How can I make an animated GIF from recorded screen activity? For example, this GIF that I found is remarkably small:
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NOTE : As pointed out by @richard's comment, this answer is outdated. 'All-in-one' alternatives in other answer and comment below.
There is no free "All-in-one solution" for screen recording in gif. You can use any screen recorder to capture in video format and then use some tools to convert video file to gif.
One possible solution:
Use CamStudio Portable to record your screen activities to AVI.
Use VirtualDubMod to convert the AVI to a sequence of images (PNG).
Use Easy Graphic Converter to convert the PNGs to GIFs.
Use UnFREEz to create an animated GIF from the images.
ScreenToGif is a free app for Windows to record directly to an animated GIF.
You simply have to position the transparent window above the content you wish to record and then it provides the necessary tools to remove frames, adjust the animation speed and add overlays.
Edit: If I'm not mistaken, Camtasia Studio (not the same as CamStudio) can output recordings as animated GIFs directly.
Another alternative is to use ShareX (for Windows). It has a lot of screen capture tools and one of which is to capture screen activity in GIF format.