1. Technology

How To Make Smaller GIFs

Tips for Reducing GIF File Size


Photoshop Elements Save for Web

Using the Save for Web option in your software will let you preview file size and quality as you adjust GIF file options.

© S. Chastain

The smaller your web images are, the faster your site will load and the happier your visitors will be. In addition, many Web sites have restrictions on the size of ad banners. These tips will help you make your GIFs as small as possible.

Difficulty: Average

Here's How:

  1. Crop away any extra space around the image. Reducing the pixel dimensions of your image is the single most effective way to reduce the file size. If you use Photoshop, the Trim command works well for this. If you use Photoshop Elements, we have a free trim action you can download.
  2. Reduce the number of colors in the image.
  3. For animated GIFs, reduce the number of frames in the image.
  4. Avoid dithering. Dithering may make some images look better, but it will increase the file size. If your software allows it, use a lower level of dithering to save extra bytes.
  5. Some software has a "lossy" option for saving GIFs. This option can significantly reduce the file size, but it also reduces image quality.
  6. Don't use interlacing. Interlacing usually increases the file size.


  1. Avoid useless animation. Excessive animation not only adds to your web page's download time, but many users find it distracting.
  2. GIF images with large blocks of solid color and horizontal patterns compress better than images with color gradations, soft shadows, and vertical patterns.
  3. When reducing colors in GIFs, you'll get the best compression when the number colors is set to the smallest possible of these options: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, or 256.

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