Tired of animated GIF images that take forever to load? Check out these Firefox addons, which make the wait bearable.
Or, if you’ve spotted a video that could be the next viral GIF on the Web, read on for an addon that lets you convert HTML5 videos to GIFs. We’ve got alternatives for Google Chrome, too.
GIF Delayer [No Longer Available]
A GIF that hasn’t finished downloading often starts from the beginning and keeps playing in loop. GIF Delayer helps you avoid these headache-inducing short loops by hiding the image until it has been downloaded completely. Once you install the addon, there will be blank spaces where GIFs be – until they load.
The extension isn’t perfect: a frame or a “loading” symbol would improve things, because you’d know where the GIFs are going to be.
It also may not work well if you have a slow Internet connection (less than 1 Mbps). When I opened multiple GIF images on a slow connection, a couple failed to download outright. I did not face this issue when I opened one GIF at a time, or when I switched to a faster connection. The extension also doesn’t work in private browsing mode.
Still, if unfinished GIFs really bother you, this extension is great. You can also get GIF Delayer for Chrome.
Toggle Animated GIFs [No Longer Available]
If GIF Delayer’s limitations are a deal-breaker for you, Toggle Animated GIFs is a simple, yet effective, alternative. Just press ctrl+M (or shift+M) to pause all GIFs on any webpage. When the page has finished loading, hit the same keys again to play the GIFs.
The above is enabled by default – the addon also allows you to pause all GIFs by default, then toggle play/pause with just a click.
An alternative to this is ESCapeFromThemGIFs [No Longer Available], which lets you pause or resume GIFs by hitting the Esc key. However, the Esc key also stops pages from loading in Firefox, so it might cause problems.
Chrome users can instead check out Stop Animations.
MakeGIF Video Capture [No Longer Available]
Want to create and share a GIF? It’s easier than you might think.
This addon converts HTML5 videos from any website to GIF images. All you have to do is right-click on the background (any blank space will do) and click “Convert To GIF”. A prompt will appear on the top-right of the browser to let you select the quality of the GIF, number of frames, etc. Once that is done, hit start.
I created a 200-frame GIF from a YouTube video in 15 seconds. You can save the GIF to your computer or upload it to MakeGIF.com (4 MB upload limit) if you want to share it.
Non-Firefox fans should check out MakeGIF Video Capture for Chrome. Or, if you don’t mind leaving the browser window to create GIF images, check out this Photoshop CS5 tutorial to make animated GIFs, or use GifCam, the easiest way to create animated GIFs.
Which addons or apps do you use to create or manage GIF images? Leave a comment so others can find out.