I want to put a .mov file I have as the background for a website. I am guessing the best way to do this would be to convert it to a .gif file but I can't find any programs that do it.

I have tried Handbrake, Graphic Converter and Gif Builder.

  • A .mov file is a movie, do you want to have a movie as the background or just a specific frame/picture from the movie?
    – nohillside
    Sep 8, 2011 at 20:09
  • I want the movie, like an animated background. It's not a particularly active clip, it's just a face going in and out of focus with a lot of white space around it which I'm planning to put the site's content in.
    – suryanaga
    Sep 9, 2011 at 12:31
  • gist.github.com/dergachev/4627207
    – psoft
    Mar 23, 2015 at 18:00

9 Answers 9


Gif Ninja is a great site for converting videos to gifs. I've used it several times and the gif always comes out great.

  • Hm, just tried Gif Ninja and the gif outputted is very low resolution, probably less than 120px... Is there anyway to do this at a much better quality? Thanks very much
    – suryanaga
    Sep 9, 2011 at 13:00
  • @sanja And you're sure that the video you have is good resolution (just making sure)? I will continue to look around.
    – daviesgeek
    Sep 9, 2011 at 16:04
  • Yeap. I'm not sure how to check exact resolution but I'd say it's HD. It certainly looks like it is when it's fullscreen.
    – suryanaga
    Sep 10, 2011 at 11:50
  • 1
    Generally speaking, an animated GIF file is much larger than a MOV file with the same quality.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 5, 2011 at 12:51
  • 1
    gifninja.com seems dead :(
    – adambox
    Jan 23, 2015 at 13:38

For Terminal lover

ffmpeg -i in.mov -s 600x400 -pix_fmt rgb24 -r 10 -f gif - | gifsicle --optimize=3 --delay=3 > out.gif
  • -r 10 tells ffmpeg to reduce the frame rate from 25 fps to 10
  • -s 600x400 tells ffmpeg the max-width and max-height
  • --delay=3 tells gifsicle to delay 30ms between each gif
  • --optimize=3 requests that gifsicle use the slowest/most file-size optimization

You need to install

  • ffmpeg to process the video file
  • gifsicle to create and optimize the an animated gif

brew install ffmpeg 

#if cask is not installed
brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask

#dependency for gifsicle, only required for mountain-lion and above
brew cask install xquartz

brew install gifsicle

Above instructions taken from gist: dergachev/GIF-Screencast-OSX.md

The following error occurred while installing the ffmpeg

Error: The brew link step did not complete successfully The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local Could not symlink include/libyasm /usr/local/include is not writable.

For this follow this answer

sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local/include
sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local


The code above don't keep transparent layers. In order to do that, use:

ffmpeg -i in.mov -f gif -lavfi split[v],palettegen,[v]paletteuse out.gif
  • If you get the brew link error, you should also brew link --overwrite ffmpeg after chowning to fix permissions on /usr/local.
    – ericsoco
    Nov 24, 2015 at 17:59
  • 2
    This is a very handy answer, but I found that gifsicle created pretty horribly compressed frames; the output of movie (game screencap) looked like crap. There are other options here, including using ImageMagick instead of gifsicle: gist.github.com/dergachev/4627207
    – ericsoco
    Nov 24, 2015 at 18:07
  • Yes I too run this but the output was not upto the marks, resolution was not good. Nov 25, 2015 at 5:33

I've used www.online-convert.com to convert Keynote-exported .mov files in to animated gifs. Quick and simple. And the results were good.

You can see the resulting GIF in the answer I gave to this question: How to partially uncover bullet points in Keynote

  • Works like a charm, free and they don't collect your email address May 19, 2016 at 18:13

Gifski screenshot

Gifski makes it very easy to convert a video to an animated GIF. You just drag and drop a video, optionally trim it, choose dimensions, frame rate, and quality, click "Convert", and then done.

Gifski is free, no watermark, and open source.

The benefit of an app over a web service is that the video stays on your computer.

Disclaimer: I'm one of the authors.


I've used "jiffy cat" with great results. http://gfycat.com/

  • gfycat doesn't actually convert the file to GIF anymore -- at least I couldn't find a way to do that Feb 27, 2016 at 12:05

Offline solution:

http://www.gifrocket.com is an app for just that! Pretty simple app.

  • couldn't manage to get it working :( (no output file generated )
    – yonel
    Mar 3, 2016 at 19:54

Gifify is a node-based converter which uses ffmpeg and imagemagick under the hood.

Installing on Mac:

brew rm --force --ignore-dependencies ffmpeg
brew rm --force --ignore-dependencies imagemagick
brew install ffmpeg --with-libass --with-fontconfig
brew install imagemagick --with-fontconfig
brew install giflossy

npm install -g gifify

Now you can convert a video file with:

gifify clip.mp4 -o clip.gif

You can also set a start and end position in the video and add a text caption:

gifify clip.mp4 -o clip.gif --from 01:48:23.200 --to 01:48:25.300 --text 'nip!'

❗️ It can take several minutes for the conversion to complete even with smaller videos.


I don't know much about there conversions but I just converted a short .mov file to an animated gif and if was simple and quick. I used the free app Adapter to do the conversion.


I was impressed by https://convertio.co/

I uploaded a .mov, waited a few minutes, and downloaded a .gif. No fee, no fuss, no watermarks.

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