How to Make An Animated Gif

The internet is a vast, ever-expanding web of articles and videos, memes and photos. It seems like there is always something new being shared. Some of the most recognizable posts are short, soundless, animated images called a GIF. GIFs (pronounced either with a soft “g” that sounds like Jif peanut butter or, more commonly, with a hard “G” like gross) can be made of just about anything, from snippets of movie scenes to brief clips of movements on your computer.

While in some context GIFs may seem silly, they can be just as useful as videos, if not more. They are able to express dense amounts of information in a simple and quick way. They usually require less time to make and don’t require an editing process. Adding an appropriate GIF to your website can help get your point across to your audience.

But before you can add a GIF, you first need to know how to make one. There are several different ways that people make GIFs. The way that I will be explaining uses software from cockos.com. The program is called LICEcap and is safe and free to download. Navigate to http://www.cockos.com/licecap/ and select the version that will work on your computer. The download and installation process is fast and easy.

LICEcap5

If you are working from a Windows computer like me, then once you have it installed, open the program by double-clicking the icon on your desktop. It should look something like a frame with your desktop in the center.

LICEcap2

If you look at the upper left-hand corner, you’ll see the program icon along with its name and the word “stopped” in brackets. This means that the program isn’t recording yet.

LICEcap

You can drag the frame over whatever you would like to GIF. Click and drag the edges of the frame to adjust the size of your image (in the bottom left-hand corner there are boxes that show the size of the image you will be making).

LICEcap3

Across from the size, on the bottom right, there are two buttons, one says “stop” and is unclickable at the moment and the other says “record”.

LICEcap4

Once you have found the frame over what you would like to GIF, click record. A save option should come up. You may notice some options that appear along with the save. Feel free to explore these options or bypass them.

LICEcap6

One option that you may find useful, though, is the mouse button press. If you check the box beside it, then anything your mouse clicks inside your GIF will appear with a highlight around it, making it more noticeable.

Licecap gif thingHere is a GIF I made with LICEcap to demonstrate the mouse click option.

At this point, you can decide where you would like to save your GIF and give it a name. Click save and it will begin recording. When you have recorded the length that you would like your GIF to be, click the “stop” button. Since your GIF has already been saved, you are then able to open it from wherever you decided to save it.

From here, your GIF can be embedded on your website, blog, or just about anywhere else online that you would want it to be.

Tags: , ,