- GIF is one of the most popular formats in social media as it is attractive for the audience and it is not a large file to be uploaded.
- In order to create an interactive 2D animation GIF, you will have to use special software for creating GIFs.
- Besides Adobe Photoshop that is the leader in the photo editing industry, you will discover other tools that will help you in this matter.
- You will be interested in finding out about more similar articles on our Graphic and Design Hub.
The Graphics Interchange Format a.k.a GIF has been one of the most exciting ways of sharing animated pictures. The support and the portability for the image format lead to the popularity of the GIF.
Cute Cat, Crazy memes and what not, GIF has almost evolved as an impromptu language much like the emoji. Despite supporting the GIF file format from the Windows XP, the recent versions of the operating system don’t support GIF files on the native picture viewer.
In all likelihood, the GIF pictures will be set to open in a browser and that’s not exactly helpful if you want to see a bunch load of animations.
At this juncture, Windows is yet to add support for GIFs but in the meanwhile, one can check out the super cool third-party viewers that will bring GIF support to Windows 10. The list is curated to help you get a hold on the third party GIF viewers.
Here are the best GIF viewers for Windows 10 PCs
1. Adobe Photoshop (suggested)
Adobe Photoshop is the core software for each artist, photographer and graphic designer as it provides a wide range of tools for photo editing. With Adobe you also can create spectacular GIFs that can be used in marketing, advertising, and, why not, for posting your personal experience on social media.
This tool allows you to create GIFs from a sequence of photos in an easy way by using the Create Frame Animation tab, where you can find it in Window > Timeline > Timeline panel. You can compose from individual layers powerful animation frames that can be exported as a GIF.
Moreover, Adobe has a wide range of customized brushes that can add originality to your digital creatives, so you can create 3D text animation GIF or hand-lettering designs. As well, all drawing tools will give the impression of a new dimension of your work, so you will not be bothered by experimenting with all Adobe Photoshop presets.
Adobe is an advanced software for professional users, but it has a lot of learning materials for those who want to experience their creativity.
Adobe Photoshop is part of Creative Cloud, so if you can combine different apps in order to create the best GIF animation ever.
2. FileViewer Plus (recommended)
File Viewer Plus is a universal file viewer for Windows that can open and display over 300 different file types. The Graphical Interchange Format files are supported by this viewer. It allows you to open, view, edit, save and convert GIF files as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, JPEG2000.
I was surprised by the straightforward interface that allows you to open files quick and easy, view metadata and file properties or edit images. There’s much more feature to benefit from with this new version of FileViewer and it’s completely free for 14 days.
This is a good alternative to expensive software that you would need to buy in order to view over 300 file formats. The best thing is that you can try it yourself for free by downloading the fully-functional trial. Once you’re happy to buy it, you won’t have to bother with subscriptions or recurring fees. It’s all yours, and the flexible license allows you to install it on two computers.
3. FastStone Image Viewer
To be honest, I had never used the FastStone Image Viewer until now. The Interface is pretty advanced and it does offer a comprehensive set of features. The left pane comprises of a file directory tree and its here you can open the desired folder.
The good part, however, is that the images are displayed as a thumbnail which is useful for previewing the file without actually opening it. The editing options were not that impressive but one can still zoom in, zoom out and can switch between different images.
If you are on a quest for the most simplistic GIF viewer software than the InViewer is one of the best choices out there. The best part is that it still offers the quintessential features despite being employing a simple UI. Apart from GIF animations and other image formats the viewer also supports popular audio and video formats including AVI, MP4 and MPG.
The Video player comes with the usual set of controls and also offers the rudimentary zoom and video playback control features. Thankfully the application doesn’t hang even while viewing heavy GIF files and neither does it gobble up the computing resources.
- ALSO READ: Create animated GIFs with these great tools
5. Irfan Viewer
The Irfan Viewer has been topping the popularity charts for quite some time. I personally don’t find the Irfan Viewer to be very intuitive but again it gets the job gone when it comes to GIF. Additionally, Irfan Viewer is accomplished enough to handle nearly all the image file formats thrown at it.
The usual set of controls include zoom/in/out and image setting. On the downside the viewer doesn’t offer rotating, resizing, color correction tools. However, it makes it by offering a feature that lets you extract frames from GIFs.
6. GIF Viewer
I found this GIF Viewer whilst browsing around in Windows Store. The GIF Viewer is by far the most comprehensive viewer I have seen and it is available in both free and paid (pro) version.
With the GIF viewer, one can view a series of files as a movie and the Pro version offers functions like play/pause, resizing, single step forward, or even backward.
The only downside though is that the viewer can get pretty sluggish at times but again this is not something that happens that frequently.
We’ll end our list here, these were the GIF viewing tools that will let you enjoy a bunch load of animations on your computer.
If you’ve already used some of them, tell us more about your experience in the comments below.
GIF Software FAQ:
- Is a GIF a video or image?
- Are there GIFs with sound?
GIF format doesn’t support audio, so in order to create an animation that will support sound, you will have to use a video editor.
- How do I make a GIF program for free?
Adobe Photoshop allows you to create the most powerful GIFs, so you have can benefit from a 7-day trial.
Editor’s Note – this article has been originally published in October 2017. We have recently updated it to include even more GIF viewers for Windows PC users.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.