How to Insert Gifs Into Thunderbird Email

by Kevin Lee
Dynamic Graphics/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images

While you can copy and paste plain text into an email message, you can't do the same thing with complex objects such as animated GIFs. GIFs can add novelty and freshness to email messages because their motion captures people's attention. Mozilla's Thunderbird email program gives you the ability to insert inline GIF images using a couple of methods: you can upload them from your computer or tell Thunderbird to use a GIF that resides on the Web.

Step 1

Click Thunderbird's "Write" button to open a new Write window. Compose a new message as you normally do and click a location in the message where you want an animated GIF to appear.

Step 2

Click "Insert," select "Image" and paste the URL of an animated GIF into the "Image Location" text box. Alternatively, instead of typing a URL into the Image Location text box, you can click "Choose File" and double-click an animated GIF file that appears in the Select Image File window. That window shows your computer's files.

Step 3

Type one or more words that describe the image in the "Alternate Text" text box and click "OK."

Click "Send" after you finish composing the rest of your message. Your recipients will see the animated GIF when they view your message.


  • One of the benefits of including an image URL is the fact that you don't have to download GIFs to make them appear in your email messages. The downside to using this embedding method comes if the site that hosts the GIF makes it unavailable or shuts down.
  • Find thousands of free animated GIFs by using your search engine to search for free animated GIFs. Many of these sites ask you to download their images instead of linking to them directly, as you could if you included an image URL in your Thunderbird message.
  • Use animated GIF images sparingly if you plan to send large ones. These files can become quite large because GIFs contain multiple frames with each frame displaying a single image. Large animated GIFs can reach several MB or more. If your recipients have slower Internet connections, they must wait until your GIFs download before they can seem them.


Photo Credits

  • Dynamic Graphics/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images

About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.

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