Animated GIF import is back in CS5

We’d previously lost this feature when merging ImageReady into Photoshop. (It worked in IR, but we’d never implemented it in PS.) It’s not something likely to be used all the time, but when you need it, you need it. Sorry that it took a while to bring to Photoshop.

49 thoughts on “Animated GIF import is back in CS5

  1. it was an absolute joke that you took this out, made you look like a bunch of incompetents
    [Listen, genius, I just said that we never “took it out” of Photoshop as it was never there. Next time try not pissing on people the moment they give you what you apparently want (and apologize for not having delivered it sooner). –J.]

  2. Actually this feature is sort of already in Photoshop CS4! (32 bit only)
    * 1. Go to File->Import->Video Frames to Layers
    * 2. In the File Name box type β€œ*” ( or you can type the name manually) The window will now show every type of file
    * 3. Select your gif and you have done

  3. Good tip, Zev. Here’s a related trick: With Photoshop Extended (CS3 and CS4), you can import audio files into the timeline:
    1. Select the File->Open command.
    2. In the file dialog, be sure to show all files. On the Mac, select All Document. On Windows, type * into the file name field.
    3. Choose the audio file you want to open, but don’t click Open yet.
    4. Set the file type to QuickTime Movie. Now click Open.
    The audio file will open as a blank document. Use the Animation (Timeline) panel to play it back. You may have to un-mute the timeline to hear the audio. You can now copy the layer to another document.
    An audio layer like this can even be moved around on the timeline to set a different start time.
    Sorry, that’s probably a little convoluted, but if you try hard enough you can do some fun tricks with audio sequencing in Photoshop.

  4. Anoher missing in action…
    Did the ability to drag layers from the layer palette to another image (terribly missed in CS4) make it back in CS5?
    [Sorry, Mike–no. We actually did implement the change in CS5, but we had to roll it back because of other bugs it introduced. I’m hoping it’s something that could be addressed in an update to CS5, but I can’t make any promises. –J.]

  5. Well, Mr. Nack, as Adobe discontinued ImageReady in CS4, but neglected to slip this much needed functionality into Photoshop, you could rightly call it “taking it out”. No need to get cranky – at least not at your customers, who were forced to leave ImageReady on their Computers for this ability only.
    Bust some developer heads at adobe instead, if you have to blow off steam.

  6. …its a Β£630 piece of software, you really think that sort of sloppyness with adding and removing features is professional behaviour for that price range?

  7. Just Ignore his nastiness. Lots of software engineers can be like that. It is an attitude that usually brings them down in the end. (Strange how Microsoft has not went down yet)
    I HATE nasty and bitchy software engineers… If there is something wrong with what code i have written, I at least admit to it, NOT GET BITCHY, I FIX IT.

  8. Seriously? The OP was a snide remark which was wrong, and the followup is also wrong (adding and removing features being sloppy). It sounds like the guy WANTS to be pissed. And you want to be offended.
    There was nothing wrong with the code – the feature went away when IR went away. Not everything that IR did is implemented in PS, nor should it be. You want more web capability, go get FW.

  9. It has been perfectly possible to import animated GIFs into Photoshop CS4 using a tip widely circulated on the web, but I’m glad it’s going to be back ‘officially’ in CS5.

    1. Not while preserving the frame delays, Chris. That’s not possible by any user-available means in PS CS3 or CS4.
      I’ve heard the argument that this is a “seldom-used” function. The uncomfortable fact is that Photoshop, the industry standard graphics application, was unable to properly edit animated .gif for two of its iterations, for no good reason that I’ve ever heard.

  10. Did you not read his reply to your previous slanderous post?
    It was never there to begin with, and now it is, so stop your griping kid.

  11. He has a point.
    Why was it taken out? Shitty call.
    [It wasn’t taken out. It wasn’t previously part of Photoshop. –J.]
    Some people i.e us STUDENTS can’t afford all this ‘Master Suite’ ballony.
    CS3 was fine for GIFS. You all fucked up when you took it out. Accept it. I wont be buying CS5 thats for sure.
    [Presumably you were always going to steal it. –J.]
    Shame, because the Adobe products have been okay so far (brilliant without the ridiculous license fees)

  12. CS 3 was so much better then CS 5, money aside the controls was user-friendly and it’s obviously doesn’t fuck up a image when you import it, CS 5 is an obvious money sucker that gives you no benefit in return, CS 5 is crap compared to it’s older version.

    1. Would you mind supplying a single substantiating detail so that we can understand your complaints? –J.

      1. you say this gif import can be done. do you know how? I asked the question yesterday, you’ve been here since, and didn’t answer. If you don’t know how, just say so

          1. My apologies. I didn’t mean to come off that way. But I’m not too sure what you mean. Drag it from where? I tried dragging it from the file folder and it loses its animation. If I open it with photoshop, i can’t drag it there
            [It’s cool; sorry to have been touchy. Does simply choosing File->Open not do the trick? I just tried a sample GIF pulled off the Web, and it opened in PS as a multi-layer document. Show the Animation panel (via the Window menu) and you should see a bunch of frames. –J.]

