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I need to make a flowchart for a project, and some of the nodes have to be animated GIFs. Support for any video file format works just as well since I can just convert the GIFs into videos, but I imagine that GIF support is going to be easier to find. Is there a free app that can be used to accomplish this?

Here are some of the options that I've tried so far and why they don't work:

  • Draw.io: inserted GIFs play exactly once, then only play again if the diagram is reloaded. I need the GIFs to either keep playing or play on command (e.g. on click). Creating a second page in draw.io, switching to it, and switching back has a seemingly random chance of replaying all GIFs once. If it were consistent, I would accept this as "play on command" (though it would be a less-than-ideal solution). Further, the maximum image size is uncomfortably small – I think it's around 600 KB – and the "image is too large" error appears even when using the app's "resize" option when inserting the GIF.

  • PowerPoint (SmartArt): the "hierarchy" SmartArt can be used to make flowcharts, but it does not support cycles (and the "cycles" SmartArt does not support hierarchies). Also, SmartArt nodes only support text.

  • PowerPoint (draw the flowchart manually): since PowerPoint is not a flowcharting app, it does not have an "auto arrange" function. Having such a function is a necessity since the project's flowchart may become very large.

  • Lucidchart: not possible according to this similar question on the Lucidchart help center.

  • Code2flow: no support for adding images of any kind – at least, not that I could find.

  • yEd (desktop app), and eDraw Max: inserted GIFs are converted to static images.

  • yEd (web app): GIFs play once when inserted, and I could not find a way to make them play again at all. The app does not support multiple pages, so I can't use previously-mentioned trick that I had been using on draw.io.

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