GIFs are just everywhere – from social media networks to the popular tech blogs. Besides being normal images, they contain multiple images that play sequentially and give you the illusion of a video file. Creating a GIF image is not difficult, and we have already covered how you can create one on your Mac using an app.
If you would prefer creating a GIF without using a third-party app, you can now do so using the most convenient thing you do on your Mac: the right-click. By installing a utility and creating a service in Automator, you can allow yourself to create as many GIFs as you want by just right-clicking on the images you wish to include in the animated GIF image.
Here’s the procedure for it:
Making Animated GIFs with Right-Click
In order to make a GIF image using right-click, you need to have Homebrew, a package manager for Mac, installed on your machine. The following guide takes care of this as well for you.
Installing Homebrew on Your Mac
Homebrew lets you install a number of packages on your Mac by just using the Terminal app. Here’s how to install this package manager on your Mac:
1. Launch Terminal by clicking on Launchpad in your dock and searching for and clicking on Terminal.
2. When Terminal launches, type in the following command:
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
3. Press Enter on the following screen to allow Homebrew to be installed. Then, wait for it to be installed.
4. When Homebrew is installed, run the following command in Terminal and make sure it says “Your system is ready to brew.”
Homebrew has been successfully installed on your Mac. Now you need to install a utility using Homebrew.
Installing ImageMagick using Homebrew
1. Launch Terminal.
2. When it launches, type in the following command and press Enter. It should install the ImageMagick utility on your machine.
brew install imagemagick
3. Wait for the utility to be installed on your Mac. When it’s installed, you should see the following screen.
ImageMagick has been successfully installed. Here’s the actual task.
Creating an Automator Service for Making GIFs
1. Launch Automator by clicking on Launchpad in your dock and searching for and clicking on Automator.
2. When Automator opens, click on the “File” menu and select “New.”
3. On the following screen you will be asked what kind of document you would like to create. Choose “Service” as the document type and click on “Choose.”
4. On the screen that follows select “files or folders” from the first drop-down menu and “Finder” from the second drop-down menu.
5. Drag and drop “Get Selected Finder Items” from the Actions panel over to the workflow.
6. Drag the “Run Shell Script” action as well over to the workflow panel.
7. Select “as arguments” from the “Pass input” dropd-own menu under the Run Shell Script section in the workflow panel.
8. Type in the following command into the Shell box. It is a script that will create a GIF for you.
/usr/local/bin/convert -delay 20 -loop 0 "$@" ~/Desktop/animatedimage.gif
9. Your service is now ready. Save it by clicking on the “File” menu and selecting “Save…”
10. Enter “Create Animated GIF” as the name and click on “Save” to save the service. You can use any name for the service, though.
Once the service has been saved, exit out of the Automator app.
11. To test the script, select some images on your Mac, and then right-click on any one of them and select “Services” followed by “Create Animated GIF.” It will create an animated GIF image out of the selected images.
The GIF image will be saved on the desktop with the name “animatedimage.gif.”
While there may be a number of apps to help you create animated GIFs, the above method gets the job done for you from the context menu itself.