How to make a meme out of any picture, GIF, or video

Woman using phone
It’s easy to make memes on your computer or phone.

  • You can make a meme simply by putting text on a picture, GIF, or video clip.
  • There are hundreds of apps for making memes, but not every app supports GIFs or videos.
  • Once you’ve made your meme, you can share it with friends via social media, messaging apps, and more.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Memes are the language of the internet. And although some of them can be rather bizarre – ask anyone over the age of 30 what “yeet” means and they’ll look at you like you’ve grown a second head – there’s no denying that they’re often hilarious.

There are countless kinds of memes, but the kind that most people recognize are simply images with a line or two of text on them. These are also called “image macros,” and they’re incredibly popular.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of apps out there that will help you make memes. Here’s a roundup of the best, along with short guides on how to use some of them.

How to make a meme using a picture

This is the easiest method. Any app that lets you put text on pictures will do here.

Some of the easiest to find and use are:

Paint

Paint, formerly known as MSPaint, comes preinstalled on all Windows computers.

Just open the image you want to turn into a meme in Paint, click the “A” icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen, and click the spot on the image where you want to have text. You can also choose your font and text size from the toolbar.

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Paint has a basic text editor that you can use to make memes.

Once you place your text in Paint, however, it can’t be edited. So if you make a typo or mistake, you might need to start the whole thing over.

Photoshop

Unlike Paint, Adobe Photoshop is a premium app that you usually need a subscription to use. But it has an immense amount of features that’ll help you in your meme-making quest.

Load your image into Photoshop and click the “T” icon on the lefthand toolbar, then click anywhere on the image and start typing. The options at the top of the screen can help you pick the font, size, style, and more.

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Photoshop lets you add text “layers” that can be moved and edited.

Also unlike Paint, once you’ve placed your text, you can double-click it to edit it. And the Move tool (the very first icon in the left toolbar) will let you move, shrink, or enlarge the text however you like.

Clicking Type and then Panels at the top of the screen also gives you access to a number of menus that’ll let you add effects and styles to your text.

And of course, feel free to edit the picture itself however you like using Photoshop’s powerful tools.

Mematic

If you want to make memes on your smartphone, check out Mematic, a free app for both iPhone and Android devices.

As soon as Mematic opens, you’ll be given several default meme templates. You can also select Free STYLE if you’d like to make an entirely custom meme format.

Pick one of the default memes, or upload your own picture. Tap Captions at the bottom to add text, another image, or a watermark. Background lets you change the picture’s size and placement, and add filters or color corrections.

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Mematic lets you add text, filters, and more.

Once your meme is complete, tap Export and then Save. Your meme will download into your phone’s camera roll, where you can view or share it like any other picture.

Imgur

Imgur is one of the biggest photo-sharing sites on the internet. And one of the ways they keep users around is by offering fun tools like the Imgur Meme Generator.

Head to the Meme Generator, and you’ll be given two options. Select a default meme will let you pick from dozens of popular meme formats to make a picture with, while upload new background lets you pick a new picture to write text on.

Once you’ve got a picture selected, you can add text anywhere. If you don’t want one of the text boxes, just delete everything inside of it. Use the small green arrows on the bottom-right corner of each text box to move and resize it.

When you’re done, give your picture a name and click make this meme!

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Set your top and bottom text, then click “Make this meme!”

Your meme will be uploaded to Imgur, where you can save it to your computer or just share the link.

How to make a meme using a GIF

Tools for editing GIFs are a bit more limited. But you can still do it easily on your smartphone or computer.

GIPHY

GIPHY is a company and app dedicated to making and sharing GIFs. They offer a free app for both iPhone and Android devices that lets you turn any GIF on your phone into a meme.

Download and open the app, and then create an account (or sign in if you already have one). On the homepage, tap Create in the top-right corner.

Your camera will turn on, because on this screen, you can take a video that will then be converted into a GIF that you can put captions on. If you’d rather use a GIF that you already have saved, however, tap the icon in the bottom-left corner.

