A GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format is a digital image format that was introduced in 1987. A GIF can be animated or created with a transparent background. With the transparent background, when the image is placed on a webpage, the webpage background shows through the transparent areas on the GIF. Up until the mid-1990s, many editing software programs would not edit or create GIF files, due to licensing restrictions. Now that pertinent patents have expired, it is possible to create GIF files by converting other digital images, such as a JPEG, using graphic software programs.
Create a JPEG digital image using an existing photograph. Lay the photograph on the scanner glass, and press the scan button. Follow the scan wizard that appears on the computer monitor, and save the digital image you are creating to your computer's hard drive to convert to a GIF.
Capture a JPEG digital image using a digital camera, instead of scanning an existing photograph. After you take the pictures, save the digital image on your computer's hard drive to convert to a GIF.
Open the digital image that you created in Step 1 or 2 in a graphic editing program, such as Adobe's Photoshop. Typically, this involves clicking on File in the menu, and then Open in the drop down menu. This will show a new menu with the files on your computer. Find the file you wish to convert to a GIF, and click to open.
Save the image by using the Save as instead of Save command. In Photoshop this command is under File, at the top menu bar.
Choose the new file format by clicking on the drop down menu next to Format. Save the file as a GIF format. After this is done, you will have two digital images of the picture on your computer, one as a JPEG, and the other as a GIF.