This is the tutorial for optimising still gifs in adobe photoshop. These other tutorials are also available:

In many ways still gifs are the easiest files to optimise. As long as a gif file type is appropriate and the image is a sensible size it is rare for a gif file to be large. Never the less here is how i go about reducing their file size.

Step 1 - Image size

This is all about common sense. Just think to yourself "will the board really want to see an 800x600 paintmash of my dog" and the chances are the probably won't. 280px wide is the reccomended width and as a rule i find it best to stick to this but by all means go a little over if you think it's nessecary.

Step 2 - Export optimisation

To export a still gif you first need to go to file / save for web:

the location of the save for web option in adobe photoshop.

This will bring up the image optimisation window, here you will find the gif export optimisation settings:

The gif export settings in adobe photoshop.

The most important tools for us here are the palette options, dither and the lossy tool. The fastest way to reduce the image size is to reduce the number of colours. Images typicaly still look perfectly acceptable with 64 or less colours. To help with this we use the palette selector:

The palette selector in adobe photoshop.

The perceptual, adaptive and selective palettes will all pick the colours which best approximate the orignal image for a given palette size. They each do this using a different algorithm so by experimentation you can often improve the look and file size of your image.

Lossy averages out the pixels in your image and thus can reduce file sizes dramatically but at the expense of heavily reduced image quality. I rarely use a lossy of more than 20-30.

Dither is the gif format's way of approximating those colours which are not found in it's palette. I would usually have this set to no dither as it increases file sizes dramtaically and often means jpeg may have been a better choice of file format. Sometimes however a little dither can improve the look of an image without too substantial a cost in terms of file size this is up to you to decide.

Good luck with your optimisation, if you have any further questions on the subject e-mail me and i'll be more than happy to attempt to help you.





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