8 Convenient Tools For Creating Animated GIFs

The Internet is full of visually compelling content that can quickly capture the attention of any web surfer. Next to memes and JPEGs, GIFs have been a popular image choice for sharing content across the web.

No doubt, you’ve seen one before. An animated GIF image file is one in which several image frames are put together and are played in a loop. They’re constantly being shared on sites like Tumblr and Google Plus for fun and entertainment.  But they can also be used for different purposes–think avatars, banner ads, and quick demos. Moreover, GIFs can be generated from all different kinds of content such as images, video, and even PDF content.

Ever try making an animated GIF yourself? If not, here’s your chance.

We put together a resource showcasing some of the most popular and convenient GIF tools out there. They make creating a GIF simple and easy. No need for Photoshop or complex tutorials.

1. GifMaker.me

Uploading images to GIFMakerme

A few things about GifMaker earn it the first spot on our list. First, this tool allows you to see what your applied GIF edits will look like before you ever hit the Create Now button. Second, you can add a music URL from YouTube to your GIFs. And third, this site has a few other options that let you edit existing GIFs as well.

2. MakeaGIF

This popular  tool can create a GIF image from different types of content.  MakeaGIF supports content from images, webcams, YouTube videos and video files on your computer.  If that weren’t enough, MakeaGIF also offers users a free Chrome extension that allows you to generate GIFs directly from images and videos you find on the web.

3. Picasion

Picasion Image Uploader

Picasion is quick and straightforward. You can upload up to 10 images for a single GIF with options for sizing and animation speed. Once your image is generated, you’ll get easy access links to the image as well as HTML and BBcode for posting on blogs and forums.

4. GifSoup

GifSoup  is perfect for generating quick GIFs with very little hassle. With a free account you can create concise, 10-second GIFs from YouTube videos. The premium account, though paid, comes with a lot of perks for GIF fanatics: ability to add and edit text, create large hi-def GIF files, unlimited storage and watermark removal.

5. Imgflip

Creating GIF with Imgflip

This tool gives you a bit more flexibility for creating a customized GIF from YouTube. Imgflip lets you select the portion of the video to use, as well as allowing you to crop, resize, flip or rotate your image. Decide how fast or slow you want the animation to go and you can even add your own caption with personalized text.

6. Gickr

Uploading Flickr Photos

If you’re an active Flickr member, then you’ll want to check out Gickr. This GIF creator allows you to generate GIFs by pulling them straight from your Flickr gallery. Input your Flickr details and Gickr will do the rest. The image file size limit is 1MB and you can upload up to 10 images.

7. Myspacegens

Myspacegens is perfect if you’re looking to create GIFs with specific dimensions in mind. The service lets you create GIFs perfectly sized for GIF avatars, message boards, and even 17″ screens. Unlike the other services that provide URL options for sharing, Myspacegens only allows you to download your GIF to your computer.

8. Able2Extract PDF Converter

As an added bonus, our very own Able2Extract PDF to GIF conversion option will let you animate PDF images that span over multiple pages. Able2Extract will create a GIF file that plays each image in sequence, page by page.

Selecting GIF Conversion Options

When you choose the Image conversion option, select GIF –Graphics Interchange Format, check the Multipage image box and set your Animation Speed. Then just click on Convert and save your image.

Using GIF images are great a way to add dynamic and eye-catching content to your social streams. Just add some useful text, an eye-catching headline and you have a great piece of content that can be shared over and over again.  So give these a try and see if they don’t give your online posts a boost.

Celebrate Halloween With Google’s Latest Interactive Doodle

Whenever Google launches a fun new Doodle on their home page, productivity levels drop. We can’t help but click through to see what the Google logo will do.

Today, Google just launched their latest doodle, and it’s probably the most animated a Halloween doodle has ever gotten. On a day when plastic vampire teeth and zombie make up take over, Google allows you to become an active participant in cooking up your own witch’s brew of animations.

