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The GIF tag the internet deserves


<x-gif> is a web component for flexible GIF playback. Speed them up, slow them down, play them in reverse, synch multiple beats to a rhythm, synch them to audio, whatever you like.

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

###Playback modes:

Mutually exclusive. Can't be changed once initialised (create a new x-gif if you want a new mode)

speed="1.0" (default mode) Plays back the GIF at its natural framerate multiplied by the value of the attribute. Can be updated and will have immediate effect.

sync Defers playback to an external object. The DOM element will then expose a clock function to facilitate playback. Cannot be changed.

bpm="120" Syncs GIFs to a given beats-per-minute. If multiple x-gifs are on the page, they will all be synced together. By default, will spread long GIFs over multiple beats, unless the snap option is also included. Uses sync and clock under the hood. Can be changed and will take immediate effect.


stopped Regardless of playback mode, this will prevent the GIF from animating. Removing this attribute resumes playback. In speed mode, the GIF will always resume playback from the beginning.

fill Causes the GIF to expand to cover its container, like if you had used background-size: cover; background-position: 50% 50% with a normal GIF. Without fill, an x-gif behaves like an inline-block element, just like a normal tag.

n-times="3.0" (speed mode only) Stops playback (by adding the attribute stopped) after a set number of times. Can be fractional e.g. 0.9 will play the first 90% of the GIF then stop. Removing the stopped attribute will restart the playback.

snap (sync & bpm modes only) Instead of allowing longer GIFs to sync to multiple beats, force them to fit into only one.

ping-pong Boolean attribute. Plays the GIF front-to-back then back-to-front, which looks more awesome for some GIFs. Works with all playback modes. Can be removed/added at any time.


debug Turns on debug output from the Gif Exploder, which can help track down errors with some GIFs being parsed incorrectly.

exploded For visual inspection of the frames. Stops playback, and renders each frame out side-by-side. Many frames will appear semi-transparent, because that's how GIFs work. But this might come in handy.

##What does it do?

  • AJAX fetches the GIF as a binary stream
  • Slices the GIF into frames like a total boss
  • Stacks the frames one on top of the other
  • Starts a requestAnimationFrame loop to play back the gif at its natural frame rate

Here's a demo! It just might work in your browser!

Check out the rest of the demos


  if ('registerElement' in document
    && 'createShadowRoot' in HTMLElement.prototype
    && 'import' in document.createElement('link')
    && 'content' in document.createElement('template')) {
    // We're using a browser with native WC support!
  } else {
    document.write('<script src="https:\/\/"><\/script>')
<link rel="import" href="x-gif.html">

This will detect support for Web Components, shim them if needed, then load x-gif with a HTML import.


  • Web Component - YES! (zero-dependencies on Chrome 36!)
  • Polymer element - Nah, just use the Web Component
  • Angular directive - Nah, just use the Web Component
  • React component - Nah, just use the Web Component
  • Ember component - Nah, just use the Web Component


  1. Fork it!
  2. Create your feature branch: git checkout -b my-new-feature
  3. Commit your changes: git commit -m 'Add some feature'
  4. Push to the branch: git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Submit a pull request :D


MIT License