Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
    
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

7 Answers 7

up vote 58 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

On windows 8.1 and hdpi displays, you'll need to turn off per app display scaling to get it to work normally without turning off global display scaling. I have a a walkthrough on it here

share|improve this answer
6  
+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 '14 at 14:57
    
I'm surprised at the color posterization quality considering it's a GIF. –  Cole Johnson Oct 2 '14 at 21:37
    
after looking different Chrome plugins, finally found that LICEcap plugin and I am happy with that, capturing screen as animated GIF –  Dmitri Algazin Jan 21 at 15:14
1  
@Malachi: Yeah, that does seem to be an issue. I'll update my answer –  Journeyman Geek Jul 19 at 9:03
up vote 14 down vote
+100

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.

share|improve this answer
    
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
1  
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
2  
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

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

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)

share|improve this answer
    
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.

share|improve this answer

I found GifCam, which is free for Windows.

enter image description here

It worked well for my needs to capture and export the gif.

Some nice features:

  • Works from a single executable. I didn't need to install anything else to get it going
  • Has options to adjust the frame timing and to delete/add frames via a built in editor
  • You can add text to frames enter image description here
  • You can show/hide the cursor
  • Yoyo option so that the gif it loops back on itself.
  • Draw Green Screen over frames to create a cinemagraph.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with the product or developer.

share|improve this answer
    
This actually looks pretty handy, and has a few shiny features. I know with my own answer, I let the gif do the talking, but I'd suggest adding a bit more to your answer, covering some of the more useful features for this question. Being able to add text inline, for example seems to be something that gifcam does better than licecap! –  Journeyman Geek Jul 23 at 23:35
    
@JourneymanGeek Done. I'm not sure how it compares to licecap. –  Daniel Ballinger Jul 24 at 1:35

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.