I have many animated GIF files on my Mac and my question is how to temporary pause the animation after I have pressed the Space key to preview the file. Is it possible somehow?

1 Answer 1


You cannot pause an animated GIF

When you preview any (supported) image, including an animated GIF, the Quick Look plugin is rendering that image as if you opened it in an image viewer or a browser. It's not a video with a time index that you can start/stop.

The best way to get it to stop is to navigate away from the Finder window so that the preview is automatically closed, then navigate back so that it's no longer loaded.

Some animated GIFs are encoded with duration and loop= values meaning the GIF will run only for so long and if set to any value greater than 0, it will only iterate that number of times (i.e. 10x). If it's set to 0, it will loop forever.

  • Allan, thanks a lot. This is probably very unusual, but I use animated GIFs to create multipage documents. May be you know a good app for this instead of opening the file using Preview and editing it using the markup toolbar? Most importantly, I need to add text boxes and adjust line spacing. Unfortunately, Preview don't allow to adjust line spacing. And of course, like Preview, the app should be able to edit each animation frame separately, so that I can create multipage documents.
    – user480875
    Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 0:42
  • I know how to create the using tools like ffmpeg, I’ve just run into an occasion to edit them or view them in anything but a browser. I think you can do what you want in Windows Player so maybe VLC has a similar capability?
    – Allan
    Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 1:17

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