10 best animated GIF creators [+Bonus tools]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • GIF are interesting tools to infuse more of your personality into your online conversations.
  • If you want to create animated GIFs, you need a tool capable of generating a timeframe-based animation out of still photos.
  • Adobe Photoshop is an excellent tool for creating animated GIFs on your computer. In this guide, we'll show you to create GIFs in Photoshop and we'll also explore other similar tools.
  • For more useful guides, visit our video software hub as well as our graphic and design hub.
create animated GIF tools

GIF images are popular because they support animation so you can easily create an animated image and share it with others. Creating animated GIF images isn’t as hard as you think.

If you want to create your own GIF images today we’re going to show you the best tools to create GIFs.

What is the best tool to create GIFs?

Adobe Photoshop

create animated gif photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most versatile graphic and image editors on the market. Most users utilize it to edit photos and create digital images. But did you know you can create animated GIFs in Photoshop?

To do this, you need to turn a series of photos you took with a camera or your smartphone into a looping animated GIF.

How to create animated GIFs in Photoshop (step-by-step guide)

  1. Upload your photo series
  2. Go to Timeline > select Create Frame Animation
  3. Each frame should have its own layer
  4. Go to the layer menu and select Make Frames From Layers
  5. Select how long should each frame appear and how many times the frames should loop
  6. Preview your GIF. If you’re satisfied with the end result, save it and export it.

ScreenToGif

If you’re looking for a simple application to create GIFs, ScreenToGif might be perfect for you. The application works as a screen recorder, so you can record any part of the screen and convert it to an animated GIF. This is especially useful if you want to create tutorials or convert videos to GIFs.

The application supports screen recording, but you can also use your webcam to capture video. In addition, there’s also a sketchboard feature that you can use to record your sketches in real-time.

As for the screen recorder feature, it comes as a resizable window, and you have to move it over a desired section of the screen in order to record it. If needed, you can change the number of frames from 1fps to 60fps. Keep in mind that increasing the frame rate will create a larger file.

You can freely resize the recording window, and there’s an option to set a fixed size in pixels. In addition, there’s a snap to window feature that allows you to select a window that you want to record simply by dragging and dropping. To control the recording, you can use the built-in icons or F7 and F8 keyboard shortcuts.

After you record your GIF, you can edit it using the built-in editor. Editor allows you to see all frames in your GIF, and you can even remove unnecessary frames. If needed, you can reverse the playback or use the Yoyo effects.

In addition, you can also move your frames or change their delay. If needed, you can edit each image by resizing, cropping or rotating it. You can also add text, captions and even text for key strokes. As for additional elements, you can add a progress bar, watermark, border or a freehand drawing to your GIF.

It’s worth mentioning that you can apply some transitions to your frames such as fade and slide. According to developer, the editor supports GIFs from other sources, so you can easily edit other GIF images. After you create your image, you can save it as a GIF, video or image frames. You can also save it as a project and continue working on it later.

ScreenToGif is a simple application that offers a wide array of features, so it’s perfect for every user that wants to create an animated GIF. The application is completely free and portable, so no installation is required. As for requirements, the only requirement is .NET Framework 4.6.1 or later.

LICEcap

If you’re looking for a simplistic GIF tool, you might want to consider LICEcap. The application has a simple interface that allows you to record any part of your screen and turn it into an animated GIF. To do that, simply move LICEcap window over the part of the screen that you want to record and resize the window to the desired size.

If needed, you can set the fixed size or number of max frames per second. After doing that, you just need to click the record button and you’re good to go.

As for saving options, you can choose to add a title frame or elapsed time to your GIFs. In addition, you can also show mouse button clicks which can be rather useful for tutorials.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to pause the recording or set your GIF to repeat. If needed, you can also set the recording to stop after a specified number of seconds.

We have to mention that LICEcap supports two output formats, GIF and LCF. While GIF is perfect for web, LCF format is designed for local playback. LCF format offers better compression ratio and better quality along with more than 256 colors per frame. Of course, you can also convert LCF file to a GIF or any other video format.

LICEcap is a simplistic application, and its biggest flaw is the lack of GIF editor. Using this tool you can’t preview your GIF or edit it in any way which is a major flaw. Despite this limitation, LICEcap is a decent tool, and since it’s completely free, there’s no reason not to try it out.

GifCam

Another tool that can create GIF animations is GifCam. This application works as a screen recorder, so you can easily record any part of the screen simply by moving the application window. As for recording, there are three modes available, 10FPS, 16FPS and 33FPS. Of course, you can customize the available frame rate options if needed. You can also choose to show cursor or to record a full screen.

The application can detect if the previous frame is the same as the new one and add delays instead of new frames. By doing so, the application creates GIF files that are smaller in size.

In order to reduce the size of the GIFs, the application adds transparent pixels after comparing frames. After that, it analyzes the frames and adds only different pixels to the animated GIF. Thanks to this method, the size of the output file is much smaller, which is rather important when creating GIFs for web.

