Simple guide to make a GIF using GIMP software

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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make gif gimp

GIMP is a great open-source photo editor, with an abundance of features. Speaking of which, did you know you can use GIMP to create GIFs?

That’s right, and in this short guide, we’re going to show you how to make a GIF in GIMP with a few simple steps.


If you don’t already have GIMP installed on your PC, you can simply download and install it by following the on-screen instructions.

How can I make a GIF using GIMP?

1. Use Open as Layers option

  1. Start GIMP.
    start gimp make gif gimp
  2. When GIMP opens, click on File and then choose the Open as Layers option.
    open as layers make gif gimp
  3. Locate the images that you want to use in your GIF, select them all, and then click on Open. You can select multiple images by holding Shift and clicking individual images.
    select images make gif gimp
  4. After the images have been added, click on Filters > Animation > Optimize (for GIF).
    optimize for gif make gif gimp
  5. Now click on Filers > Animation > Playback.
    playback make gif gimp
  6. A new window will now appear. Click the Play button to preview your GIF.
    play animation make gif gimp
  7. If the order of frames isn’t good, you’ll need to rearrange them in the Layers section.
    organize layers make gif gimp
  8. To save your GIF file go to File > Export as.
    export as make gif gimp
  9. Select the save location and set Select File Type to GIF. Now click Export.
    save dialog make gif gimp
  10. Check As animation and Loop forever You can adjust other settings if you want. Now click on Export.
    gif options make gif gimp

This method is incredibly simple because it automates the entire process. However, in order to use this method effectively, you need to create images that will be used in the GIF beforehand.

2. Create GIF from scratch

  1. Open GIMP and go to File > New.
    new file make gif gimp
  2. Set the desired size for the image and click on OK.
    image size make gif gimp
  3. Add the desired graphics to the GIF.
  4. After you’re satisfied with the current frame, create a new layer, and add the desired graphics to it.
    add a new layer make gif gimp
    In some cases, you might have to right-click the current layer and choose the Duplicate layer option to get the desired results.
  5. Repeat these steps until you get the desired results. If needs be, rearrange your layers accordingly.
  6. Double-click the layer name and add (300ms) in its name. This is used to set the delay between the next layer. Of course, you can change the value as you want.
    layers make gif gimp
  7. Repeat the previous step for all available layers.
  8. After you’re done, you can preview your animation by going to the Filters > Animation > Playback.
  9. If everything is in order, you just need to export your animation like in the previous solutions.

This method might be more complicated because you need to create your frames on the fly and set the delay time for each frame.

If you don’t have your frames created, this method will be perfect for you, and you’ll master it with a bit of trial and error.


Creating GIF animations in GIMP is simple, and as long as you have your frames created, you can just import them as layers and you’re good to go.

On the other hand, if you want to create layers from scratch, you’ll have to manually create or duplicate each frame.

In case you find GIMP too complicated to use, you might want to consider using a specialized GIF maker and viewer software.

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