Ah, GIFs: the transition between photos and videos. Whoever predicted these files would be so popular was absolutely right. In fact, the GIF feature has been added to several instant messaging apps so you don’t have to search for the files online. All in all, GIFs are great.
But what if you want to step up your GIF game? What if finding and sending reaction GIFs isn’t quite enough? How to create or edit a GIF file on your device? Let’s find out.
An important hint
In this guide, we’ll talk about how to edit GIFs on iOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS, and Chrome OS. We’ll also touch on Canva, Photoshop, and online editors, but you should know that some of the above devices have a built-in app or feature that allows you to edit GIFs. If creating/editing GIFs is your goal, you’ll need to use a third-party app to do so.
How to edit a GIF file on an iPhone
Without a dedicated built-in GIF editing feature, you’ll need to visit the App Store if you want to edit GIFs. GIPHY is one of the most popular apps for creating and editing GIFs on the market, and its iOS-specific version is brilliant.
Although it’s all pretty simple, here’s a little tutorial on how to edit a GIF file on your iOS device once you’ve downloaded GIPHY from the App Store.
Open the GIPHY app
Open the GIPHY app by tapping the GIPHY icon on the iOS home screen.
Search for a GIF
Either search for the GIF you want to edit on your phone, or select the Plus button at the bottom of the screen.
Select the GIF you want to edit.
Edit your GIF
The GIF in question will open and the editor will allow you to add text and do a variety of other things.
Save to Gallery
When you’re done editing, tap the check mark in the upper right corner of the screen.
To edit a GIF file on an Android device
Although Google Play offers a wide range of GIF editors, we recommend that you stick with GIPHY here as well. This is simply because GIPHY has no real competition. It is free, user-friendly and effective. So to edit GIF files on your Android tablet or smartphone, open the Google Play Store, search for GIPHY and download it.
Editing files in GIPHY for Android works in a similar way as described above for iOS. However, there are variations.
From your device’s home screen, tap the GIPHY icon.
Navigate to the bottom left corner and tap the movie roll icon.
Select the GIF file from your camera roll.
Tap the arrow pointing to the right.
Select filters, add stickers or text, and use other editing options.
When you are done, tap SAVE GIF To save the edited GIF to your camera roll.
Here’s how to edit a GIF file on a Windows 10 PC
Sure, Photoshop can edit GIF files. But what if, like many others, you don’t have Photoshop? There are alternatives.
First of all, you can use any number of online GIF editors. However, since online editors are device-neutral (they work the same for everyone), we’ll come back to this later.
If there was a GIPHY iteration for Windows, we’d probably tell you to download it. Unfortunately, GIPHY doesn’t have a Windows app, so you’ll have to resort to an alternative if you want to edit GIFs directly in Windows even without an Internet connection.
For this, we present the ScreenToGif app. You can download it from their official website – it’s no more than a "Google" away. After you’ve downloaded and installed it on your PC, let’s see how you can use it to edit these GIFs.
Open the ScreenToGif app.
Go to the top left corner of the screen and select File.
Load the GIF you want to edit
Then click Load and select the GIF you want to edit from your PC.
Make your changes
The app displays the GIF in frames. You can select or delete single frames or multiple frames.
You can also use the Image tab and the Resize function to change the dimensions of the GIF.
On the Image tab, you’ll also find features that let you add watermarks, text, frames, and draw freehand.
To edit a GIF file on a Mac
macOS devices are the only type of device that lets you edit GIF files without using a third-party app. However, the features provided are quite limited. If you need advanced editing options (which is unlikely), you’ll need to find an app for macOS that does the trick.
If you just want to crop the GIF, adjust the colors, add text, and make similar basic edits, you can do so as follows
- Use Spotlight to find the GIF file on your Mac that you want to edit.
- Click on the file and it will open in the preview window.
- At the top of the preview screen you will find the Select button. Click on it.
- Now click and drag the part of the GIF image file you want to work with.
- Navigate to Tools and the Tools menu will open.
- From this menu, you can crop your file, adjust colors, add annotations, change its shape, add text, and use various other features.
- When you’re done, go to File and then click Save.
How to edit a GIF file on a Chromebook
Chromebooks are laptops that are primarily made for browsing. Of course, use Google Chrome for web navigation and most other functions. So you can’t find and install a GIF editing app for the device.
However, there are GIF editing Chrome extensions, such as z Animated GIF Editor and Creator. The app allows users to import GIFs, edit them, and use tools like the eraser, brush, and others. It’s actually one of the more comprehensive GIF editors out there.
How to edit a GIF with an online web editor
You may not be looking for something special. You might need a GIF editor for quick, occasional editing. In this case, you probably don’t want to bother downloading and installing an app. Fortunately, there are countless online GIF editors out there. Ezgif.com is one of the most popular GIF editors that you can access in any browser.
Common are web apps like Ezgif.com a much better alternative than standalone apps. Ezgif.com is particularly easy to use. Go to the website and select what you want to do with your GIF file. Then upload it and edit it to your liking.
How to edit a GIF with Canva
Canva is a highly competent and simple photo editing app that doesn’t offer quite as many features as the industry standard Photoshop, but that’s by no means a bad thing. Creating and editing GIFs is a prime example.
Canva actually offers a GIF feature that allows users to quickly create GIFs. Basically, you create your design, select the Animated GIF option, make your changes, and simply download the GIF file. Canva works on the desktop in a browser, and there are the iOS and Android apps.
How to edit a GIF with Photoshop
Without a doubt, Adobe’s Photoshop remains the king of photo editing. It has been sitting on the throne for years and successfully repels the competitors who try to disrupt it.
Photoshop can help you create and edit GIF files down to the smallest detail. However, it must be mentioned that Photoshop is a complicated tool.
However, if you have experience using basic photo editing tools and are willing to take a crash course on layers, you can create and edit GIFs in Photoshop with relative ease.
A tutorial on editing GIFs in Photoshop can easily fill an ebook. But essentially, you import the GIF and can do anything with it in the application.
As you can see, there are many ways to edit GIF files on all devices. Whether you’re an Apple power user or prefer a PC, Chromebook, or Android device, there are plenty of ways to edit GIF files. If your needs are temporary and not too extensive, you can create everything you need with an online editor. For more complex requirements, use a dedicated app.
What GIF editing method did you choose to use? Do you know better alternatives? Feel free to share this with us in the comments section below. Oh, and don’t be afraid to fire away your questions – our community will be happy to help you out.