Using Microsoft Gif Animator


What Are Animated Gif Files?

Animated Gif files are composed of many individual Gif files stored in one file. When a web page with an animated Gif file loads, the individual gifs that make up the animated Gif are played one after another giving the appearance of movement.

Should You Incorporate Them in Your Web Site?

Well, animated Gif files are frequently used in advertising to get your attention. They can be annoying and intrusive, especially if the purpose of your site is educational. However, putting one in the right place can enliven an otherwise dull site. If you use them, do so sparingly.

Obtaining a Professional Quality Gif Animator

There are many available. One recommended shareware program, GIF Movie Gear, can be downloaded for free. Registering your copy costs $30.00.

Opening Microsoft Gif Animator

Microsoft Gif Animator is installed when you install Image Composer. From the Start menu, Programs, click Microsoft Image Composer. Gif Animator is present on the same slide out menu as Image Composer. Gif Animator is simple to use, but relatively unsophisticated. The blank frame on the left is where individual gif files are displayed. There is a toolbar at the top, and one or more tabs with options on the right.

Creating an Animated Gif File from Individual Files

ion resourcesClick on the Open icon in the Toolbar. Find the folder called Graphics Workshop on your diskette and open the file called cd10.gif. A small graphic of a CD is displayed in the frame on the left. To animate the CD, a total of 10 images are required.

ion resourcesClick the icon with the white page and a yellow "+" to insert another image. Select cd9.gif. A new frame opens and two gif files are displayed.

ion resourcesRepeat the step above, opening cd8.gif, cd7.gif, etc, until you have opened all 10 images.

ion resourcesClick the Animation Tab. Click the Looping checkbox so that the animation plays more than once. Click the Repeat Forever checkbox so that the animation repeats itself indefinitely.

ion resourcesClick the Image Tab. Click the Select All button in the Toolbar to select every frame. Now, set the Duration (1/100 s) to 0. This sets the length of the delay between display of the images. The CD should spin fast, so we have set the delay to 0. Other animated gif files look better with some delay. This requires experimentation.

ion resourcesOn the Image Tab, select the Undraw Method: Restore Background. This drop down box controls how a second image is displayed on top of the first. When creating animated gif files you may wish to try some of the other settings.

ion resourcesOn the Image Tab, check the Transparency box. The background color should be black which is the background color of each of the CD images.

ion resourcesClick the Save As button on the Toolbar. Save your image to the diskette as CDall.gif.

ion resourcesOpen the FrontPage 98 editor and open the file history.html on your diskette if it is not already open. Click once just under the title of the page. Insert the CDall.gif file. Save your file to the diskette. Click the Preview tab to see how the animated gif file in action.



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