Google Halloween Doodle 2013

Start off by clicking on the Google logo. Then click on two different ingredients to throw them into the cauldron, like the skull and apple. For each brew you cook up, you’ll get a short Halloween game depending on what ingredients you combine. Mixing the skull and apple together, for instance, will have you searching in the dark with a flashlight for a green ghost.

Interactive Google Doodle

Give it a try and combine every ingredient you can. As a teaser, one brew will get you playing a coffin guessing game to find a mummy and another will have you clicking in a whack-a-mole style game with monster arms.

From Star Trek tributes and tune-recording guitars to PAC-MAN and piñata games, Google Doodles have never ceased to amuse web surfers.  Here’s a look at the past 4 years of Halloween Google Doodles.

2008: Horror Movie Director Designs The Doodle

Wes Craven Doodle 2008

If you’re a fan of horror movies, then you probably understood the idea behind Google’s Halloween doodle in 2008. It was designed by American horror film director, writer and producer, Wes Craven, known for scary movies and slasher films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, and Scream.

2009: It’s All About The Candy

Halloween Candy Doodle 2009

For the 2009 Halloween doodle, Google chose to go interactive with a doodle dedicated to Halloween candy. When clicking on the interactive logo, you would reveal a bigger pile of candy each time, spelling out the word “Google.” When you reached the end, all that was left was a pile of candy wrappers.

2010: A 5-Click Tribute To A Cartoon Classic 

ScoobyDoo Halloween Doodle 2010

Tapping into a cartoon classic was a sure fire way to celebrate Halloween, especially when it involved Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo team. The 2010 Halloween doodle featured the mystery-solving team in a short 5-panel doodle working to solve the mystery of the missing Google logo.

2011: Carving Pumpkins For Google

Pumpkin Carving Doodle 2011

The year after that, Google put the spotlight on the pumpkin carving tradition for their 2011 Halloween doodle with Jack-o-Lanterns bearing letters that spelled out “Google.” The pumpkin carved letters were the end result of 8 hours’ worth of work. You can still catch the entire process in an awesome time lapse video.

2012: Getting Interactive With Trick or Treating Online

Trick or treating Doodle 2012

Google Doodles paid tribute to the annual trick or treating outing for the 2012 Halloween doodle. Click on each of the doors and you would be greeted by
6 ghosts and ghosts resembling the Google letters. For this doodle, the team offers you a look at the creation process, showing you what goes into designing these amazing doodles.

What started out in 1998 as a quick “out of office” message from Sergey Brin and Larry Page has now turned into a Google tradition that web surfers can appreciate and enjoy. You can catch all your favourite doodles from the Google Doodles archive and on Twitter.

Happy Halloween!


4 Cool Uses Of Microsoft Office You Probably Didn’t Know About

When you think of Microsoft Office, you probably think of office documents, presentations and spreadsheets. However, you can have a bit of fun with the suite just by knowing how to use the applications and features to their fullest extent.

A few power users out there manipulated their way through the MS Office programs to come up with some extremely creative  content.  Take a look at the following creative, jaw-dropping examples.

Create Art In Microsoft Excel 

Excel Spreadsheet Artwork

You may have heard of this guy on the internet before. Japanese artist, Tatsuo Horiuchi, has been producing art using only Microsoft Excel. It may sound crazy to use MS Excel for generating images let alone creating artwork. But this artist has proven, hands down, that it can be done.

Use Microsoft Word As An Advanced Image Editor

MS Word Graphics Editing

If you think Microsoft Word can only be used for generating documents, you’ll be shocked to see it in action as an advanced graphics editor. This amazing time-lapse video was created and posted by Vaclav Krejci who, according to his YouTube channel bio, aims to “explain graphic design to everyday users using software they are already familiar with.” And he does just that. This video shows how he recreates the iOS 7 home screen using nothing but Microsoft Word, start to finish.

