How To Embed and Attach GIFs to Email Messages in Gmail Web App

GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a popular way to add visual interest and interactivity to emails. When used appropriately, GIFs can capture attention, convey emotion, and enhance engagement.

Embedding GIFs directly in the body of Gmail messages is easy with the right tools. Attaching GIFs works similarly to attaching any other media files. Follow these best practices to effectively embed and attach GIFs in Gmail on the web.

Finding GIFs to Use

The first step is finding an appropriate animated GIF to use. Search for GIFs on dedicated GIF platforms:

  • Giphy – Extremely popular GIF search engine. Has mobile apps.
  • Tenor – Search engine owned by Google. Integrates with Gboard mobile keyboard.
  • GIFER – Create and edit your own GIFs. Has free and paid tiers.

When searching for GIFs, look for short clips (under 10 seconds) with clear relevance to your email content. Overly long or confusing GIFs can distract readers.

Embedding GIFs in Gmail Web App

Embedding a GIF displays the animation directly in the body of your email. Follow these steps:

  1. Install GIPHY for Gmail browser extension – This adds a GIF button to the Gmail compose window.
  2. Click GIF button when composing email – The button appears next to the attachment button.
  3. Search or browse for GIF – You can browse categories or search by keywords.
  4. Click the GIF to insert – The selected GIF will be embedded in your email at cursor location.

Alternatively, you can insert GIFs without an extension using direct links.

  1. Copy the GIF URL – Right click the GIF and select Copy Link Address or similar.
  2. Paste URL in Gmail attachment window – Click the photo icon then paste into the Web Address field.
  3. The GIF will be embedded after loading. Resize by dragging corners if needed.

Attaching GIFs to Gmail Messages

You may prefer to attach GIFs instead of embedding them, allowing recipients to download the files.

  1. Click the paperclip icon when composing message.
  2. Select the GIF file to attach and click Open.
  3. The GIF will appear in the attachments section below the message body.
  4. Recipients can download the attached GIF file.

Attached GIFs have a 25MB limit per email in Gmail. Consider linking to Google Drive if you need to share larger GIF files.

Best Practices for Using GIFs in Email

When adding GIFs to Gmail messages, keep these guidelines in mind:

Relevance – Choose GIFs clearly related to your message. Random or confusing GIFs can distract.

Length – Favor short GIFs under 10 seconds. Avoid overly long animations.

File Size – If embedding, keep file sizes under 2MB. For attachments, stay under 25MB.

Alt Text – Add descriptive alt text so recipients understand the GIF if it fails to load.

Moderation – Use GIFs to supplement text, not replace it. Too many can overwhelm recipients.

Placement – Put GIFs in logical places related to the surrounding text. Don’t just drop them randomly.

Enhancement – GIFs should enhance the text content, not act as gimmicks. Use thoughtfully.

Testing – Preview embedded GIFs in multiple email clients and on mobile to ensure cross-compatibility.

By following these tips, you can effectively embed and attach GIFs to email messages sent through Gmail. Place them strategically to captivate attention and spark engagement. But don’t overdo it – well-placed GIFs will have more impact than a barrage of animations. Apply best practices and test across platforms for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions About GIFs in Gmail

Here are answers to some common questions about using GIFs in Gmail web app emails:

Can I add GIFs on Gmail mobile app?

Unfortunately no. The Gmail mobile apps do not support embedding or attaching GIFs. The feature is only available in the web browser version.

What is the file size limit for attached GIFs?

The attachment limit in Gmail is 25MB total per email. This includes all attachments combined, so if adding a GIF attachment be aware of this limit.

Do recipients need additional software to view embedded GIFs?

Generally no. Embedded GIFs will automatically display and animate inside the message body when viewed in compatible email clients. No additional software is needed.

What happens if a recipient’s email client doesn’t support GIFs?

The recipient will see a still image rather than an animation. Make sure to set descriptive alt text for each embedded GIF to provide context should this occur.

Can I insert GIFs from my computer?

Yes. When composing a new message in Gmail web app, click the Attach files icon and select your GIF file. This will attach the GIF rather than embed it.

Do GIFs work in Gmail confidential mode?

No. Gmail confidential mode which allows setting email expiration dates does not currently support adding GIFs or other external content.

Hopefully this guide has helped explain the process of embedding and attaching GIF files to email messages sent through Gmail. Let me know if you have any other questions!