GIFs are handy files that make embedding looped video clips online a breeze. They're commonly used to express what text cannot while sparking long and engaging conversations between friends, family, and colleagues. While the internet is growing with places to find GIFs like GIPHY, Tenor GIFs, and GIFBin, finding a place to make your own animated GIFs can be challenging.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to make and edit your GIFs using video files. I recommend using a free online video editor called Kapwing, for several reasons:
• It's free to use nearly all of its products
• It's easy to learn
• It doesn't require you to download any apps
• It works on computers, phones, and tablets
• You can upload videos from any source

To make GIFs from videos using Kapwing, you’ll need to know four steps:

  1. Find Your Video
  2. Upload Your Video to Kapwing
  3. Trim Your Video
  4. Publish & Download as a GIF!

Step 1: Find Your Video

To get started, find the video you want to convert into a GIF. You can use a video from your file browser or a video from an online source such as YouTube. If you're using an original or downloaded video, make sure to give it a memorable name or keep the file browser window open for easy access in the next steps. I'm going to be using this meme-able Cory Booker expression as an example:

Copy a video's link to upload it to the Kapwing Studio

If you want to make a GIF from a video you found online like the above example, copy the URL. You can use videos from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and nearly any major video-sharing platform on the internet! To copy the link, right-click on the URL at the top of the page, or right-click on the video while it’s playing and select “Copy Link.” Now you’re ready to upload your video.

Step 2: Upload Your Video to Kapwing

Uploading your video to Kapwing is just as easy! First, head over to Kapwing in your browser and click “Get Started.” This will take you to the Kapwing Studio, where you can create GIFs and make additional edits with Kapwing's intuitive tools.

To upload a video from your computer, phone, or tablet, click or tap the button that says “Click to upload” and locate the video in your file browser. You can also find the video in your file browser or Photos app, then drag and drop it into the Studio window.

A quick look at the Kapwing Studio

If you want to make a GIF from a video you found online, click on the field that says “Paste an image or video URL.” Right click (or tap one more time if you're editing on your phone or tablet) on the field and select “Paste”. Kapwing will work its magic and upload your video to the Studio.

Step 3: Trim Your Video

GIFs work best when they’re fairly short (usually under 10 seconds long), so you might want to trim your video to be shorter than the original length.

To trim your video in the Studio, drag the ends of the layer in the timeline then move the final clip to the beginning of the timeline.

A screenshot of the Kapwing timeline, showing the process of trimming a video.
Trimming a video in the Kapwing Timeline. 

While you’re in the Kapwing Studio, you can use all of Kapwing’s tools to make any other edits that your video needs:

Add & edit text
• Add pictures, GIFs, videos, overlays, & audio
• Add shapes
• Add text animations
Crop & filter

Step 4: Publish & Download as a GIF!

Screenshots of the Export button in Kapwing, showing the process of exporting a video as a GIF
The process of exporting a video as a GIF in Kapwing. 

Once you've edited your GIF to perfection, click the small arrow next to the green Export Video button in the top right corner of the Studio window. Set your output file to GIF.

Now, click Export Gif in the upper right-hand corner. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your new gif will be ready to download in no time.

Your GIF is just a click away!

When your video is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen. Here, you can also log in to remove the Kapwing watermark for free, if you haven't done so already.

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


Related Articles:
How to Combine GIFs Online
How to Add Text to GIFs
GIF to Video
How to Make Videos Smaller Online