    1. Yes, but evidently not in the form you want. File->Open, then do you work on the resulting PSD, the export via Save for Web. The end.

  13. That’s not importing anything. That’s opening a gif. This thread should be deleted. The End!!

  14. Thanks for posting this.
    I’ve been very unhappy about this situation for a long time. A big part of my unhappiness has been the strong suspicion that this was not some kind of accidental oversight or intractable coding issue, and I’d be very interested to hear the given reason for the delay in implementing this in Photoshop.
    I posted the following before I read your thread, if you’re interested.

  15. and how exactly is this accomplish…You say nothing about how to do this.
    Currently if I choose import – video frames to layers, there is no entry box for typing “*”, and everything is greyed out and cannot be selected.

  16. I’m surprised so many are even bothering with animated gifs anymore. Of course, newbies have to start somewhere, but with sprite animation via css and jquery it’s not to hard to learn.
    I suppose, however, there will always be smiling clowns, dancing dogs and strings of Christmas lights outlining a webpage for some time to come.!
    Haha… sorry guys… but as to the price…who buys Photoshop or Fireworks for gifs anyway? Save the money and look around if that’s what you really need!

  17. So, you expect us to just keep buying programs in the hope they do what we need…
    One would hope that spending around $600 on Photoshop that it would do even the simple jobs…
    That’s why some of us stupidly purchased the program!
    Whilst you may think it is a stupid idea to even want to add a gif animation to a static image… that’s just your opinion.
    Some of enjoy doing it! We like our stupid Lights & Xmas Trees.
    Can someone just give the instructions on how to overlay the animated gif to a static image and save it with the animation as a gif file..

  18. We have finally upgraded PS7 to CS5. We have lots of ImageReady .gif animations. In trying to open them, we get error message saying “cannot parse”.
    Is there any way to save and update these animations so we can still use them. If we have to redo all these animations, can you give a quick way to do them. We just got the software loaded and don’t know where to begin.
    [You’re trying to load the files into Photoshop CS5 and are getting an error? Is there any way you can share some of the files with me so that I can ask the team to investigate? Thanks. –J.]

  19. animated gifs are still a necessary part of mobile development and some kiosks for the time being – JS is limited in BB, Flash unsupported by iPod/Pad/Phone, and transparent pngs are unreadable by older versions of IE. Yes, my client requests this and I must do it. It used to be easy to do a frame-by-frame animation; the change in functionality from CS3 to CS4 is maddening. Since I just upgraded to 4, I will not soon be ponying up for CS5 in the near future. I’ll figure out what I need to, but am flummoxed that the user method seems to keep changing for something essentially quite simple. Especially since it seems that today’s learning curve [while my client waits for a 22 frame gif] will be “replaced” shortly with another one. thanks for the informative comments

  20. Actually on the Mac, CS5 can OPEN a gif animation, but apparently can’t IMPORT one ’cause .gifs are greyed out in the dialog box and the file “enable” pop-up menu appears only on OPEN dialogs, not IMPORT, at least on MacOS 10.6.
    [Photoshop just opens the files, though we refer to the process as “importing” because it doesn’t simply open/save as GIF (rather, to preserve your editing data, the intermediary data is saved as PSD). –J.]
    I’m posting this here ’cause it took a bit of googling to find a solution, and Photoshop help is …..well, Photoshop help.

  21. There seems to be a lack of functionality with .gifs in PS and it is clear that many would agree on this.
    [What is it you’re missing, especially relative to what you used to have? –J.]
    I honestly wish I still had my old copies of IR and PS. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good things in CS5 but there are certain functions that are missing.
    It is poor judgment to keep making minor updates at $600+ a copy. I typically only update my PS software every 2-3 updates or until I see a stable version settle up. This last time was a necessity due to lack of backup copies.
    [It’s nice to get beaten up for only doing “big, fancy demoware” features (as opposed to sweating the details), and then for sweating the details (“minor updates”) instead of doing big, transformative features. Good times. –J.]

  22. Reading this thread is disheartening. Lots of vitriol. Too little respect and courtesy. Complaints aside, Adobe Photoshop is an amazing piece of software hands down.
    I landed here because I’m also searching for how to import a GIF animation I created from layers taken out of a PSD back into that complicated layered PSD. The animation has to fit tightly in a masked area. For me to add the needed layers to the new GIF/PSD is redoing work. Not productive; possibly screw up the mask alignments. I would follow advice of Zev β€” 4:27 PM on April 19, 2010 – but I’m using CS5 (Web Suite) on 10.6 in 64-bit mode. This is for a class assignment for online design college so I have to figure it out one way or the other.

  23. Hi,
    Got 1 question I wish you could help guys.
    I have downloaded the animated gif from the internet and i want it to put it in my working file in photoshop. PLease help me how? I tried this steps * 1. Go to File->Import->Video Frames to Layers
    * 2. In the File Name box type β€œ*” ( or you can type the name manually) The window will now show every type of file..
    But it open in a different window. What I wanted is to include it into my working file together with the animation. Thanks!
    Pls help. πŸ™‚

  24. i have bunch of GIFs save in my laptop but when i tried to open it in my photoshop (CS5) i coulndt.
    file > open > open with > …. i have quicktime player but not quicktime movie , where can i download it?
    i tried this
    file > import > videos frame to layers > …. theres no gifs in there (?)
    on the drop box only has quickktime movie too…
    what do i do?

