How To: Change the size of an animated GIF

While the animated GIF file that you see on the right is certainly pretty funny, what if we want it as a favicon? Or maybe as a giant, huge picture? Resizing an animated GIF is not as easy as resizing, say, a JPG or PNG image. Typically for a JPG or PNG (or BMP or most other image formats) one can simply throw the image into an image resizer and resize the image easily. For animated GIFs, however, it takes a bit more work. For the purposes of this article, we will teach you how the free, open-source software GIMP can do most of the hard work for us when it comes to resizing animated GIFs.

  1. Download the Windows version of GIMP. You can find it at Sourceforge.
  2. Click Next in the installer: 
  3. Accept the GNU agreement: 
  4. Click Install: 
  5. When it is done installing, click Finish: 
  6. GIMP will launch. 
  7. You’ll notice (or at least every time I install GIMP I notice) that the window extends down past the bottom of the screen. Just maximize the window.
  8. Here’s the juicy part: open the animated GIF. Click File>Open and navigate to the file.
  9. If the Layers window isn’t open, press Ctrl+L to open it.
  10. Click Image>Scale. 
  11. The Scale window will open. 
  12. Enter the amount of pixels you want the GIF to be. Notice that by default, the size is proportional. You want to keep that. 
  13. Click Scale. Congratulations, you’ve just scaled your first image! 
  14. Click File>Save As. 
  15. Name it something original, such as OMGANIMATED.gif. Make sure to enter the .GIF format.
  16. In the resulting window, click on Save as Animation. Then click Export. 
  17. You can change the comment or other such options in this window. 
  18. When you click save, it’ll save the file. Now you’re done:

While this may be the long and wordy method, it’s the most fine-grain method, allowing you to even Photoshop each individual frame. Plus, you never know when you might need GIMP!

This article was originally written by Locutus at his blog  Cogizio on April 18th, 2010.

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  • AMR

    Thank you!

  • Galan Fords

    Thanks for great tip.

  • A&L

    gimp is can change the speed of the gif as well, i make my own gifs with gimp. using burst mode on my camera (takes 8 shots in a row) and open them in gimp- then go to “filters”- “animation”- “playback” to see the burst mode animated

    humming bird

  • Vic Healey

    It is easy from the OS X Lion. Just view the animated gif in PREVIEW. Two window panels open, the left one is a compact view of all the images in gif, the one on the right is the current viewed image. With all the gifs still collapsed on the left tap on the top one to select all. Expand to make sure all images are selected.

    From the toolbar, tools menu, choose RESIZE, enter you selection for size and press OK.

    You gif is now resized.

    Other things you can do is add images, markup one or more images with graphics and shapes.
    All for free, part of OS X Lion from Apple.

  • tekknokat

    I’ve been meaning to download Gimp for a few years now, I have read so many good things.  I was afraid it might be something that would take a lot of reading and tutorials to understand so I put it off. 

    Resizing animated .gifs is something I have wanted to know how to do.  Thank You!  Now I have more incentive to download Gimp even more . . . no more excuses.  Thanks again.

  • Emrys

    Very easy to use! And fun. Thanks, Loco…

  • FreebieHound

    @Locutus: Thank you. THANK YOU!
    I was doing it one frame at a time and then … well you know the rest.

    @Jeanjean: I’ll try that one too. Thanks!

  • Jeanjean

    Hi Locutus,
    Thanks for the tuto.
    I do already this “work” with an old version of Animation shop (formerly attached to Photoshop for free)  downloaded here
    The manipulations are also pretty simple.

  • @David Roper: @AF70: You’re welcome. :D

  • David Roper

    Thanks, Locutus.    Never thought of resizing one before now.
    I just did it using Irfanview to separate the frames into 0001, 0002, etc.   (  (options/extract all frames)
    Then used Irfanview to resize those Pictures smaller or larger.
    Then used a website  to put them back together,
    There’s another website that let’s you use a webcam but I passed on that one.  I wanted to use the JPGS I converted — from the GIF.
    Oh, one more thing. Irfanview will let you change the GIFs to JPGs  just as easy as using ‘Save as file’ type and selecting what you desire it to be.
    I use that feature often to open a website’s “borrowed” JPG and save it as an ICO for familiar desktop shortcut Icons to use.
    I’m not against GIMP.  I just had Irfanview on my laptop already.
    I enjoyed your article.

  • AF70

    Thanks, Locutus, for the tip. Been working with GIMP (great program) for about 2 years but never tried resizing an animated GIF. With your easy to follow instructions  –  worked like a charm. Learning something new each day helps keep me young.
    Thanks again.