GIF it Up

Share this Teaching Tip
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Graphic Interchange Formats (or GIFs, or .gifs) is a standardized file format, that runs a short video or series of images in a continuous loop. These videos are short and silent and need to be preceded by step-by-step text.

We can use .gifs instead of Word documents with screenshots, which quickly become cumbersome.


video clip showing the steps as described.
Figure 1. “Example GIF in PowerPoint.”

How to Create GIFs

Mac (OSX)

Windows 10

To download ScreenToGif:

  1. Visit their website.
  2. Download the Msi installer.
  3. Review the User Guide to help you get started.


  • Keep .gifs short (5 to 10 seconds).
  • Zoom in to make the capture larger and clearer.
  • Precede .gifs with concise text describing each step.
  • Add alt text to the .gif, just like an image – right click on it to do this.
  • If you use a cursor highlight, make it high contrast to the background. Effective colours are white, black, orange or bright blue.

Jess Wilkinson

Jesslyn is the Educational Technology Officer at Conestoga. An Ontario Certified Teacher, and holding a B.A. and B.Ed., Jesslyn researches and promotes new technologies for faculty to enhance pedagogical practices. She brings to the role her experience as a Google and Microsoft certified technology trainer and as a classroom teacher in South Korea, Mongolia, and Ontario, focusing on special education and assistive learning technologies. She is available for workshops, consultations, and support with using technology in higher education contexts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment