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I need a way to record my Windows desktop and save it as an animated GIF file. Here's an example:

sample

I need GIF animations so that they can run from a web page without requiring any plugins. I want to record and save directly as a GIF.

How can I create a GIF screencast?

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Why do you need to save directly to animated gif format? –  J. Polfer Dec 30 '09 at 16:23
    
Appears other solutions can freely solve this now: superuser.com/questions/20381/… –  bbodenmiller Jun 5 '13 at 22:35

6 Answers 6

up vote 40 down vote accepted

I've been using licecap in various SU answers. Its dead simple to use as you can see from this animated gif - just extend it over your recording area, hit record, set a save file, do your thing and hit stop. Its free, works pretty well, and seems simpler than most of the alternatives. Its entirely free and has windows and OS X ports.

enter image description here

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4  
+1 Simple and easy application –  Curt Oct 24 '13 at 14:56
    
For helpdesk and similar use - this is much better than CamStudio and other tools I know. –  Kamil Oct 2 at 14:57
    
I'm surprised at the color posterization quality considering it's a GIF. –  Cole Johnson Oct 2 at 21:37

Edited this answer according to your requirements:

  1. Use CamStudio Portable to record your screen activities to AVI.

  2. Use VirtualDubMod to convert the AVI to a sequence of images (PNG).

  3. Use Easy Graphic Converter to convert the PNGs to GIFs.

  4. Use UnFREEz to create an animated GIF from the images.

Done and dusted.

Video Tutorial

ALL programs are free, ALL programs but Easy Graphic Converter are portable. Either you find an alternative image converter (there are plenty, I only chose it because it was used for the tutorial) or you make it portable yourself by running the installer through the mighty Universal Extractor (I have tested it, it works).

If you want it "All in One", then you're pretty much out of luck, at least as far as "free and portable" goes.


Here are some (rather cheap) commercial screen-recording programs with output to animated GIF:

aSkysoft Screen Recorder ($39.95)

Super Screen Capture ($49.95)

As far as 'portability' is concerned, pretty much anything can be made portable, one way or other.

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thx for reply but i wanto record in gif like video not in 10 second screenshots –  metal gear solid Dec 23 '09 at 21:20
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You have some pretty specific requirements, that really should be in the question! However, I'd reconsider what you're trying to achieve - gifs are not built for long videos. –  Phoshi Dec 23 '09 at 23:36
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i don't really get it either, animated gif would be my very last choice for screen recordings. size, quality, lack of audio ... no match for SWF, nevermind AVI. anyway, he's got the tools he needs to do it, if 'all in one' is the next requirement, he'll have to cough up the few quid for a commercial program. i'm done here :) –  Molly7244 Dec 23 '09 at 23:46
    
Worked well for me.. Updated the link to CamStudio Portable. –  Keith Sirmons Mar 26 '12 at 13:33

Jon Galloway had a great post of using TimeSnapper to record his desktop activities. The application which is an Automatic Screenshot Journal isn't free, but at $25 it really isn't a bad deal.

And, if you dont' need all of the options that the professional edition has, you can always download the 'Classic' version and just take screen shots of your activites.

Good luck, and hope this helps some.

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May be this not a solution, just a alternate way.

You can use Wink to record desktop activities and It has the option to export as SWF file format. You could use any swf to gif converter (will update soon)

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i know about Wink but i need direct screen to gif –  metal gear solid Dec 11 '09 at 11:14

Not sure there is a truly portable program to do this, given the huge difference between the Windows windows manager & the X Windows server used in *nix and Mac. Irfanview is probably the best windows tool to do this.

NirCmd is a commandline tool that can import a sequence of images on windows. Imagemagick can do this on anything running an X Server, there are free X servers for windows.

All of these tools make individual gif's which you can them combine into a single animated gif.

I still recommend Imagemagick for it's conversion capabilities. It has many features you could use to make your animated gif's more efficient.

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Screen To Gif is an excellent free solution. It has a lot of features including save directly to folder, hotkeys to start/stop recording, hide/show mouse, etc.

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