How to open/edit Animated Gif in Photoshop CS4


Since Adobe CS3 series, the software to create animated gif, Adobe ImageReady has been discontinued. and most of the core features has been included in Photoshop CS3 and Fireworks Cs3. Since then, animated gif can be easily created from Photoshop. But, if you try to open or edit an animated gif with the normal “Open” function, Photoshop will only open the first frame of the animation without any animated sequences, unless you using Fireworks.

Here, let me show you few easy steps to open or edit an animated gif using Photoshop CS4.

1. In Photoshop CS4, go to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers


2. The file browser pop up, you will notice that only movie type format allow to select using this function.


3. But don’t worry, go to the folder that where you save your animated gif, manually type in the filename of gif, in this case, i will type in “Sylar.gif“, then click “Load“.


4. And now you will see the importing options, on default, it will choose “Range To Import” to “From Beginning To End”, and “Make Frame Animation” has been ticked.


5. Done! You can see the animated gif open in Photoshop timeline!


Continue enjoy Photoshop and hope this article help! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. My copy of photoshop CD4 x64 does not have those choices under the import function!
    Only the 32 bit version has them and it wants quicktime as well.

  2. Hi Woodzy, thanks for the info, as i never try x64 version before, let me find out more about this and will update this post later ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I also have cs4 64bit and i did have the option to import files but it said i require quicktime 7.1. I downloaded it went back to cs4 and the option under import was no longer there!! Please do help.

  4. Heya, this also works with CS3 – but both, only on Windows. Using Mac OS X, GIF files are just grey, and you cannot select them. #Adobe #fail

  5. Anyone ever find out the 64 bit cs4 issue? Would I be able to open it with cs2 on a mac?

  6. it does work on a mac! just rename your file to .avi instead of .gif and it will trick photoshop into opening it ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the tip steven.

  7. Hi Justin, i never tried in MAC before, but maybe can try to rename the file to .MOV since MAC is using Apple Quicktime. Let me know the result after your try ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. If you type “*.gif” where you put sylar.gif you will see all the gif files in that folder.

  9. It does work, but it’s extremely annoying that I have to install Apple’s crapware (QuickTime) for it.

    Also apparently it only works on 32 bit but not 64 bit version of Photoshop.

  10. Thanks ,
    Mind blowing and very very simple method u have put in your site…………….!


  11. Thanks for the very important points especial the way that open the .gif file-type . i’ve tried to import .gif into photoshop cs4 i am using, got stranded at this step. Should type the filename-extension and click open! LoL Many thanks!

  12. problem…
    in a gif that has no background the previous gif frame will stick with the next one so all the previous ones are visible at the end with the last one standing in front of the last one and so forward.
    how do i fix that?

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