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What is a GIF and How Do You Make One? Find Out Here

The file format nearly as old as the internet itself seems to have made a popular comeback recently. Being the curious mind I am, I scoured the web to find out what these things are, and how to make one myself.

.GIF standis for Graphics Interchange Format. They are the short video loops you see popping up on sites all across the web, and are usually used in a more humorous tone. Although they can also be used to replay something really cool, such as this circus catch Reggie Wayne made during a Colts preseason game a few weeks back.

Reggie Wayne's Tip Catch for a Touchdown vs. the Giants

.GIFs can be made in a couple of different ways. You can use photos and essentially create a digital “flipbook”, but you’ll need a program like Adobe Photoshop or Image Ready to do it, and unless you’re a graphic designer, you probably don’t and have no intention of dropping a couple hundred bucks to get either one of them. In the event you do have either of these programs, the website, offers a step-by-step process that is easy to follow, however you’ll need Photoshop version CS6 or higher for it to work. We have CS2 at the station, and from what I can see, it does not offer the ability to import images from video.

The other method is grabbing video from the web and isolating the portion you want into a few seconds. Thanks to a variety of online sites and programs, this is surprisingly easy. Sites like, allow you to upload photos straight from your hard drive to make the aforementioned flipbook, while sites such as create them using online videos.

I went with to create mine from a disc golf video we shot earlier this year, which you’ll see in due time.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Visit and select “YouTube to gif.” GIF Creation - Step 1

Step 2: Copy and paste the address of the video you want to use from the address bar at the top of your browser into the space provided, and click the Load Video button. GIF Creation - Step 2

Step 3: Using the scroll bar provided (not the video itself, as I learned), scroll to the portion of the video you want to start the GIF. This will cause the video to begin playing from that point. GIF Creation - Step 3

Step 4: Set the length of time you want the GIF to loop before starting over using the pull down menu provided. I set mine for two seconds. You don’t want it to run to long or it loses the effect.

Step 5: Name your GIF (if you want), then hit the “Create gif” button at the bottom. After it processes the file, it will take you to a new page that gives you a link to save it on your computer, or a variety of HTML codes that allow you to embed the file on a website like this one, on a message board, or e-mail the link directly to friends and family to show them how web savvy you are. GIF Creation - Step 4

That’s it, you’re done. Congrats on making your first GIF! Here’s how mine turned out.

Disc Golf GIF

If you Google “gif maker”, you literally get over 125 million results. I went with because it was recommended to me by one of our internet guru’s at our corporate offices thanks to its ease of use.

Whichever one you choose, I’m sure you’ll find creating your own GIFs an entertaining, and possibly addicting, way to pass some time.

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