Play A Role Playing Game In Microsoft Excel

Bet you never thought you could turn your data-analyzing, formula-calculating Microsoft Excel spreadsheet into an RPG game. We sure didn’t.  This macro-based RPG was put together in 5 months by Toronto-based chartered accountant, Cary Walkin, whose passion for spreadsheets and video games resulted in Arena.Xlsm.

Excel Spreadsheet RPG Game

Arena.Xlsm comes with character statistics, abilities for ranged attacks, achievements, boss encounters, and magic spells (available at level 10).  This cool game may look slightly different than your average MMPORG, but all the same interactive and essential elements are there.  See how far you can get.

Create Your Own Anime Movie In Microsoft PowerPoint

You’ve probably watched anime before, but we’re guessing that it didn’t require MS PowerPoint.  We caught this awesome example on PowerPoint Heaven, a site created by Shawn Tow that started out as a place to post his own tutorials and work. It is now a popular site for PowerPoint diehards to showcase their innovative uses of the application.

PowerPoint Anime Movie

One user took PowerPoint slides and animation to the next level with Rewrite, an anime drawn and animated in PowerPoint by Han Byul Jang (Zzangdol). We won’t provide you with any spoilers, but download the PowerPoint file to see it in action yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

We never really appreciate the full capabilities of the tools we use on a daily basis. But with a bit of practice and skill you can perhaps work your own magic and come up with a creative way of using MS Office yourself.

Best Practices And Tips For Working With PDF To Word, OpenOffice And RTF

One of the most frustrating problems of converting PDF to other digital file formats is compatibility. Ever have one of those moments? You receive a converted file which you can’t open or view, let alone edit? If you have, then you know what we’re talking about.

Converting PDFs to the right format can get more confusing because some word processors can support certain file formats, while others can’t. Then depending on the version of the application, it can get even more complicated.

If you’re trying to figure out which file format to convert to, here are a few general guidelines and some information about each format to help you make the right choice.

Microsoft Word 97, 2000, XP, 2003 (.DOC)

A .DOC file is the number format for creating general documents like essays, brochures and formatted resumes.  The format can handle mixed content very well and can be used to create all different types of printed material such as labels and business cards.

That being said, when your main focus is on sharing and making the textual PDF content editable, a standard PDF to .DOC conversion is all you need.  PDF text, graphics and tables will be transferred over into a multi-purpose document users can easily access. A few tips and notes:

  • .DOC is backwards compatible with all MS Word versions.
  • Mac users can create .DOC files with Word for Mac and work easily with Windows users.
  • Convert to .DOC when you aren’t sure which version of MS Word your recipient is using.
  • In Able2Doc, the Word conversion output is set to the default setting which detects and converts to whichever MS Word version you have installed. Change this via the Options menu
  • Change the default saving format in Word (via Office button>Options>Save) to formats you regularly share and send.

Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013 (.DOCX)

The DOCX file format was released with MS Word 2007. It is now the default format for MS Word 2007, 2010 and 2013. Like the .DOC format, a .DOCX file is used for generating editable documents. The major difference is in the technical specifications of the .DOCX format, which has a hard time playing nice with other applications.

MS Word 2007 DOC

Although more suites are now getting support for the format, double check with your recipient if he or she can open a .DOCX file before you convert. Users with older MS Word versions will need a workaround to interact with the file (uploading it to Google Docs, downloading a plug-in, or converting the file), which can be a huge hassle. When in doubt, convert PDF to .DOC instead. Tips:

  • .DOCX isn’t compatible with older versions of MS Word without a plug-in
  • If you always convert PDF to .DOCX but have earlier versions of Word, you can change the default setting in Able2Doc and always convert to .DOCX (Word 2007) as a default
  • Some MS Word 2013 features might not show up in version 2010 or 2007, and the Word 2013 file will open in Compatibility Mode.
  • iWork Pages on Mac can open .DOCX files
  • You can convert .DOCX to .DOC  for free online.

