More about GIF Files

Before we get to the instructions on how to crop a GIF, let’s take a look at what this format is, what it’s used for and what its advantages are.

GIF files often have animation in them. It’s a raster format which allows multiple images to be combined in one file. Plus, there’s some information about how long each image should be displayed for. Animated GIFs work similarly to a flipbook – they contain a series of related images. When their sequence is played, they create an effect of a video. Except there’s no sound, and they tend to be of a quite low resolution.

It’s worth mentioning that GIFs don’t have a rich color palette because GIF supports a color palette of 256 colors and 8 bits per pixel. Nowadays, you can actually customize the level of transparency in GIF animations which hasn’t always been possible.

crop gif

So what GIFs are used for?

Since the number of colors that a GIF file can display is rather limited, this format isn’t ideal for all kinds of images. But it is great for logos and graphics that have sharp lines and edges. Naturally, the fewer colors they have, the better.

You’ve definitely come across animated GIFs on various websites and social media platforms, in chats, private messages, comments, tweets and so on. With GIFs, people tend to express their emotions and show their reactions online.

The key features of the GIF format include the following:

  • GIF supports only an indexed palette of 256 colors.
  • A single file can contain an unlimited number of images. Images in a GIF file are stored in separate blocks. And each block has two or three parts.
  • You can create files with animation. Images in a GIF file are displayed in a sequence and for a specific duration.
  • It’s also possible to make an animation cyclic. It means that the first image will be displayed again right after the last one. Kind of like tiktoks or reels in Instagram.
  • GIF supports transparency. One of the colors in the palette can be set as transparent.
  • GIF uses the universal LZW lossless compression algorithm.

Advantages and Disadvantages of GIF files

Despite the availability of alternative formats that offer a broader set of features, GIFs still maintain their popularity. That’s because this format has its advantages. Here they are:

  • Indexed palette provides efficient storing of color;
  • It’s a great choice for graphics, logos, and icons;
  • GIF files tend to have a relatively small file size and decent image quality;
  • It supports lossless compression and animation;
  • You can turn one of the colors into a transparent one. For example, your GIF can have a transparent background.
gif crop

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • The color palette is extremely limited. You won’t be able to work with high-resolution images;
  • There’s no smooth or gradually changing transparency, since only one color can be set as transparent.
  • The file size tends to get bigger if a GIF contains animation or if lossless compression is used;
  • Does not support Exif, so your file won’t have any metadata;
  • Does not support color management in ICC profiles;
  • Inefficient storage of images with multiple layers;
  • Does not support vector graphics.

Why you might need to crop GIF

It might be a good idea to crop GIFs. There is a variety of reasons for it. Maybe you want to focus on a specific part of a GIF and, at the same time, get rid of some unnecessary details. Or maybe there are some size requirements that your GIF needs to meet, so you have to resize it. Usually, people need to crop GIF images to:

  • Reduce image size. Cropping GIF images will result in their overall file size being reduced. You might need to make the file size smaller to share your GIF with a friend on a messenger or upload to a website or social media. Some platforms have size limits – this is why the size of a file can matter. And if you post your GIF on a website, it’ll load faster if it has a smaller file size.
  • Focus on what’s important. Maybe you think that your GIF has too much empty space. And this is why it doesn’t have the impact that you want. By cropping GIF images, you can focus on what’s important. You can crop closer to the reaction that is displayed in your animated GIF, so it will be more clearly visible.
  • Get rid of unnecessary parts. Similarly to the previous point, maybe your GIF has not only too much space but also too many unnecessary and even distracting elements. So, the reaction that is shown in your GIF gets kind of lost. Cropping a GIF file can help you remove any distractions and redundant bits.
  • Change the aspect ratio. Perhaps, you don’t like the aspect ratio that your file has, or maybe you need a specific aspect ratio. You can mend this by cropping GIF images.

Generally speaking, cropping a GIF file allows you to remove everything that you don’t need, focus on the most crucial part, adjust the image to your needs and make sure that it meets the size requirements.

How to Crop a GIF in Watermarkly

Let's move on to how to crop a GIF using Watermarkly's online image cropper. What’s great about our app is that cropping is done right in the browser – it means that you can crop your animated GIFs on any device you want; and you won’t have to download or install anything!

Watermarkly supports integration with cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Google Photos, and Dropbox. You can not only upload files that you want to crop from the storage but also export your cropped copies there, too. This is particularly convenient if your device doesn’t have a lot of free memory space.

