How to make animated gifs with transparent backgrounds for use in Keynote?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bewley, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. bewley macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2006
    hi all -
    I'm stuck on a rather buggy problem. I'm trying to produce animated gifs with transparent backgrounds for incorporation into a Keynote (v. 3) presentation. [The individual frames of the substantial animations I am creating are being produced in Matlab using the "print -dpng" command with white backgrounds, which I then want to make transparent.]
    I seem to be able to download silly animated gifs with transparent backgrounds from the web that display correctly in Keynote. But when I produce such animations myself using convert [from the imagemagick suite, both the version distributed with fink and the more recent version available at], all frames after the first display with white backgrounds in Keynote (but look ok elsewhere). Optimizing the animated transparent gifs in adobe ImageReady CS (v. 1) doesn't seem to help.
    Does anyone know a good mac program to make animated gifs (with transparent backgrounds) that display correctly in the latest version of Keynote?
    Thanks immensely for the help!
    - Tom
  2. elisha cuthbert macrumors 6502a

    elisha cuthbert

    Feb 25, 2006
    I would use Flash and just create them through that and if you dont have it you can go to and download a trial (180 ish mb)
    Good Luck
  3. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    I would recommend Flash. Animated GIFs to me just come across to me as cheesy. Makes me think of banner ads. Anyways, give Flash a try. I haven't used MatLab. Plus in Flash you can export GIFs if you don't want a SWF.
  4. bewley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2006
    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try that next. It looks like I'm trying to find a workaround to a Keynote (v. 3) bug here, some transparent gifs work fine in Keynote, whereas others have trouble.

    I guess it depends upon what you are animating. Yes, 99% of all animated gizmos on web pages look hypercheezy. However, I'm not doing that. I'm animating a serious simulation result to deliver in a professional scientific talk. The audience will be unaware if the animations are in .gif or .swf format, or any of about a dozen others. All I need is a transparent background for the animation so I can overlay it on top of other serious scientific stuff.

    Thanks both for your feedback,
    - Tom
  5. elisha cuthbert macrumors 6502a

    elisha cuthbert

    Feb 25, 2006
    Any time its what we are here for :)
  6. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Alright, let me save you some downloading of 180mb Flash Demo.

    Get GraphicConverter, and open the pictures you saved in MatLab in it. There is a tool that looks like the Magic Wand with a T next to it. This is the Transparency Wand. Click on the White in your pictures and it will become transparent. Then save as a 89a GIF and that should give you the animated GIF with the transparent areas you want.

    I really hope that helps you out.
  7. StephenFleming macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    If people could READ the original request (yeah, it's two years old)...

    I've confirmed that this is a bug in Keynote 4.0.2. I can create an animated GIF that displays with transparency in Safari or Firefox... but if I insert it into a Keynote file, it grows a white background that obscures whatever is behind it.

    Happens with GIFs created in Fireworks CS3 or in Graphic Converter.

    The poster who suggested Flash should know that Keynote can't display a SWF file.

    Has anyone got any ideas for a workaround? This is frustrating.
  8. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.

    I'm trying to place an animated gif into a keynote file and the damn thing just plays through once and stops. Everywhere else it plays through over and over. What gives? I'm not trying to play with or without a white background, just trying to loop it... It won't loop!!!
  9. cheese1291 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2008
    @ PinkyMacGodess

    Try Information/Quicktime/Repeat: endless!
  10. RH5487 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2010
    Four years later I am facing the same problem with Keynote'09. I have animated gif with transparent background, which come out with a white background when I import them in Keynote. Did someone find a solution ?
  11. Alexandre Amato macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012

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