How to Reduce a GIF File Size

by Kevin Lee

GIF files come in two varieties: static and animated. Static GIFS do not move. Designers use static GIFS to display images such as logos and line art. Animated GIFs, seen on many websites, consist of individual image frames that create the illusion of motion when browsers display them. Several factors determine a GIF's size, including its color count and the number of image frames if it is an animated GIF. You can make your web pages load faster and save valuable hard drive space by optimizing and resizing your GIF files.

Use Dynamic Drive

Visit Dynamic Drive's "Online Image Optimizer" website.

Enter the URL of an online GIF in the URL text box or click "Browse" to browse for an image on your computer.

Click "Show All Results" and then click "Optimize." The site will generate multiple thumbnail images that show how your GIF would look at different compression settings. You will also see the file size of each thumbnail.

Right-click the image that you want to save and select "Save As." The "Save As" window will open. Click "Save." Windows will save the optimized image to your computer.

Use Online Image Editor

Visit the Online Image Editor website. Click "File" and select "Open."

Enter the URL of an online GIF in the "Fetch from Web" text box. Otherwise, click "Browse" and select a GIF image from your hard drive.

Click "Upload" to upload your GIF. The site will display the image and its file size.

Click "Edit" and select "Reduce Colors." The site will remove colors from the GIF and display a series of thumbnail images. You will also see the file size of each thumbnail.

Click the image that you want to save. The site will display it on a new page.

Click "Edit" and select "GIF only" if you have an animated GIF. A drop-down menu will open. Select "Remove Every Second Frame." The site will remove every other frame from the animation and show a new, smaller file size and the new image with alternate frames removed.

Click "Save" and then click "Save Image Local." A "Save" window will open. Click "Save" to save the optimized GIF to your hard drive.

Use GIF Reducer

Visit the GIF Reducer website.

Enter the URL of an online GIF in the "URL of Online GIF" text box. Otherwise, click "Browse" and select a GIF image from your hard drive.

Click "Reduce It."

Click "See the converted images." The site will remove colors from the GIF and display a series of thumbnail images. You will also see the file size of each thumbnail.

Right-click the image that you want to save and select "Save As." The "Save As" window will open. Click "Save." Windows will save the optimized image to your computer.

Tip

  • check As you review thumbnail choices, note how the image quality goes down as the file size gets smaller. When selecting an image to save, weigh the benefits of achieving a smaller file size against the disadvantages of poorer image quality. You can often remove every other frame from an animated GIF and still maintain an acceptable appearance.The image, however, will move faster because it has fewer frames to display. If you do not want your animated GIF to speed up, do not remove alternate frames.

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.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Old metal vice on a white background image by terex from Fotolia.com