Can you control GIF animation with Javascript?

Is it possible to use javascript to control which frame of a GIF image is showing and/or stop the animation. I want to be able to load a GIF with several frames and only show one of them.

I know I could do it with lots of separate images, but if I can do what I want with a GIF, it will only be one file to worry about.



I use x-gif it's pretty cool and easy to setup.

From Github:

<x-gif src="probably_cats.gif"></x-gif>

Where you can add the following as attributes:

  • Playback modes:
    • speed="1.0" (default mode) multiplies the speed by the value of the attribute;
    • sync defers playback to an external object;
    • bpm="120" syncs GIFs to a given beats-per-minute;
  • Options:

    • stopped prevents the GIF from animating;

    • fill causes the GIF to expand to cover its container;

    • n-times="3.0" (speed mode only) stops playback (by adding the attribute stopped) after a set number of times;
    • snap (sync & bpm modes only) instead of allowing longer GIFs to sync to multiple beats, force them to fit into only one;
    • ping-pong plays the GIF front-to-back then back-to-front;
  • Debugging:
    • debug turns on debug output from the Gif Exploder;
    • exploded stops playback, and renders each frame out side-by-side.

If you are OK with converting your gif to a sprite sheet, you can do it this way (using ImageMagick):

montage animation.gif -coalesce -tile x1 -geometry +0+0 -background None -quality 100 spritesheet.png

It is even likely that the new image will be of lesser size.

Once you have a sprite sheet, use CSS animation. An animation with a fixed frame time is used here:

var el = document.getElementById('anim');
function play() { = 'running';
function pause() { = 'paused';
function reset() { = 'none';
  el.offsetHeight; /* trigger reflow to apply the change immediately */ = null;
function stop() {
#anim {
  background-image: url('');
  width: 250px;
  height: 188px;
  animation: anim 1.0s steps(10) infinite;
@keyframes anim {
  100% { background-position: -2500px; }
<div id="anim" title="Animated Bat by Calciumtrice"></div>
<button onclick="play()">Play</button>
<button onclick="pause()">Pause</button>
<button onclick="reset()">Reset</button>
<button onclick="stop()">Stop</button>

If you want the animation to not start automatically, add paused to the end of animation rule.


You can do it with a single image using CSS sprites.


You can use the libgif library.

It allows you to start/stop the gif and control which frame the gif is on.

<script type="text/javascript" src="./libgif.js"></script>
<img src="./example1_preview.gif" rel:animated_src="./example1.gif"
 width="360" height="360" rel:auto_play="1" rel:rubbable="1" />

<script type="text/javascript">
    $$('img').each(function (img_tag) {
        if (/.*\.gif/.test(img_tag.src)) {
            var rub = new SuperGif({ gif: img_tag } );
                console.log('oh hey, now the gif is loaded');

(most of the code is taken directly from their example)


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