How to Play GIF Files

Graphical Interchange Format, known at “GIF,” is a file that contains a short video image. This video might be a three-second clip that was taken from a longer file, or several different pictures combined to make a looping “video” file. GIFs can be located on websites, in Internet forums or created using a variety of different software programs. There are several free software programs that are fully compatible with GIFs, and that allow you to preview and play these files.

Young women enjoying vacation at the beach
credit: Bluehousestudio/iStock/Getty Images

Open Office Draw

Step

Open the Open Office Draw software. A blank “Draw” document appears.

Step

Click “File” at the top of the Draw program. A menu appears. Select “Open.” A window opens.

Step

Find and click the “GIF” file inside of the window that you want to play using the Draw program. The GIF file becomes highlighted.

Step

Click “Open” in the window. The GIF plays in Open Office Draw.

Internet Explorer

Step

Right-click over the GIF file that you want to play. A menu opens on the screen.

Step

Put the cursor over “Open With” located in the opened menu. A menu that contains a list of software programs installed on the computer appears.

Step

Click “Internet Explorer” in the second menu. The GIF plays in Internet Explorer.

QuickTime

Step

Open QuickTime.

Step

Click “File” at the top of the QuickTime window. A menu appears.

Step

Select “Open File.” A QuickTime “Open a File” window appears on the screen.

Step

Click the GIF file in the window. Then, click “Open.” The GIF file appears inside the QuickTime window.

Step

Click the “Play” button at the bottom of QuickTime. The GIF file plays.