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Convert GIFs to XLSX format
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Convert GIFs to XLSX format

I worked for a long time in financial services, and I can tell you that one thing I got sick of hearing was "how do I convert animated GIFs into Excel files". If you're here wondering why nobody has yet exploited this gap in a very lucrative market, wonder no longer. Help is at hand.


  1. Download gif2xlsx.exe
  2. Download your favourite GIF to the same folder
  3. At a command line in the same folder, type: gif2xlsx myfavourite.gif (or whatever you called it)

Animated GIFs are converted on a one-frame-per-worksheet basis, so you have to step through the worksheets to animate them. I was originally intending using conditional formatting and iterative calc to display these, but unfortunately the Excel team* seem to have single-threaded the calculation of conditional formatting and it was far too slow to render.

* I used to work on the Excel team so one could argue that this is partly my fault.


  • How does this work?
    • It uses Microsoft's OpenXML SDK to generate Excel files and .NET's System.Drawing.Image to create the workbook. As GIF is a colour-indexing format, the program maintains a palette to avoid generating loads of extra formatting records. Because nobody wants their animated spreadsheets to be too large to email to colleagues.
  • Why is it so slow?
  • Why doesn't my GIF scale properly?
    • The program scales all GIFs to a fixed size. This could probably be fairly easily fixed but I was really supposed to be working today instead of doing any of this.
  • Why does it crash out when given an invalid GIF filename, or when exposed to direct sunlight?
    • Because error handling is boring, and when my wife says "what have you been up to today" there needs to be more for me to say than "well, I wrote this converter".
  • Why didn't you make this some sort of web service?
    • It's on GitHub - be my guest! You are welcome to 100% of the profits.
  • Why is your release binary built in debug mode?
    • Be grateful for what you have.
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