  25. I have just added an image to word and then moved in to PS5, so easy, especially as it said “cannot parse”. I’m not a computer expert purely tried it and it worked!
    Perhaps I have the wrong end of the stick and this is completely off the subject, I just went to help and got this thread, thought Oh! no I can’t put the image in, then thought wonder if it will go from Word, – it did, no saving, just sliding from word document to layer in PS.
    If I came in on a subject this has nothing to do with,then I apologise

  26. I’m not in a position to be purchasing the latest and greatest Photoshop products, but I am looking to actually buy a licensed product and not pirate it. The problem is in trying to pin down which previous versions of PS offer the “Import Video to Layers” option.
    I’m currently running PSElements 5 and I’ve been able to find enough documentation to suggest that no version in the Elements family does this. (You can import “Frame from Video” but it is a manual process of selecting individual frames.)
    So it looks like I need to move over to Photoshop, but which one? I’ve found a copy of PS7 locally, but would like some assurance that this version will do an import range before I purchase it. Can anyone verify if PS7 covers it?

  27. Any chance png-8 support “save for web” will mimic the same power of fireworks? (without relying on plugins)
    i.e; 8 bit alpha + a limited pallete of 256.
    currently the 8bit (256 colors) only exports alpha as “index” boolean (on/off). Photoshop would be a more powerful tool have the preview control + output integrated rather than batching in fireworks, and then QA the results again.
    -pretty please with sugar

  28. Tip for Mac users – Photoshop CS5
    To open .gif animations:
    1. rename “file.gif” to “”
    2. File->Import->Video Frames to Layers
    3. select “” file and when you finish just save it as “.gif”
    thats all.
    have fun πŸ™‚

  29. You can do all the obfuscaiion you want, but fact is I hate Adobe.
    CS4 was the biggest pile of crap ever foisted onto the software buying public, and I could spend hours about how Premiere and Encore were just plain lies, and utterly unfunctional, hour-consuming and life-destroying pieces of garbage.
    You be the adobe apologist, and attack all the haters. Glad you made a bunch of money off of a lie. Adobe’s newest pricing is ridiculous. Your software is ridiculous, and get a command for flatten someday, will ya?
    I haven’t spent a dime on Adobe since CS4, and I hope never to again if at all possible. Flash is a joke goodbye. Pshop is luckily for Adobe an industry standard. You’re also lucky Red Giant makes plug-ins that make After Effects worth having. You’re lucky Apple has joined you on the suicide wagon by destroying FCP studio. Your software sucks, period. Keep apologizing and whining about people complaining about being totally ripped off by Adobe.

  30. Adolf said it best. You’re my hero! Losing the possibilty to import AniGIF is a complete joke for a software that costs so much and there is simply *no* excuse for it when the *only* solution you can have for animation that does not require a plugin or access to sophisticated APIs like Jquery etc (try banner exchanges for crying out loud!) is *still* the good old AniGUF format!…
    [I’m not sure what you’re talking about here: animated GIFs should open just fine in Photoshop. –J.]
    Even more of a joke is that Adobe still does not support PNG8 with alpha transparency, even though that’s been in the Spec since 1996 (that’s a whopping 17 (yes, SEVENTEEN!) years ago – and even though John asked how important that feature was and got like what, 700 replies that Adobe should include it ASAP – and now look what happened: CS6 didn’t support it and now we get Photoshop Cloud fuckup, which we will *never ever* upgrade to – nor will anyone I know!… Good luck with mimicking the Win8 crash & burn, Adobe, GIMP’s just around the corner – and rumor has it the new version 2.10 (with OpenCL!) is pretty ossum and years ahead of Photoshop technically, which still features ancient code from 1995 (see: indexed color mode f.ex.!)
    P.S: Adobe’s official solution for opening AniGIFs is btw. opening them in Fireworks! Problem is: You cannot save it as a layered animation file from there, and the effing program cannot even copypaste layers into photoshop properly without losing all transparency! So much for program integration, what a joke, it took me 15 minutes to get a 7-frame AniGIF into photoshop, thanks for that, Adobe!

  31. Well, d’oh, John, I had to work on a machine that only had CS4 installed, I thought that was obvious when I posted that in this thread,,, Otherwise I wouldn’t even have noticed, I’m usually using 5.5!…
    No word on the PNG8+Alpha thing? Figures… *sigh*…
    P.S: Save-for-web’s quantizer sucks hard, too, compared to more modern solutions! I compared to PNGquant and Xiquant, and save-for-web just lost BIGTIME!… How old is *that* code then? Photoshop 5.5, from when was it, 2001?
    [Yes, this area needs modernization. You’ll hear some interesting news soon, but there’s more work to be done. –J.]

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