Videos, infographics, animated GIFs are elements that make the web interesting and fun.
If you want your content to stand out, you need to add high quality and interactive elements to your pages and posts.
Most of the time adding a video to your content is a great option. People love videos and that is why YouTube has been one of the most popular destinations on the web.
However, on certain occasions, creating a video might be overkill. If you simply want to show a simple interaction or capture something on your screen, an animated gif might be a better option.
Advantages of Using Animated Gifs
There are a number of advantages of using animated graphics over a regular video.
Unlike videos, you don’t have to worry about hosting your animated graphics. Because they’re simple images, you don’t need 3-rd party apps or plugins to display them on the web. You add GIFs the same way you add any other type of static images like PNG or JPG.
Animated graphics are also cost-effective and much cheaper to produce. There are many easy to use animated screen capture tools available for free, and you will find a few popular ones in the list below.
Animated gifs are also much easier to edit. To make changes to your video, you need special video editing software that can be fairly complicated and not easy to learn. To edit animated gifs, all you need is a photo editing app like Photoshop or GIMP. As long as the image editor supports layers, you should be able to easily make changes to your animations.
However, even this might not be necessary since many of the free image animation tools include the ability to edit your animations right inside the program. This way you can create and edit your graphics using the same tool
Why Create Animated Screen Captures?
One main reason is to make your explainer and how-to posts easy to understand and follow.
Sure, you can add static screenshots to your tutorials, but with static images, you need to list detailed instructions and the end result might be more confusing.
When you use animated gifs, you can show what to do and thus do a better job explaining without having to write a long explanation or listing the steps. People love to see movement and can understand directions much easier if they can see what is actually happening on the screen.
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How To Make an Animated Gif Screen Capture.
So how do you go about making an animated GIF screen capture?
There are many free tools available. Most are extremely simple and easy to use.
Below is the list of popular tools you can use to create animated graphics of your screen.
This is the simplest and the easiest tool to use. If you’re looking for a minimal app that doesn’t require any time commitment to learn, you will like LICEcap. There is not much to it. After you install and launch the app, you will see a window frame. You can then resize it to fit the area you want to record and start recording. After you finish and click stop, it asks where you want to save it.
LICEcap captures an area of your desktop and saves it directly as a .GIF file.
Download: cockos.com (Windows & Mac).
Screen to Gif
This is another excellent tool that I love using. It offers many more editing options and controls. The tool includes a screen, webcam and sketch board recorder with an integrated editor.
Unlike LICEcap which simply downloads the .GIF to your computer, Screen to Gif gives you advanced editing capabilities.
You don’t need external 3rd party photo editing software to edit your animations. You can crop, resize, and delete the frames before publishing them online.
There is a portable, stand-alone version that doesn’t require installation and can be launched from anywhere.
Download: screentogif.com (Windows)
This is another easy to use gif animation tool, but with slightly different functionality. You might want to use this tool If you want to create small videos and animated images and quickly share it with others.
After you install it and record your screen, it will automatically upload your video to the web and will give you a link to share. You can also right-click and download your animation as a video or chose the GIF button to download it as an animated image.
Download: recordit.co (Windows & Mac)
Quickly is a fun animated GIF making app. GifCam is a free, portable app for Windows. GifCam is similar to other apps on this list. It records everything inside the frame you define and makes it into a GIF, which you can edit.
Download: blog.bahraniapps.com (Windows)
I hope you will find these tools useful. Experiment with each one to see which one you prefer. Then use them to add attractive animated graphics to your website to grab people’s attention and increase the organic reach of your posts.
Do you have another tool you use to create screen animations? Please use comments below and share.