How to Create an Animated GIF Screenshot on Mac

Many people use either screenshot images or screen recorded videos to communicate ideas visually, but there are times when a static image isn’t sufficient enough while a huge video file is an overkill. These are the times when the best solution is to use an animated GIF image that can show movement while still keeping the file size small. The problem is how do you create animated screenshots? If you are a Mac user, you can use the free Giphy Capture app to create animated GIF screenshots quickly.

Getting Started With Giphy Capture

The first step that you have to do is download the application from the Mac App store.


The first part of the app is the Capture window. It is a transparent, resizable screen-recording window that you can move around and fit the area that you want to capture.


The second part of the app is the menubar icon. This is the place where you can summon the recording window, set up the capture shortcut key, and decide whether you want to include the cursor in the recording. But to maximize the experience, you have to log in using your Giphy account or register for a new one.


Creating an Animated GIF

The app creates an animated GIF in two steps. First, it will record the screen without the sound, then export the recording as a GIF.

But before starting the process, you need to position the recording window by dragging and dropping it to your preferred location anywhere on the screen. You can also resize it to your desired pixel size by dragging any edge of the window. The pixel size info will appear at the bottom right of the screen when you do the resizing.

After everything is set, click the red recording button to start (and later stop) the screen recording. The result will be stored at the bottom bar of the window. You can show/hide the bar by clicking the button on the bottom right of the screen.


The concept of having a storage bar is convenient. You don’t have to deal with each recording directly (but you can if you want to). Instead, you can create several screen recordings first and edit them later. You can also delete the clips that you don’t need by clicking the [X] button on the item.


To edit a recording, click the icon on the storage bar to open the info window. Other than displaying basic information about the file, this window is also the place for you to start editing the recording, save the file to your hard drive, or upload the result to the Giphy website.


After clicking the “Edit” button on the Info window, you can start editing the file. There are several settings that you can adjust such as the beginning and the end of the clip, how you want the recording to loop, the image size, and the FPS (frame per second). The higher these settings are, the better quality the result would be.

But the settings are also parallel to the file size. If you want a smaller size, you have to reduce the overall quality.

As a bonus, you can add a caption to your GIF. You can also display the file size by clicking the “Calculate Size” option.


The final step is to close the Edit window and either “Save” the file or “Upload” it to Giphy. Creating an animated GIF is simple. Here’s an example that I created in less than three minutes.


Here’s another.


Have you tried creating an animated GIF screenshot? Do you think it’s the next stage of sharing visual ideas or just a gimmick? Share your thoughts and opinion using the comments below.

Jeffry Thurana
Jeffry Thurana

Jeffry Thurana is a creative writer living in Indonesia. He helps other writers and freelancers to earn more from their crafts. He's on a quest of learning the art of storytelling, believing that how you tell a story is as important as the story itself. He is also an architect and a designer, and loves traveling and playing classical guitar.

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