DIY Slack Emojis, Part One

Written by Lauren Boeing, Account Executive at

This week, I decided to tackle something that had been floating around my brain ever since I found out Slack accepts custom emojis: I wanted to make my own Slack reaction gifs. Now, this was a little intimidating to me for a few reasons. First, there are soOOO many good memes and gifs out there that would make great Slack reacts. It was a bit overwhelming!! Second, I also wasn’t sure I knew enough about Photoshop to make a gif of my own. I have used Adobe Animate to make a few very basic gifs before, but I wanted to try and make one in Photoshop.

I decided to keep it suuuper simple to take some of the pressure off myself mentally. After all, this was a project FOR FUN. Might as well make it fun, right? I decided to make a simple gif of the word “wow” where the O is basically a bubble that grows and bursts. A good react for sarcastic situations or genuine positive situations (the mystery of how you’re using it creates intrigue).

To start, I made my background transparent, put two W’s in my art board, and left space for my bubble O in between, like so:

Then, making a separate layer for each one, I made a series of circles increasing in size to serve as the “bubble” O.

Then I opened the Timeline widow, and clicked “Create Frame Animation” at the bottom of the screen.

Then I went to the menu in the Timeline window and selected “Make Frames From Layers”. After that, all you have to do is toggle the length of each frame/layer (I made mine equal, but it can vary depending on how complicated you’re getting). Now you can export! The only thing that you have to double check before exporting is the size of your file since Slack limits the size of emojis/reactions to 128KB.

Now all you have to do is open Slack, click the emoji button, open “Add Emoji” and name/upload your file! Not so intimidating after all! This is what I ended up with after about an hour-ish worth of work:

It’s not fancy, but I made it and officially got over my fear of making a gif in Photoshop! This is a fun, easy project that anyone with a little bit of Photoshop experience can definitely handle. The only limit is your imagination!

Your Software Sidekick.