GIFs are extremely useful files – they act like videos, but you can use them almost anywhere you can put a photo. That's why you can find them everywhere on the internet: comments, replies, articles – even profile pictures on some social media sites.

Unfortunately, using GIFs instead of videos usually comes with a trade-off: their image quality and framerate tend to be far lower than video files. That's why every time an unexpectedly high-quality GIF is spotted somewhere on the web, it's almost a major event.

A quote tweet about a GIF's quality recently got almost half a million likes – it's that easy. 

But the well-kept secret is that anyone can create a high-quality GIF from any video file they record or find. All it takes is a little bit of knowhow. Here's how you can create a top-quality GIF file from any video, for free & online:

  1. Upload your video to the Kapwing Studio
  2. Increase output size & quality
  3. Export as a GIF

Step 1: Upload your video to the Kapwing Studio & trim

As long as you can find a high quality video, you can make a HD GIF. It's that simple. Head over to Kapwing.com and click "Start Editing" to enter the Kapwing Studio.

There are a few ways for you to upload your video. If you recorded it yourself or have it stored on your device, click the Upload button and search for the video in your file browser or camera roll. If you want to use a video you found on the internet (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok), copy the link to the video and paste it in the URL field in the Kapwing Studio. Your video will immediately begin uploading to the Studio for you to create your GIF.

Once your video is finished uploading to the Studio, select "Trim" from the right-hand menu. You'll probably want your GIF to be under 5 seconds for the highest quality – plus, longer HD GIFs can take up tons of space and are unlikely to meet upload requirements for most major social media sites.

Step 2: Increase output size & quality

All you have to do in order to make a high quality GIF is... make your file higher quality! Once your video is finished uploading to the Studio and you've trimmed it, click "Custom Size" in the right-hand menu. Here, make your longer dimension 1920 pixels to increase the video output quality dramatically. Here's a simple guide on the dimensions you should use for various common aspect ratios:

1:1– 1920x1920
16:91920x1080
9:16– 1080x1920
4:3– 1920x1440
3:2– 1920x1280

Lastly, make sure your output settings are correct, as well. Click the Settings button in the upper right-hand corner – it looks like a gear. Here, make sure "GIF" is the selected output file and "High" is the selected output quality.

Step 3: Export as a GIF

As long as all your settings are correct and your video's quality and size have been increased, you're ready to hit the red Export button. Give Kapwing some time to process your file – even for larger HD GIFs, it shouldn't take more than a couple minutes.

When your GIF is done processing, you're ready to download it or share it directly to social media. Once it's downloaded to your device, you should check out its file size before uploading it to social media. If it's a longer GIF, it may be too large to share on certain platforms – in that case, you'll want to go back to the Studio and reduce either the output size or the video length in order to reduce the file size of your high quality GIF.

Follow us on social media @KapwingApp in order to stay up-to-date with product announcements, new resources, and content tips. And while you're here, learn more about creating and editing GIFs online:

Learn How to Spin a Pen or Pencil in 5 GIFs
How to Make a GIF on iPhone
How to Save a GIF from Twitter
How to Make Your Google Chrome Background a GIF