it into a MP4 video first, uploading the video to EZgif.com, and converting the video into an animated GIF.

First, export your presentation as an MP4 video. These steps apply to PowerPoint 2016 but similar steps apply to older versions:

  1. Open the presentation that you want to convert into a video
  2. Click File and then select Export
  3. Choose Create a Video
  4. Select video quality and timings
  5. Click Create Video

Once you have exported your slides as a video you can then convert the video into an animated GIF using EZgif.com:

  1. Navigate to the Video to GIF page on EZgif.com
  2. Click Choose File and select the MP4 file you saved earlier
  3. Select Upload video

Export PowerPoint slides as separate images and combine into a GIF

Another way to create your own animated GIF is to export your slides as individual images and combine these into an animated GIF using EZgif. The main disadvantage of this approach is that you lose any animations or special effects that have been added to your presentation.

  1. Open the presentation that you want to convert into a video
  2. Click File > Save As
  3. Select Browse and select the location that you want to save the images, then set the image file type, for this, you will need to select the .gif format
  4. Click Save you will be prompted to save all slides or just the slide you were on. You will need to select All Slides

Once you have exported all of your slides as individual images you can head over to the Animated GIF Maker at EZGif.com

  1. Click on Choose Files a prompt opens and you will need to select all of the images that you want to include in the GIF. Click on the first file and then press CTRL whilst selecting the other files
  2. Select Open
  3. Click Upload and make a GIF
  4. You will then be given the option to reorder or delete frames, select the delay on each frame, and the number of times the animation loops
  5. When ready, click Make a GIF
  6. The animated GIF will then be displayed and you are able to save (you can also right-click and select save as) or add some text or other effects

Pro tip: if you are wondering how to create your own animated GIF for your presentation you can also use these steps, just upload the images you want to include in the animated GIF, rather than using PowerPoint slides.

Wrapping it up

Hopefully, this post has shown you the different ways you can work with animated GIFs in PowerPoint and also how you can create your own GIFs. Whilst including GIFs can be useful when presenting informal content (think pub quiz or wedding), you do need to be careful when presenting more formal content. Presenting your project timeline or sales dashboard, for instance.

Further Reading