The application has a simple editor and you can easily delete frames, add text, resize or crop your frames. In addition, you can also adjust hue and saturation or even add a green screen for every frame. As for saving, you can save your GIF using 6 different presets. In addition to GIFs, you can also export your animation to AVI format

. In order to achieve the desired results, you can also preview your animation at any time. There’s also a useful profile option that allows you to see a bar chart along with information regarding each frame. Thanks to this feature you can see the size of every frame, number of colors and percentage of green screen. This is a useful feature, especially if you want to optimize your GIF and reduce its size.

GifCam offers a wide range of features, so it’s perfect for every user that wants to create an animated GIF. The application has a humble user interface, and that is our only complaint.

Even though the interface is humble, it can sometimes be confusing especially to new users. The application is completely free and portable, so be sure to try it out.

GIMP

If you’re looking for a powerful image editor that can also create GIFs, you should consider using GIMP. This is a cross-platform image editor and it’s available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The application is completely free, so you can download and use it without any restrictions.

GIMP is perfect for graphic designers and it comes with all options that a photo editor needs. You can easily edit your images, change their color, hue, saturation or brightness and add special effects to them.

In addition, you can create unique creations thanks to the built-in layer system. It’s worth mentioning that the application also supports programming algorithms so you can easily edit your images using scripts.

Another great feature of GIMP is the ability to enhance it with various plug-ins. Speaking of plug-ins, you can easily create animated GIFs from videos by using GIMP Animation Package plug-in. After you download the plug-in, you’ll be able to create GIFs from videos with ease.

Even though GIMP isn’t a GIF tool by default, you can still use it to create GIFs by using special plug-ins. The application is perfect for everyone who needs an image editing tool that can create GIFs, so feel free to try it out.

AnimateGIF

Another simple application that can create GIFs is AnimateGIF. The application is rather simple, so it doesn’t support screen capture or videos. In order to create a GIF, you need to manually insert your pictures in order to use them as frames. After that you need to set the frame delay and the quality of your GIF. If needed, you can also enable loop option in order to repeat your animation.

AnimateGIF doesn’t have much to offer, so there’s no options for editing or screen capture. However, if you already have images or frames exported from a video, you can easily combine them and create a GIF image with this tool. Even though this application is simple to use, it can create the most basic GIF images which is its biggest flaw.

If you need to create GIFs from videos or capture your screen, you might have to use a different tool. If you’re still interested in AnimateGIF, you can download it and use it for free.

QGifer

QGifer is another tool that can create GIFs from videos. The application can create a GIF file from .avi, .mp4 and .mpg files. Once you open a video, there are playback controls available so you can easily find the section that you want to use for a GIF image. There’s also another slider that allows you to choose start and end point of your GIF.

The application has a toolbox in the left pane and you can use it to adjust FPS, zoom level and looping options. QGifer also supports margins as well as various filters. If needed, you can also change the hue, saturation or brightness of your GIF image.

As for output options, you can choose the starting frame as well as ending frame. If needed, you can also adjust the width and height of your image and change the palette size.

In terms of editing, the application allows you to add images and text to your GIF images. It’s worth mentioning that you can position both text and images any way you like and choose the frames in which they will appear.

After doing that, you just need to extract your animation as a GIF file. Once the animation is rendered, you can preview it, append a reversed copy or save it to your PC.

QGifer is a solid tool that can convert any type of video file to a GIF image. The application is relatively simple to use, so you’ll be able to create GIFs with ease. Some editing options are missing, such as the ability to view and delete individual frames.

Due to lack of these features, you might want to consider using a different application for advanced editing. As for QGifer, the application is completely free so be sure to try it out.

Giffing Tool

Another application that can help you create animated GIFs is Giffing Tool. This application allows you to record any part of your screen and convert it into a GIF file. After you record a video, you can preview it, cut, paste and copy specific frames. In addition, you can change the size of your GIF as well as its quality and frame rate.

As for editing, you can add captions or apply grayscale or luminate effects. You can also crop an image or import new files. If needed, you can also record the same area again or choose a different area to record.

After you finish editing, you can save your GIF image locally or upload it online and share it with others. If needed, you can also convert video files to GIF images using this tool. List of supported formats includes .gif, .avi, .mp4, and .web.

The application also has few preset sizes that you can use to convert videos from popular video streaming websites such as YouTube, Vimeo or Twitch.

Giffing Tool offers a wide array of features, so it will be perfect for both basic and advanced users alike. The application is completely free to use, but it comes with a small message at the bottom.

If you want to remove the message, simply donate any amount to the developer. We also have to mention that the application is completely portable, so you don’t have to install it in order to run it.

FAQ: Learn more about GIFs

  • Are there GIFs with sound?

GIFs are actually image-based files that do not support sound. There are no GIFs with sound.

  • Can you add music to GIFs?

You can add music to GIFs, but to do that, you need to convert your GIF into a video file format because the GIF file format does not support audio.

  • How long is a GIF?

Optimized GIFs should have a total length of a maximum of 5 seconds.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page with more tools to create animated GIFs. Bookmark our hub dedicated to animation software for more useful guides.