Select the GIF from your photo library and upload it. Once uploaded, tap the Aa icon to add text. The other icons will let you add filters and stickers.

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You can add text in a variety of styles, and all sorts of stickers.

Press the right-facing arrow, and you can share, save, or upload your completed meme.

Kapwing

Kapwing is a video-editing website that gives users powerful editing tools for free. You can use it to edit photos, videos, or GIFs. Note that to use all its features, you’ll need to be on a computer, not a phone.

Head to Kapwing’s Meme Maker and click Get Started. On the page that opens, upload a GIF by dragging it into the window or by clicking Click to upload.

Once uploaded, it’s time to start meme-making. Click Text in the top-left to add captions, but also check out the Images, Audio, and Elements options. These will let you add picture-in-picture images, sounds, and shapes. They’re great if you want to make a truly wild meme.

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Once you’ve uploaded a GIF, you can add and format text.

When you’re done, click the arrow next to Export Video in the top-right, and then Export GIF. Your GIF will process, and you can then download or share it.

How to make a meme using a video

Video memes are great for websites like YouTube and Twitter, which support and play videos natively.

Kapwing

Just like we explained above, Kapwing supports all types of files, including videos.

Simply upload your video and edit it the same way you would a GIF. You can add text, audio, and more. And if there’s a section of the video that you don’t want, use the timeline at the bottom of the screen and the Split option to trim out whatever you like.

Professional video-editing apps

Adding text to a video isn’t a complicated process. Any dedicated video-editing app (Adobe Premiere, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, etc.) has a text option.

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iMovie, for example, has a “Titles” option that lets you place text on videos.

If you have a video-editing app installed on your computer – iMovie is free for all Mac users, for instance – explore the app to find its text-editing or captioning feature. If you can’t find it, look up a manual online. It’s probably hidden in plain sight.

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How to make a GIF from a YouTube video and post it online

Influencer working on laptop
It’s easy to quickly turn a YouTube into a GIF.

  • You can make a YouTube video into a GIF using free websites like GIPHY.
  • GIPHY lets you select up to 30 seconds from nearly any YouTube video and turn it into a GIF.
  • Once you’ve made a GIF out of a YouTube video, you can download that GIF or copy the embed code.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’ve been on social media anytime in the last few years, you’ve seen GIFs: short video clips that run on repeat, often with a funny or snarky message. GIFs are increasingly popular, turning up in emails and on websites.

Most people make GIFs using websites like GIPHY. Here’s how to use GIPHY to quickly and easily make a GIF out of almost any YouTube video.

How to make a YouTube video into a GIF

You don’t need any special knowledge or tools to make your own GIF.

First, find a video to excerpt on YouTube. Then go to GIPHY, log in or create a new account, and get to work.

1. On GIPHY’s homepage, click the “Create” button at the top of the window.

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You can find the “Create” button at the top of GIPHY’s colorful homepage.

2. Copy the link for your YouTube video into the “Any URL” box on GIPHY. You can also use Vimeo videos and other GIPHY links. Just note that it needs to be shorter than ten minutes.

3. Choose the moment in your video where you want to start your GIF. Slide the Start Time bar until you get to the spot in the video right before the snippet you want to turn into a GIF.

4. Pick the length of your GIF by moving the Duration bar to the left or right, or hitting the up or down arrow next to “Seconds.” Watch your GIF a couple of times to make sure you’ve captured the slice of video you wanted.

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Use the two sliders to trim or extend your GIF.

5. Once you’ve found the perfect starting point and length for your GIF, it’s time to decorate it. Click “Continue to Decorate.”

6. On this page, you can add text and pictures to your GIF. Click on “Caption” to add text. Click and drag the text to move it where you want it on the screen. You can also choose what you want the text to look like, and how you want it to move.