If you need to crop GIF images, follow these simple instructions:

1. Go to the Watermarkly app at the top of this page.

how to crop a gif

2. Click the "Select files" button or drag and drop the GIF images you want to crop into the app’s window. You can upload files from your device – PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet – or from one of the available cloud storages.

Watermarkly supports batch-processing. Therefore, you can import multiple GIF files into the app and crop them in one go. This will significantly simplify and speed up the whole process.

3. Adjust the cropping area. Select its shape – a circle crop or a rectangle that can be transformed into a square. Drag the cropping area anywhere within the frame and adjust its size. There is also a list of ready-made templates, which you can make use of.

crop gif online

4. Go to the export settings and specify them. You can preview what your images will look like after cropping.

crop a gif

5. Start the cropping process. When the app is done, save your cropped images to your device or cloud storage.

You can use all Watermarkly’s features for free. But you’ll be able to process only up to 10 images per day.

Benefits of Watermarkly for Cropping GIFs

There are several reason why you should use Watermarkly for cropping GIF files. Let’s take a look at its main advantages:

  • 100% Security, Safety and Confidentiality. Your images and personal information are safe and sound with us. We never store any of your files on our servers. No one will ever get access to them;
  • Browser-Based Processing of Files. Our online app processes your animated images right in your browser. All you need to crop GIFs is a stable internet connection. There’s no need to waste your time and memory space or downloading and installing anything;
  • Simple and Powerful Functionality. Even if you have no experience with image editing apps and have never cropped GIFs before, you won’t have any troubles understanding how everything works and will master the app quickly. It offers a set of all the basic tools and features to crop an image. Plus, its interface is uncomplicated and straightforward. Cropping a GIF has never been easier;
  • Original Files Remain Unaltered. Watermakly creates a copy of a file and applies cropping settings to it. Thus, you’ll download a cropped copy, while your original file will remain unchanged on your device. If there’s something that you don’t like about the cropped copy, you can get back to the original file, import it into the app again and crop it differently. Your original image will remain unaffected no matter how many times you crop it in Watermarkly.

Other Features Available in Watermarkly

What distinguishes Watermarkly among other similar apps is its broad functionality and various capabilities for working with files in different formats.

Watermarkly tools

It allows you not only to crop GIF images, but also edit them in other ways:

  • Image Compression. This tool allows you to reduce the file size of your image while maintaining its good quality. Watermarkly offers three ways of compressing an image. It can preserve image quality as much as possible, or it can reduce its file size as much as possible. It is also possible to compress an image to a specific file size;
  • Watermarking images. The main reason why you might want to add a watermark to your PDF, photo or animated images is to protect them from being copied and used without your consent. But watermarks can play another role – they can be of great help when it comes to free advertising. If you add your brand name or brand logo, people will inevitable learn about you and your brand;
  • Blurring Faces and License Plates. Within just a few clicks, faces of strangers, unwanted license plates or some sensitive information in your images will be blurred;
  • Format Conversion. If you have a GIF file that doesn’t have an animation, and you want to change its format, you can easily do that in Watermarkly. For instance, you can convert your file to JPG.

Watermarkly is a browser-based app, so you’ll be able to process GIFs not only on a computer, but also on a smartphone or a tablet. You can use its amazing and surprisingly simple functionality from pretty much anywhere you want; as long as you are connected to the internet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I crop a GIF online?

Simply open Watermarkly’s Crop Tool, then upload your file, and get to cropping. You can do it right in your browser on any device. The whole process will take only a couple of minutes.

Is it possible to crop multiple GIF files at once?

Yes, Watermarkly supports batch processing – so you can upload multiple animated files, then crop them. You can adjust the cropping area on each image individually or crop all your files in more or less similar way. This is extremely useful if you have a lot of GIF images to work with.

Do I need to pay to crop GIF images?

No, you can use our app utterly free of charge. However, Watermarkly’s free version has a limitation – you can crop only up to 10 files per day.

Can I crop GIFs on a smartphone?

Of course, you can! Since Watermarkly works in a browser, it’s possible to use it on any smartphone or tablet, regardless of the operating system.

What should I do if I have questions about using Watermarkly?

To get assistance, simply contact our support team. Go to our website, select the "Support" tab, and choose "Contact Us." You'll need to provide your name and email address. In the “Message” area, write your questions or describe the issue that you’re experiencing. Our support team will respond within one business day.