It is a lot easier (for me, in some situations) to create a gif showing how to implement a solution (instead of writing it up in a list, like: 1. do this, 2. do this, ... 14. do this).

Consider the following answer (which is short, so not the best example): Is the gif on the bottom of this post appropriate as a replacement for the instructions?

(I would imagine that Stack Exchange might not want such answers, as they are not searchable by both this website, and search engines like Google.)

Use this formula:

  1. Select all the cells that you want to have the rule
  2. Click on New Rule under Conditional Formatting
  3. Enter the formula in the formula box (see screenshot)

Select rule type "Use a formula to determine which cells to format".

Animated GIF demonstrating steps 1 through 3 above in Excel.

PS. I am surprised that I haven't been able to find a similar question, please let me know if there is a duplicate.

  • 14
    Having both a written answer and an image/gif seems like a better approach. If a user isn't able to see the image for whatever reason, they can still read what they need to do.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 20 at 6:18
  • Yes. Especially in Blender Stack Exchange. Jan 21 at 19:31

A gif like you show might be a great addition to your answer, but no more than that.

There are several occasions in which people won't have any use in your answer when it contains only such a gif.

What if:

  • A user is visually impaired?
  • The image is no longer hosted at the link you provided?
  • A person can't see the gif due to domain or bandwith restrictions?

In all those cases your answer is worthless. Hence writing out the steps is the only way in which your answer preserves its value over time.

  • 3
    Just as a supplement, occasionally my internet connection starts losing packets and some QoS seems to kick in that makes loading GIFs really slow. So, I can see them but I need to wait a lot longer. Images are also loaded slowly but an on the same page image will render fully before a GIF starts looping. This is not exactly the same as blocking the domain but it still makes visual media vastly unreliable.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 20 at 7:44

I think that videos (GIFs, etc) and pictures should only ever be used to supplement more critical content like:

  • lists of steps
  • code
  • error messages

By including the items in the dot points as formatted text that content can be searched and also viewed/read easily on all devices.


I've fairly routinely used gifs for answers and I tend to have a few personal preferences to when I do it.

The answer should make sense without the animated gif - folks are going to want to work through your answer without having to keep up with a gif.

Gifs tend to be big, so keeping them short is good.

One finds in many cases multiple screenshots are better than one gif, as once again its helpful for people to follow on.

Its good for when you want to show where a specific menu is on your system, and to show a change in state

In your specific example - I feel like screenshots of each stage would be more obvious/clear. Now if your values weren't already formatted, the gif might be more informative, since it shows what you did, and the change that caused.

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