Gifs - How can I play them directly in Scrivener? (also other multimedia files as well)

I’m sure this question may have been asked before, but… is there ANY way to add .gifs to a project and have them PLAY IN THE PROJECT? Same thing with mp3s and videos… None of these things play anything when I try to import them in.

This is actually REALLY important for me, as the work I’m doing uses a lot of references of .gifs and/or very short videos (30s-1m30secs long). A stop-image frame really won’t cut it. :confused:

ALSO: If there isn’t an option for this… is there any way I can request this feature be added to the software in the future??? I don’t see why a word processor like Word can easily play .gifs in a .doc or .docx but Scrivener is giving me such headaches??? Especially when I’m desperate for this to work out (please please PLEASE help me out here!)

This is the short reddit thread where me and another member did some troubleshooting. Please check this out first before commenting.

.gifs will play in Word, which is “a writing and formatting software”.

Right! That’s why I’m really confused why I’m not getting any of the multimedia files to work in Scrivener at all. Music doesn’t play, nor does videos. And now am I to learn that even gifs won’t work either? :confused: That’s just frustrating and unacceptable.

This is strange.

I am afraid that I only have questions for now, in order to try to eliminate or narrow down some of the variables (of course, you might have tried some of these things already)

  1. Have you tried re-booting your computer, and creating a new project (maybe try this several times) to establish that .gifs will not play in any project?
  2. Try taking .gifs from different sources/places
  3. For the hell of it, have you tried creating a folder under ‘Research’ and playing multi-media files in such a folder?

Not a problem. I’m glad someone is trying to help me figure out this situation…

  1. Yup. First thing I tried. Didn’t seem to make any difference. Gifs didn’t work, videos didn’t play… Although I did get a song to play for a couple seconds and then it just… didn’t anymore. I tried creating new projects to see if I could get anything else to play – including the same song that played for a moment – but the music never played again
  2. Also tried. Originally I thought my .gifs may have been corrupt or something, so I went and re-downloaded them and tried adding them in. Nothing. Then I tried downloading random gifs from all over (Tumblr, Imgur, GIPHY…) None of them worked either.
  3. This is actually how I had it set-up originally, since that’s the way all the how-to videos said to do it. I also tried removing those subfolders (Music, Video, Races, Characters, Items, and Locations) and just adding the files directly to the Research folder instead. Same result. :confused:


I know that with my projects, if I put an .mp3 into a folder (have not actually tried it in the main window, now I come to think of it), then I have to have that file on my computer, and Scrivener shells out to the file in order to play it.

I just downloaded an animated .gif, and get the thumbnail (when I bring it in to the Research folder, or into a sub-folder or document of the Research folder), but I cannot get it to play.

I will do some more experimentation later.

Can you see a thumbnail of the .gif in your situation?

With mine, it will only play in an external player if I specify that. And even then, it’s a 50/50 shot of it working. :confused:

Also, yes, I can see a thumbnail of the gif when I import it in.

Can someone help me with this?

If you have a time-critical need, go to the L&L website, on the Contact Us page, and open a support ticket. The forums are mostly for peer support with other customers, so it is not uncommon to have delays before other users who may have relevant expertise actually read your post and have time to respond.

Having said that…as far as I know, this is by design. Scrivener is not intended to be a feature-complete replacement for Word or any other word processor that has been developed by a team of thousands over several decades. Scrivener does not use the WYSIWYG methodology; it has a document model that is intended to allow the user to pull together a large variety of reference material, organize it, write up a draft consisting of a large number of small documents (as opposed to a large monolithic document that Word or another more traditional word processor uses), and let the user customize their editing environment.

Once the editing is complete, the next step is to compile the document – which means the user tells Scrivener “produce an e-book” or “produce an RTF file” (or whatever supported output format they choose – many users are using Markdown, LaTeX, and other post-processing environments as their output format) and then Scrivener stitches together all the source documents and produces the output document. It will also consistently apply styles and other formatting that have been defined for the user’s compile format – meaning that the compiled output may not even remotely resemble how the various documents looked in the editor.

As a result, the Scrivener editor doesn’t display multimedia directly in the editor, although it may allow you to display (although not automatically play them) multimedia objects that you import into the Research folder. Anything under the Draft folder (or Manuscript, depending on which project template you used) has to be a static element that can be converted into the output document.


What is your purpose of needing them to automatically play in the project? Your published output will not be exactly the same as the appearance of the project, so if you’re trying to find a solution to have them autoplay when published, I would worry about that later on. This may be something you need to use a different software for to get the output you want.

If you just need to reference the material for your writing and these are web-based materials, I’d recommend adding the webpage as an external bookmark in the Inspector. You could also do an external file bookmark for downloaded materials.

1 Like

When I put the cursor over an mp4, play controls pop up at the bottom of the editor pane.

But not for a gif.

You can link to your images and open in their native editor/viewer.