0.4.2 • Public • Published


react-gif-player in action

see a live demo here

Similar to Facebook's GIF toggle UI, this React component displays a still image preview by default, and swaps in an animated GIF when clicked. The images are preloaded as soon as the component mounts, or whenever a new source is passed.

Note: Unlike Facebook's UI, which uses an HTML video element to preserve playback progress, this component uses the actual GIF and will be reset on each click.



npm install react-gif-player react react-dom

If you're unable to use npm and need production-ready scripts, check out the releases.


quick start

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
    <!-- gifplayer.css v0.4.2 -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
    <div id="cat"></div>
    <!-- react/react-dom served over CDN -->
    <script src=""></script> 
    <script src=""></script> 
    <!-- gifplayer.js v0.4.2 -->
    <script src=""></script> 
        React.createElement(GifPlayer, {
          gif: '/img/cat.gif',
          still: '/img/cat.jpg'

with a module bundler

var React = require('react');
var ReactDOM = require('react-dom');
var GifPlayer = require('react-gif-player');
// with JSX
  <GifPlayer gif="/img/cat.gif" still="/img/cat.jpg" />,


Options can be passed to the GifPlayer element as props.

  • gif: a string address to an animated GIF image.

  • still: a string address to a still preview of the GIF (e.g. JPG, PNG, etc.)

  • autoplay: a boolean which can be set true if you want to immediately bombard your user with a moving GIF as soon as it's available

  • onTogglePlay: a function which is called whenever the GIF toggles between playing and paused. Receives one argument, playing, which is a boolean.

  • pauseRef: a function callback is called with another function, pause - this can be saved and called later to remotely pause the playing of the GIF, in such cases where that might be desired. For example, you might want to stop the GIF when it scrolls offscreen. The word "ref" is used because its usage pattern is similar to React element refs:

    // here's an example
    class MyGifWrapper extends React.Component {
      componentDidMount () {
      render () {
        return (
            pauseRef={pause => this.pauseGif = pause}

    Still confused? Here's a jsfiddle which shows how to use pauseRef.

  • Any other attribute available on the HTML img tag can be passed as well (excluding src, which would be overwritten), though keep in mind React's version of that attribute may be different than you expect.

GifPlayer expects one or both of the gif and still props. If one is left out, the other will be used as a fallback.

However, if only a gif prop is provided, the first frame will be extracted and used as the still preview as soon as the GIF image has fully loaded.

generating still frame at build time

The disadvantage of not providing a still prop, even though a stand-in will be generated, is that your GIF must fully load before the still frame appears instead of the (likely slowly moving) GIF.

One streamlined way to generate a still frame ahead of time is to incorporate the gif-frames module, which has only pure JavaScript dependencies, into your build process.


var gifFrames = require('gif-frames');
var fs = require('fs');
gifFrames({ url: 'src/image.gif', frames: 0 }).then(function (frameData) {

If you need finer-tuned control over image quality, you can try Gifsicle.


Important: In order for the default styles to be used, dist/gifplayer.css must be included in your HTML.

CSS styles can be overridden easily. To add a border around the image, try including this CSS after including the default styles:

.gif_player img {
  border: 3px solid cornflowerblue;

usage with sass

If you preprocess your styles with Sass, you can have more powerful control via Sass variables. The defaults are located at the top of src/GifPlayer.scss:

$gif_btn_bg_base_color: #000 !default;
$gif_btn_bg_opacity: 0.5 !default;
$gif_btn_bg_opacity_hover: 0.7 !default;
// ...etc 

The !default flag means that declaring alternatives before including the default styles will override them.

// Include var overrides before default styles import 
$gif_btn_bg_base_color: gold;
$gif_btn_text_color: cornflowerblue;
$gif_btn_font_family: serif;
// Using webpack css/sass module import syntax 
@import '~react-gif-player/src/GifPlayer';
// include other overrides afterward 
.gif_player {
  margin: 1rem;
  img {
    border: 2px solid #222;


For building and testing instructions, see

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npm i react-gif-player

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  • benwiley4000