How To Export & Print An Animated GIF File Frame By Frame

In one of our previous articles, we've shown how you can create your own animated GIF, using your own pictures and a free image editor called GIMP. But what if you want to print an animated GIF file, frame by frame? If you'll try to directly print an animated GIF on paper, all you'll get is the last frame. To be able to print all the frames, you need to make some additional steps. In this tutorial, we're going to show you a simple and effective way to export all the frames inside your animated GIF, so that you can then easily print them.

What You Need To Export GIF Frames

First of all, you'll need the free image editor software called GIMP. You can download it from the official webpage, or from Softpedia. We used version 2.8.14. After you download it, run the gimp-2.8.14-setup-1.exe file and follow the steps needed to install GIMP on your computer.

Besides GIMP, you'll also need a free GIMP plugin called Export Layers. You can download it from the official GIMP Plugin Registry, here. The Export Layers plugin comes as a small, 297KB ZIP file, under the name of

In order to install this plugin, extract the contents of the ZIP file and copy them to this location: C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins, where C is your Windows partition.

Because you'll be copying files into Program Files, which is a system folder, you might have to provide administrator permission. Choose Continue and allow the copy process to finish for each file. Note that you can also select the "Do this for all current items" option in order to permit the copying of all the files in one move.

After all the files have been copied, launch GIMP.

How To Export All The Frames From An Animated GIF File

In GIMP's main window, open the File menu and select Open.

Then, in the Open Image window, browse to the location where your animated GIF file is located, select it, and then click or tap on Open.

GIMP will now load your animated GIF file.

Next, open the File menu again, and click or tap the Export Layers… option.

GIMP will open a new window, called Export Layers. In here, browse to the location where you want the frames from your animated GIF to be saved, select the file extension you want to use for the frames and, finally, click or tap on Export Layers. Note that the default image type GIMP uses is PNG, but you can also choose to save the frames as JPEGs or any other type of image file format.

Depending on the image format you chose to use, GIMP will display additional saving options in the next dialog window. You can see below what you might be able to change if you choose to use the default PNG format. If you want to make any changes to the files you're about to save, make them. Then, click or tap the Export button.

Our work with GIMP is done and you can close it now. Then, open the folder where you chose to save the exported frames. Inside you'll find all the frames from the original animated GIF file, saved as individual image files.

How To Print The Frames From An Animated GIF File

Now that you have all the frames saved as individual images, you can print them just like any other file from your computer. If you need help with printing images, this guide will surely help you: 6 Ways to print from any Windows app or program


As you've seen in this tutorial, exporting the frames that make an animated GIF is easy as long as you have the right tools. Fortunately, GIMP is both free and easy to use, and its plugin repository is quite large. If you have questions or issues on this matter, don't hesitate to use the comments form below. We'll do our best to help you.