One of my favorite things about the digital world is an animated GIF. I love how we can express our emotions with a brief animated visual, usually with a pop culture wink. Animated GIFs with captioning have been around for ages, but lately, a different kind of meme has been showing up. This is a GIF on a simple canvas background, with a dash of extra snark or commentary in a caption above. Immediately I wanted to know how to add text to animated GIFs like this!
So I taught myself. And now I am going to show you how YOU can do it.
First, the out of the way stuff:
There are probably many (MANY) different ways to do this. I use Photoshop.
This is the final result we will achieve after going through the following steps.
How To Add Text to Animated GIFs
1. Find a GIF
There are MANY places to find these: web searches, Pinterest, Tumblr, GIPHY…have fun!
2. Download the GIF (as a GIF)
That means the file should be saved as imageName.gif
3. Open Photoshop
Hey! I TOLD YOU there was Photoshop!
4. Change the canvas size of the GIF
Image –> Canvas size –> for a square image consider making the height the same pixel as the width
5. Create a new layer
Move this layer to the first position
6. Fill the layer
Select your paint bucket tool for this (white backgrounds make for nice Web readability)
7. Create a new layer
Make sure this layer is just above the white background
8. Add text to animated GIF
HEY! This is THE BIG STEP!! Select your text tool and type within your new layer. Be sure to pay attention to font size as the default size could be HUGE.
This image was born a GIF and it needs to STAY a GIF. To do this use “save for web and devices” and make sure the preset is on GIF
10. Verify animation
While you are on this screen go ahead and select the play button to make sure your GIF still moves!
11. Create GIPH URL/Link
You could be donesies with your meme, but most social platforms require a hosted GIF. Go to Giphy and upload your new creation and then grab the generated link. That is the link you use to share on Facebook or Twitter.
More of a visual person? No problem. I created a step by step with a few screen captures that should help you out.