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The Best Tools for Creating Animated GIF

by Mrinal Saha
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We all love GIF (aka Graphic Interchangeable Format) — a special image format that support animation. People use it for-

  • Sharing funny pictures on Reddit, Tumblr, Google+ etc
  • Animating your profile picture of internet forums
  • Providing visual instruction in your website (see example)

Creating a GIF is no rocket science, you probably know one or two methods already. But creating HQ GIF with minimum efforts does require some knowledge?

For instance, you can create a GIF file using an image editing programs like photoshop or online tools or even a dedicated desktop apps. So which methods should you use and when, let’s find out.

Best Tools for Creating GIF

Ezgif: Create Gif Online 

There are many website that let you create animated gif online, but I prefer ezgif for 2 reasons. One, it has a lot of customization options and second, no watermark or sign-up. 

Create Gif Online

You can create a the gif, either by video or a picture. Simply go to the website and import your picture or video (Max file size is 50 MB). Once done, hit the upload button. The backend will process your video into gif format.

You can further tweak your output gif. For instance once the gif is created, there is an option to crop, compress, rotate or apply the various filter to it. This is useful if you want to keep the file size low.

However, it does have some limitation as well. Like you need the internet connection and it’s not suitable for large file like movie neither you can use it for software demonstration.

Gifyoutube: Create gif from YouTube videos

Every popular video is available on YouTube. So if you want to create a gif from a YouTube video, go to the video you want to convert, and then add gif at the start of its YouTube URL. As simple as that.

The change in URL will redirect it to a new website. Once the website is finished fetching the video, it will ask you to specify the duration from where you want you gif. And that’s it, it will generate gif, which you can download on your computer.

gif youtube: create gif from YouTube video

However the above two method still don’t cover everything, like creating gif for visual demonstration or for your funny cat. Which bring us to desktop and mobile apps.

LICEcap: Create gif on Windows/Mac

Licecap is the free open source app for Windows/Mac that enable you to create gif by recording your computer screen. On the first look, it looks like traditional screen recorder app, with resizable window and record button.

To start recording press the record button and popup will appear, asking you to save the file, Once done, screen recording will start. You can save the output file as the gif.

Overall the app is stable and does what it say. The option to pause the screen and insert text make it perfect for creating gif for screencast tutorial or even movies.

LICEcap: Create gif on Windows/Mac

Gifboom: Create gif in Android/iOS

Gifboom is a popular app to create gif using your phone’s camera. It’s available for Android and iOS. You can create gif from photo and video. To get started, you will have to create a new account. 

The app lets you record a video via phone camera, and then turn it into gif. You can also apply filters, text and even add music to your gif which make it perfect for creating gif of that crazy cat you have.

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