How to create a simple promotional GIF using Keynote

You probably have already noticed that on websites like Product Hunt, GIF images get much more attention than static logos. Recently, when I submitted Indie Sumo to Product Hunt, I also decided to create a simple GIF animation for my submission.

Creating a well-designed, complex animation was out of the question, as I had neither the time nor the experience to do so. I did a quick search to find a method to create a simple animated GIF, but I wasn’t able to come up with something simple, free and easy to use.

In the end, I decided to create a simple presentation in Keynote, and then find a way to convert this to a GIF. Here is the end result:

Indie Sumo Promotional GIF

I’ll show you how you can do the same in a few simple steps.

Create a simple presentation

  1. Create an empty presentation in Keynote. If you are using Microsoft Office, I’m sure you can do the same in PowerPoint too (or any other presentation software).
  2. Keep in mind that this presentation, when shared around the web as a GIF will be very small in size. So, only use large titles in your pages that are no longer than two words.
  3. Don’t use complicated transitions, most of the time they look bad.
  4. By default, Keynote expects you to click to a slide to transition into the new one. Select your slide (or better all of them), and go to the “Animate” tab on the right pane. Select “Automatically” for “Start Transition,” and choose a delay that is around 0.5 second.
  5. Optionally, you might want to double the transition time on the slide that shows your logo. This way it will show longer than other pages of the slideshow.

Export and convert to GIF

  1. Choose “File -> Export To -> Movie…” and export the presentation to a video file.
  2. Go to EZGIF on your web browser.
  3. Follow the steps to convert your video file to a GIF.
  4. Consider optimizing/resizing your GIF before exporting it from EZGIF. For ProductHunt, you should export the GIF at 240x240, as they show logos in a 80x80 container on their webpages. Exporting triple the size allows retina screens to show them without degradation.

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