How to make free GIFs on macOS and Windows

Making gif, nothing could be easier in 2021 on a Mac or a PC. And yet, you have to know the right applications or the appropriate services that allow you to create gifs quickly and simply to avoid getting lost in difficult manipulations on professional software. We will explain everything to you.

Far from being old-fashioned, the gif has made a comeback in recent years, to the point of becoming an essential format in web culture. We can no longer count the memes that use them for humorous or parody purposes. To find your way around, sites like Giphy allow you to search for animated images by subject, within a huge collection filled by the community.

Riding on the “gif revival” fashion, social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter also make it possible to search and send gif to each other. But sometimes, all the gifs in the world are not enough and we would like to create our own, whether it is to capture a moment of life or illustrate an article. And there, we realize that the task is not as simple as it seems.

This guide shows you how to easily create a gif, no matter what device you’re reading it on.

On computer

Giphy Capture on macOS

Giphy Capture, must have // ​​Source: Numerama

The tool offered by Giphy allows macOS users to record high definition GIFs very easily. Giphy Capture (direct link) can capture anything happening on the Mac screen and save it as a gif. Yes, that means you will be able to capture a moment from a video, video game, or whatever you are doing.

  • Launch the app
  • Resize the green area to match what you want to capture
  • Press the red button to start recording : do not worry about its duration, you can adjust everything later. Remember to launch your videos a little before recording the gif.

Once the recording is done, it appears as a thumbnail. Clicking on a thumbnail opens a simple editor. You can cut your gif but also resize it (a gif is very heavy, do not hesitate to pass it in 480p) and choose how you want it to loop (ping pong, backwards…). You can also add a caption and preview the size the gif will be before exporting it to your computer or directly to the Giphy site.

ScreenToGif on Windows

ScreenToGif, 0% ergonomics, 100% versatility // Source: Numerama

Giphy not having deigned to offer its miracle solution on Windows 10, it is necessary to fall back on a software certainly ugly, but which is after all very competent (and open source): ScreenToGif. ScreenToGif allows you to do just about everything that Giphy Capture does. It can be downloaded at this address (direct link).

  • Launch the app
  • Resize the window for her to take whatever you want to capture.
  • Start recording.
  • Another window opens and offers you a visual of the interface Windows Vista with multiple tabs to switch to editing.

Difficult to navigate, but you can cut your gif frame by frame, remove duplicates, reduce the quality of the whole and export your file as you see fit.

GIF Maker on the web

Giphy Maker // Source: Numerama

No need to download an application on Windows or macOS to make a gif. GIF Maker can do this for you, as long as you have a video file or images to compile to make your gif. You can also paste a YouTube or Vimeo video directly into the address bar and GIF Maker will turn it into a gif. You can then edit the file before exporting it.

GIF Maker Problem: You can share, embed, or upload a file, but Giphy, unlike its name suggests, only lets you upload webp formats. EZGifMaker is less easy to access but will allow you to export to gif easier, if that is your purpose.

Finally, if you have a video and just want to convert it to a gif, cloudconvert does a perfect job.

Article originally published on April 09, 2016 and updated on August 26, 2021

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