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Using Animated GIFs in PowerPoint

Posted on: Jun, 2016 By: Art Holden
One of the great things about PowerPoint is that you can use different types of media, including animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format). The hardest part can be understanding how.

The goal of this tutorial is to show the basics of importing animated GIFs into PowerPoint, and things to keep in mind. Follow Billy along in the video or skip below for a written tutorial.

Understand Your Animated GIFs

If you are not familiar with GIFs, they can be a little frustrating when working with. GIFs are used for their low file size and ability to show short animations. They also can have clear or solid backgrounds.

GIFs are used because of their low file size and ability to show short animations.

You will notice when using GIF animations that you can have a solid background or a clear background. When selecting which type of background, keep in mind the background of your presentation.

Because of the compression and the low color palette GIFs use, you might notice jagged lines when using clear backgrounds.

To avoid the jagged lines, keep to a solid background without any gradients or patterns.

Importing GIFs into PowerPoint

Insert Image Method

When inserting an Animated GIF into powerpoint, make sure you're using the image button, not the video button. They are moving, but they are still considered images.

There are two different areas you can find this button, the first is in the Ribbon menu under INSERT.

Insert Image with Insert Image

The second will depend on what slide template is displayed. If you create a new slide, there should be a box that shows with different media options to insert.

Insert Image with Box Insert Image

After using either of these methods, simply navigate to the folder with your animated GIF and click Insert.

Drag & Drop Method

Like the Insert Method, there are two different ways to drag and drop. It's actually not a matter of dragging and dropping just what program(s) you are dragging and dropping from.

The first program for dragging and dropping is from the Windows File Explorer. Navigate to the folder containing the animated GIF, select it with your cursor and drag it into your PowerPoint presentation. It's that simple.

Insert Image with Drag & Drop from File Explorer

The same method is applied but only from Chrome and Firefox. Chrome is the easier of the two.

When the download has started it should create a bar at the bottom of the browser window. Simply click and drag the GIF over into PowerPoint.


In FireFox, start and save the download. Once downloaded, click the download arrow that will show a pop-up window. Select the GIF and drag it over into PowerPoint.


As of the time of this writing/video Internet Explorer and Edge do not support the drag and drop method.

Copy & Paste Method

The last method is your basic Copy & Paste. It's pretty straight forward, you just need to make sure that you understand the paste options when pasting into a different template.

There are multiple ways you can copy a GIF:

  1. Right Click on the GIF and select copy
  2. CTRL + V [Windows] / CMD + V [MAC]
  3. Select item. Navigate up to the home ribbon and select copy on the far left-hand side.
When pasting you need to decide if you just want to paste the GIF or if you want to apply the theme that you are using in the template, if there is one.


  1. Applies the current theme to the GIF
  2. Pastes the GIF just how you copied it with nothing added
I should mention that this method should only be used within PowerPoint. If you copy and paste from outside PowerPoint you will get unwanted results.

Wrapping Up

That's the basics of working with animated GIFs in PowerPoint. There are a lot of other things you can do with them once placed in PowerPoint: change color, add effects, etc.

If you think we missed something or have something to add, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Have you had a chance to use GIFs in your Presentation? What has been your experience?

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By: Art Holden
Art Holden has been involved in presentation and animation graphic content since 1990. He had the pleasure of creating one of the very first animation websites on the internet, Animation Factory. For 13 years he managed and created media for Animation Factory. He is now a part-owner and an employee working full time at PresenterMedia. His hobbies outside of work revolve around being involved in the bicycling community in Sioux Falls, SD. He never misses an opportunity to get on his bike and enjoy a ride.

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