Animated GIFs in 6 Steps

(Last Updated On: March 31, 2020)

What are animated GIFs?

animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are small, simple, short animations that keep repeating like the example on the left. A YouTube video can show over 16 million different colours. An animated GIF can have a maximum of 256 different colours.

Videos including animated GIFs are becoming so popular that they are a marketing necessity.

The Brain Rules website says, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.Read more.

The Animoto website says, “76.5% of professional marketers and SMB owners that have used video marketing say it has had a direct impact on their business.

Materials required

In order to make animated GIFs, this is what you will need.

  • Mac computer
  • Keynote presentation software
  • ScreenFlow video-creation software

6 steps to creating animated GIFs

1. Drag & drop images onto Keynote slide(s)

(You can find free images at After you get there, click on the “Free Photos” tab in the horizontal menu.) If you have not used Keynote much, go to the Presentation Software blog post.

2. Add a MINIMUM amount of text

The animated GIF will be quite small.  So, the text should be as large as is reasonable so that people will indeed read it. People remember pictures much better than they remember text.  So, get most of your message across with the images.

3. Use Keynote to animate your text and imagesanimated GIFs

Experiment with the various Build In and Action effects. Go to the website, get some free images and practice making a presentation as complex as the one you see below.

animated GIFs




4. Record your presentation with ScreenFlow

You will be using ScreenFlow to record, edit & upload your presentation as an animated GIF. Remember to save your ScreenFlow video with a descriptive name as soon as you see it on the screen. Then you can start editing it.

5. Edit video with a maximum size of 500 x 500 pixels

  1. animated GIFsClick you sizing icon
  2. Change each of the Canvas dimensions to 500 pixels
  3. Making sure your video snippet has been selected, click
    animated GIFsthe green check mark icon.
  4. Move the slider to size the animated GIFsvideo to fit in the canvas. Experiment lots until it becomes second nature.
  5. Make sure one of dimensions remains at 500 px.
  6. 6. Click File > Export > Animated GIF > Export

animated GIFsAfter clicking File > Export, look at the new panel that shows up. Using the dropdown arrow, select Animated GIF.  Click the Export button.

Now you will be able to drag your animated GIF from your Desktop folder into an email. Alternately, you can use the Add Media button to add the animated GIF to a web page.

YouTube video

To get a better understanding of the points above, watch this video.


If you are having trouble making animated GIFs with ScreenFlow 6.0+, it may have nothing to do with your ScreenFlow program. Four other alternatives:

    1. Too many colours.  Animated GIFs are designed to have a maximum of 256 colours.
    2. Corruption in your Mac computer.
    3. File too large.  The animated GIFs should be a maximum of 500 x 500 pixels and a maximum of 2 Mb.
    4. After you have finished the above steps, close your computer down and start up again. Then you should be able to make animated GIFs to your heart’s content.

Solving my animated GIF problem

I suddenly was unable to successfully make even simple animated GIFs. So, I

    • Deleted lots of pictures
    • Emptied my trash
    • animated GIFs“Disk”, Enter into spotlight (magnifying glass in upper right-hand corner of screen)
    • Waited several seconds and then click the First Aid icon
    • Closed all programs and click Apple icon > Restart

7 Day YouTube as a SlideShare


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