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Google Images adds filters for animated GIFs

The company confirms it is adding filters to make the popular image format easier to find.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
Animated GIF search in Google Images.
Animated GIF search in Google Images. Screenshot by Casey Newton/CNET

Google is making it easier to find the perfect animated GIF with which to e-mail a friend or post on a blog, adding new filters to Images that let users query specific file types.

Google confirmed to CNET that it is rolling out the new filters to users today. The file types now searchable include faces, photos, clip art, line drawings, and animated GIFs. All appear under "search tools." Click "any type" on the drop-down menu that appears to see the animated GIF option.

The filters highlight the wide range of file types contained within image search. Run a query on Justin Bieber, for example, and you'll find plenty of clip art and line drawings to go along with the photos you would expect.

The animated GIF search option allows users to preview the animations directly from the search engine results page, making it easier to decide which Grumpy Cat GIF to include on your blog.

Animated GIFs have long been included in Google Image Search, but users haven't been able to search for them directly until now. The filters were first noticed by Google Operating System.

Another new option lets you search for transparent images: click "Transparent" under the "Any color" drop-down box after clicking "search tools."

Update 11:04 a.m. PT: The company has now posted about the new filters on Google+.