Is it possible to set a gif image's tags using the Windows properties panel?

It currently seems working on jpeg, but not on gif files.


GIF files don't support EXIF tags and here's why.

There is a great misconception about JPEG files. Actually, JPEG isn't an image file format - it's a compression algorithm. JPEG specs don't describe how to pack compressed image into file. There are two (mostly compatible) formats for that: the older JFIF and the newer EXIF. Most modern software will also accept mixed formats.

So EXIF isn't a tagging system. Entire JPEG image files are in fact EXIF (or JFIF) files and tagging is one of EXIF's features. GIFs don't use EXIF at all, so you can't put EXIF tags on them.

  • 2
    learnt something today, +1 – BiAiB Feb 23 '13 at 19:52

GIF files have Comment tags that can be updated. While they don't support embedding of EXIF data, they do support embedding XMP metadata/tags.

I always turn to ExifTool for all my tagging needs. The following command will allow you to update the Comment tag:

exiftool -comment="This is a comment!" Sample.gif

You can see a list of all supported XMP tags here, and the XMP EXIF tags supported are listed here.

For example, to specify FlashMode (integer) as Off you can use (note the #):

exiftool -FlashMode#=2 Sample.gif

To specify FlashFired (boolean) as False, use:

exiftool -FlashFired=false Sample.gif

and so on.

Note: -FlashMode is a shortcut for -XMP-exif:FlashMode. See the ExifTool documentation for details. Also, I don't currently know of any way to make Windows aware of these tags though. Maybe there's a shell extension available, will update this answer if I find one.


EXIF is a data collection system used in jpeg files taken on cameras to provide state information (thumbnail, exposure, ISO speed, date, time, location, etc) about when the picture was taken. Since it is native to this type of file, Windows allows manipulation of a subset of the data (similar to MP3 file tags). Other files that can have EXIF information are TIFF and WAV files

GIF is an older format that may have text headers, but the format never was extended to include EXIF information.

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