OpenOffice Writer (.ODT)

As the popularity of open source grows, the .ODT is fast becoming one of the main formats to work with. The vendor neutral .ODT file is OpenOffice’s native word processing format used primarily within open source environments. As such, convert PDF to .ODT when working with open source applications and users. Also, pay attention to how .ODT files interact with MS Word. By doing so, you can side-step any compatibility issues that pop up with the converted file.

A few things to know:

  • Different versions of MS Office have slight differences in support for ODF. Versions 2007 and 2010 can save to ODF 1.1, but can’t open ODF 1.2. MS Office 2013 can’t save to ODF 1.1.
  • Saving .DOCX to ODT in Open Office will have an effect on which features from .DOCX will remain supported in the new .ODT file.
  • Able2Doc converts PDF to both OpenOffice Writer and MS Word. No plug-in needed
  • Starting from MS Word 2007, you can save your documents to .ODT with SP2 installed.
  • .ODT can be imported by most word processors and online productivity suites.

Rich Text (.RTF)

A rich text file is a Microsoft text file that can keep basic formatting elements like bold, underlined or italic fonts.  It can also support formatted content such as text alignment and bulleted lists.

WordPad RTF File

Because .RTF files are easily accessible across different platforms, they make a good conversion output alternative when problem files can’t be opened. Other things to know:

  • .RTF files are generated with WordPad–included free with Windows OS via Accessories.
  • Able2Doc offers PDF to .RTF conversion as a default setting
  • The format can support inserted .JPG and .PNG images
  • Imported and exported by most word processing applications.
  • May lose the more advanced MS Word features (annotations, WordArt, drawing objects) when saving to RTF.

File Format Compatibility At A Glance

Below is a quick glance summary. Included are links for more detailed information about supported file versions, limitations, and downloads.

File Format and Word Processor Compatibility
Word Processor Being Used: File Format Supported?
Older versions of Microsoft Word (2000, XP, 20003) Yes Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint required ODF add-in for MS Office required Yes
Microsoft Word 2007 Yes Yes Yes, with MS Office suite 2007 SP2 installed Yes
Microsoft Word (2010, 2013) Yes Yes Yes Yes
iWork  Pages Yes Yes No Yes
Microsoft Word for Mac (2008, 2011) Yes Yes No Yes
Apache OpenOffice Writer Yes Yes.  Version 3.0 and later. Yes Yes
LibreOffice Writer Yes Yes Yes Yes

This table shows compatibility of MS Word, OpenOffice and RTF formats with different Word processors.

There are many other applications out there, so let us know which ones we’ve missed and if you have any other best practice advice or tips yourself.

Create Instant PowerPoint Presentations With Sonic PDF Creator

While the name of Sonic PDF Creator says it all for the software, there’s more to this PDF creator than you think.  You already know that it allows you to create professional PDF documents with all the bells and whistles, plus edit and modify those same files for a more tailored file.

However, what you probably didn’t know at first glance is that Sonic PDF Creator will also let you turn PDF documents to PowerPoint Presentations on the spot.

This  feature is a dead simple way to get an instant presentation out of a PDF file. It’s perfect for setting up a quick presentation in the boardroom or in class when presenting the content as a PDF won’t cut it. Here’s a quick tutorial on the feature.

Creating PowerPoint Files With Sonic

1. Open your PDF document in Sonic PDF Creator.

2. Go to Tools> Create PowerPoint file... 


3. Define the Page Range.

4. Specify your new PowerPoint file name along with the dimensions of your presentation.

5. Select the content size of your PowerPoint slides.

6. Click on OK.

Creating a PowerPoint presentation this way will generate a basic image-based presentation, which means that you won’t be able to create an editable presentation you can edit or add text to.

However, you’ll be able to add shapes and text on top of the image in MS PowerPoint.  So this feature works best if you have a PDF presentation that’s ready to go, no edits or fine-tuning needed.

The PDF format is great at storing and displaying visually rich content, but there are times when a quick PowerPoint presentation will work out better.  Have you tried it out yet?

Don’t forget to check out and enter our Facebook giveaway where you can get a copy of  Sonic for  free!