7. You can add stickers when you choose “Stickers.” Click and drag stickers to position them on the GIF.

8. Click “Filters” to change the look of the GIF.

9. You can also draw on your GIF in the Draw menu.

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You can decorate and edit your GIF in many ways.

10. When you’re finished decorating, click “Continue to Upload.”

11. Your GIF is almost ready. Add one or more tags so others can find and share it. Then click “Upload to GIPHY.”

12. GIPHY will create your GIF. This takes a few seconds.

13. Watch your GIF and appreciate your handiwork! Use the menu to the right of your GIF to copy the link, share it on social media, or get its embed code. You can also right-click the GIF to download it onto your computer.

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There are several options available for sharing your GIF.

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How to make a GIF on your iPhone, using a Live Photo or GIPHY

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GIFs only take a few moments to make on an iPhone.

  • To make a GIF on your iPhone, you can convert a Live Photo in the Photos app or use apps like GIPHY.
  • Converting Live Photos lets you make quick pseudo-GIFs with photos you’ve taken yourself.
  • GIPHY gives you more features to make and customize GIFs on your iPhone.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’ve ever taken a Live Photo on your iPhone, you’ve probably realized that it’s a bit like recording a quick GIF with your camera.

However, Live Photos are a bit different – they aren’t meant to repeat automatically, for example, and only work on Apple devices.

But if you do want to make a GIF on your iPhone, and make these Live Photos repeat, you’re in luck. You can use the native iPhone Photos app to make your Live Photos repeat, and the GIPHY app to create a GIF that can be shared anywhere.

Here’s how.

How to make a GIF on an iPhone with the Photos app

First, it should be noted that turning a Live Photo into a GIF through the Photos app won’t create a real GIF – it’ll just create another Live Photo that looks like a GIF when played on an iPhone or iPad.

This means that if you export this Live Photo to a non-Apple device, it still won’t move. You’ll have to use GIPHY to create a real GIF.

1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone and tap on the Live Photo you want to turn into a GIF.

2. Swipe up on the photo to bring up the moving picture menu (Live, Loop, Bounce, Long Exposure).

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You can turn any Live Photo into a GIF through this menu.

3. Tap on “Loop” to turn the picture into a repeating GIF. Note, however, that it won’t be a “clean” GIF – instead of simply jumping back to the end of the GIF when it’s finished, the image will fade out, like so:

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GIFs made in the Photos app will fade away instead of cleanly repeating.

You can also tap on “Bounce” so that the frames of the picture will go forward and in reverse instead of starting back at the beginning.

How to make a GIF on an iPhone using GIPHY

GIPHY gives many more options for getting creative with your GIFs, allows you to share your new creations with the world, and allows you to download GIFs created by other members of the community.

1. Open the GIPHY app.

2. Tap on the “Create” icon in the top-right.

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Tap the green camera sign to add or create a new GIF.

3. Here you have two options for making your GIF:

  • Film a new GIF by tapping on the camera icon, bottom-center.
  • Make a GIF from your photos by tapping on the photos icon in the bottom-right, then tapping on the photo you want to use.

4. There are various options for customizing it on the bottom (from left to right): Write a caption, add a filter, add pre-made art and word art phrases, trim your GIF, and more.

Once it’s exactly how you want it, tap on the purple arrow to upload it to GIPHY.

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Tap the purple arrow button when you’re finished with your GIF.

5. On the next page, tap “Upload to GIPHY.” You’ll have to sign up for a GIPHY account before you can upload and save your GIF.

6. Once it’s uploaded, tap on the three vertical dots to open a new menu.

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You can also share your GIF directly from this page.

7. Tap “Save to Camera Roll” to download the newly created GIF onto your phone. You can now freely export or post it wherever you like.

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Save the GIF to your Camera Roll to use it anywhere.

Unlike GIFs created with the native Photos app, GIFs created through GIPHY will be clean and complete. They’ll also keep working even when posted online or transferred to another device.

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Your GIF should repeat without issue.

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