Export to GIF

GIF files are a legacy raster format for use on the web. GIFs cannot contain more than 256 colors (8 bits per pixel), which, along with optional lossless RLE or LZW compression, makes them smaller than other file formats. Like PNG, GIF files also have the ability to define a transparent color. GIFs can be generated with an accompanying world file for use as georeferenced raster data.

To export a GIF file, ensure that a map or layout view is active. On the Share tab, click Export Map Export Map or Export Layout Export Layout, depending on the active view, to open the Export pane. Change the File Type parameter to GIF. Set a name and location for the file, as well as any other properties, and click Export.


Certain options are only available when exporting a map or layout. When exporting a map, you can set the size of the map export. When exporting a layout, you can clip to graphics extent.

The following properties are available when exporting to a GIF file:



The resolution of the export file in dots per inch (dpi). DPI is only available when exporting a layout. When exporting a map, the DPI is calculated automatically. For map exports, increase the Width and Height values to add additional pixels and get a higher resolution output.

Color depth

The number of bits to describe color in a pixel. Choose from the following:

  • 8-bit Adaptive—255 possible colors. This option uses an adaptive palette to maintain recognizable hues.
  • 8-bit Grayscale—256 shades of gray. All colors are converted to grayscale.

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