To make your point clear in an online document it is a good practice to include a video.

When people see text and video together, they are likely to absorb the information you want to convey. It also lowers the chance that people misinterpret the information.

The text plus video format is useful for several kinds of documents. You can use videos in lesson content to illustrate concepts. Videos in help manuals make steps easier to understand. A document with instructions to perform an action or show a phenomenon can gain from a video example.

But there’s a problem with inserting videos in documents. Most documents such as Google Docs or Wikis do not support video files. But most documents do support .gif. To insert a video in a document, you can convert the video to .gif format.

Example: a GIF to show steps to perform an action

There’s yet another problem — .gifs take up a lot of space, sometimes 10x the size of a video. To reduce the size of a .gif, you can select a short snippet of the video and convert the snippet to .gif.

How to select a part of a video to convert to gif

GIFs do not have audio. Make sure the video doesn’t need audio to understand what’s going on. The visuals should be self-explanatory.

Keep a GIF to around 15 seconds or less. Since GIFs play in a loop, a user should be able to tell the beginning from the end.

Everything in a GIF should relate to one thing you want to convey. If you put too many actions and events into a GIF, viewers will have a hard time understanding what’s going on. Many small but focused GIFs will provide more clarity than one long GIF.

How it’s done

We’ll be using Outklip to convert a video to .gif. There are two ways to get a video into Outklip — 1. you can upload the video, or 2. You can create a video using the Outklip Chrome extension.

With the video in Outklip, you can use the Convert to GIF tool to convert a snippet of the video to GIF.

Create GIF from Video tool

The detailed steps to create a GIF from a video are listed here.

After you create a GIF, you can download it and insert it into a document as shown below.

How to insert a GIF into Google Docs

Video demo

Here’s a short tutorial on how to create a GIF from a video.

A simple GIF in your document can illustrate your point better than text or images. Put yourself in the shoes of a reader coming to your document. For any point that is hard to understand, try using a GIF.