Resize an Animated GIF

By  on  

Animated GIFs are images but you can't really handle them link other types of images, like PNGs or JPEGs or even WebPs.  GIFs are kind of a video file, because they have frames, but there's no real control over how they play or loop.  My favorite image manipulation utility, ImageMagick, doesn't seem to be the best utility for animated GIFs -- another utility called gifsicle is as good as it gets. I showed you how to merge and optimize animated GIFs with gifsicle, and now let's look at resizing animated GIFs.

If you try to use ImageMagick's basic resize functionality, you'll end up getting the first frame output to the correct size.  That's nice but you want to keep the GIF animated, right?  Here are a few easy methods for resizing a GIF with gifsicle:

# Scaling of an image - 50%
gifsicle --scale 0.5 -i animation.gif > animation-smaller.gif

# Scale to a given width with unspecified height
gifsicle --resize-fit-width 300 -i animation.gif > animation-300px.gif

# Scale to a given height with unspecified width
gifsicle --resize-fit-height 100 -i animation.gif > animation-100px.gif

# Clip to size
gifsicle --resize 300x200  -i animation.gif > animation-clipped.gif

You can use scale to easily scale an image by a given factor, but you can also use --resize-fit-height or --resize-fit-width to scale to respective sizes.  You can also clip with --resize.  The output stays animated and you have your animated GIF at the desired size!

Recent Features

  • By
    CSS @supports

    Feature detection via JavaScript is a client side best practice and for all the right reasons, but unfortunately that same functionality hasn't been available within CSS.  What we end up doing is repeating the same properties multiple times with each browser prefix.  Yuck.  Another thing we...

  • By
    fetch API

    One of the worst kept secrets about AJAX on the web is that the underlying API for it, XMLHttpRequest, wasn't really made for what we've been using it for.  We've done well to create elegant APIs around XHR but we know we can do better.  Our effort to...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Page Visibility API

    One event that's always been lacking within the document is a signal for when the user is looking at a given tab, or another tab. When does the user switch off our site to look at something else? When do they come back?

  • By
    Image Reflections with CSS

    Image reflection is a great way to subtly spice up an image.  The first method of creating these reflections was baking them right into the images themselves.  Within the past few years, we've introduced JavaScript strategies and CANVAS alternatives to achieve image reflections without...


  1. This is great! Thank you for the share!!!! I love using animated gifs.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s gonna be useful for me and I will be able to resize this damn gifs.

  3. Neovorg

    This is very useful! Thank you!!! By the way, I’d like to add a way to batch resize your GIF files. (Keep in mind, however, that your files will be overwritten, so be sure to keep a backup of the originals before proceeding:)

    This command will rescale all GIFs in the “input” directory to half the original dimensions:

    gifsicle --batch --scale 0.5 -i input/*.gif

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!