How to Add Animated GIFs in Google Slides for Livelier Presentations

How to Add Animated GIFs in Google Slides for Livelier Presentations

This article will show you how to insert animated GIFs into Google Slides for more dynamic presentations.

GIFs haven’t lost their usefulness yet. These little animations can be a huge time saver to get your point across in a single slide. Also, with a proper animated GIF, you don’t need to create multiple graphics on multiple slides. And finding a specific animated GIF is more accessible thanks to the explosion of memes and sites like Giphy, Reddit and Tumblr.

Drag and drop to add an animated GIF to a Google slide

The easiest way to place animated GIFs on a Google Slide is to drag and drop them from the desktop. Open Google Slide and the slide where you want to place the GIF. Next, select the downloaded GIF from your desktop and drop it on the slide.

Copying and pasting a GIF onto a slide turns it into a static image. Also, Google Slides does not support Google’s own WebP file format, in which a few GIFs are saved to your desktop from sites like Tumblr.

The Insert menu offers several options for uploading animated GIFs to your Google Slide. If you’ve ever used animated GIFs in Google Docs, you’ll be familiar with them. Open a slide and choose from the three main methods below.

Download from computer

This is the most obvious option when creating GIFs on your PC or converting a clip from YouTube to an animated GIF.

  1. Select Insert > Picture > Download from computer.
  2. Navigate to the saved location and select Open in the explorer window to insert the GIF.
  3. Drag the GIF to the desired location on the slide or use the corner anchors to resize the animation.

Search the web

You can find a rich collection of animated GIFs using the right keywords. For example, use Google’s advanced image search to find images with the right size, aspect ratio, or type (animated), among other parameters.

  1. Select Insert > Picture > Search the web.
  2. Enter a keyword like [search term] animated GIF on the side panel of Google Search.
  3. Choose the appropriate GIF from the results, then select Insert.
Use Google Search in Google Slides to Insert Animated GIF

You can select the small magnifying glass icon on the image to preview the file in the Google sidebar. Then select Insert in the preview window.


If the URL doesn’t embed the GIF on the slide, use the shareable URL or try removing the extra parameters from the hyperlink that follow the .gif file format extension.

  1. Go to some of the recommended GIF sites or use a search engine to find the right GIF.
  2. Right-click on the GIF and select Copy image address in the browser context menu. You can also use the animated GIF share link.
    Copy image address from browser context menu
  3. Select Insert > Picture > By URL and paste the link in the field to display the animation on the slide.
    Paste the link into the field to display the animation on the slide.

You can also grab an animation from any other website. Conduct reachable from Picturesor retrieve them in another Drive document.

Tips for Creatively Adding GIFs to Google Slides

Using an animated GIF in a title slide

Showing animated GIFs in a Google Slide is the easy part. But then you have to get creative with placing and designing the slide so that the animation doesn’t get out of place. Here are some suggestions for presenting an animated GIF.

  • Improve boring slides: Use them on static title and conclusion slides.
  • Check the animation speed: Animated GIF graphics can attract attention when the animation allows enough time for the audience to absorb the data.
  • Explain a process: Animated GIFs can be a presentation within a presentation. Use them to explain a complex process in a single slide.
  • Add context: Drop the correct GIF on a slide where you need to add context to the text.
  • Enhance with format options: Change the appearance of the GIF using the following options Format options in the Google Slides toolbar.
  • Optimize for size: Check the GIF file size as it is often larger than videos. So, converting them to video might be a better optimization option.
  • Pause for humor: Add animated GIFs to add humor or change the pace of a data-rich presentation.

Remember to always make sure you have permission to use animated GIFs. Also check the type of Creative Commons license the graphic comes with.

Don’t overuse GIF animations

Subtlety is key when using GIF animations, and it shouldn’t trump the message. Animated GIFs are visual aids, which may work for some presentations and get in the way of others. For example, you can show great creative flexibility in a school presentation, but not in a business presentation. So try animated GIFs in Google Slides for more interactive presentations.