If you want to record your screen as a GIF, you’ll need either an application or a video converter to make it happen. Below is our list of the top GIF recorders for a Mac complete with descriptions, pricing details, and pros and cons.
|Movavi Screen Recorder||Multiple export options|
|GIPHY||Free GIF creator option|
|GIF Brewery||Cost efficiency|
|Gifox||Advanced capture options|
|Smart Gif Maker||Simple interface|
|LICEcap||Screen recording only|
|CleanShot X||Cloud storage option|
|Movavi Video Converter||Full video conversion package|
|Keynote||Powerpoint-like program for Mac users|
|Zamzar||Small file sizes|
|CloudConvert GIF Converter||Converting to GIF only|
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Best apps to record GIFs on a Mac
Movavi Screen Recorder
Best for: Users who need multiple export options
Price: Free trial, 1-year license/1 Mac – $42.95, Lifetime/1 Mac – $57.95
G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 50 reviews
This convenient, easy tool from Movavi works on both Windows and Mac and allows one-click screen capture. You can capture both video and images and export them in a wide variety of popular formats.
File sharing is another convenient feature of the program, as you can upload to YouTube or Google Drive in one click or share GIFs directly to social media and messaging applications. Plus, Movavi Screen Recorder uses Intel hardware acceleration to create clean GIFs that process and play seamlessly.
- Draw on videos during recording
- Captures webcam without recording screen
- Can show keystrokes and cursor on a screen
- Allows you to set a recording timer
- Solid price point when compared to other top-tier screen recorders
- Tons of export options
- Interface lets you work quickly
- Has a free trial version, but you have to pay to unlock the best features
- No Linux version
Best for: A free option
Product Hunt rating: 2.8 out of 5, 6 reviews
Most users know GIPHY as the go-to search engine for GIFs. It offers a seemingly endless collection of GIFs uploaded by users from all over the world. But the website also offers a GIF creation feature called GIPHY Create that allows users to upload and create their own animated GIFs.
The online platform is easy to use and lets you both create and share your GIFs all from the same platform. You just select a source material – URL or upload – and then choose a point in the video to create GIF. From there, you can also add stickers, captions, and filters and then share the file with ease.
- Integrates with GIPHY CAM for smartphone uploads
- Option to add stickers, filters, and captions
- Create GIFs from URLs directly from YouTube or Vimeo
- Custom background tool
- Online platform, so no need to download anything
- Easy to share GIFs from the platform
- Allows you to add tags and a source URL
- Only offers basic editing tools
- Many URLs won’t upload in the program
- Limited formats
Best for: Cost efficiency
Mac App Store rating: 4.2 out of 5, 134 reviews
GIF Brewery is owned by Gfycat, which is another popular site to find millions of GIFs. The program is a popular GIF recorder for Mac users that allows users to create GIFs directly from video files, screen recordings, iOS video, and webcam recordings.
The interface allows you to crop and resize your videos and set a frame rate or count before editing. From there, you can apply colorization filters or common photo overall photo filters like Noir. It’s also possible to overlay images and add captions to your GIFs.
Sharing is straightforward with the program but only goes to iMessage, Gfycat, or email.
- Record or import files
- Ability to set frame rate or delay frame
- Can add multiple images and captions
- Offers both image and photo filters
- Cropping and resizing features
- It’s very easy to use
- Would work better with a true video timeline
- Limited sharing options
Best for: Precise capturing
Price: $14.99 for Gifox Pro and $9.99 for upgrade; free to download
Mac App Store rating: 4.6 out of 5, 82 reviews
If you’re looking for speed and precision in your GIF recorder, then Gifox is a superb option. The program offers some of the most accurate capturing tools of any GIF recorder for Mac. It’s possible to select pixel-perfect custom regions or capture GIFs from a specific window – even when covered by other windows.
For speed, Gifox features a range of hotkeys to help you control everything in the program with ease. But the real highlight is the menu bar icon that allows you to access everything you need from a dropdown menu.
Outside of those features, it includes a lot of standard editing features you’ll see elsewhere on the list – fps settings, cutting, trimming, etc. But it really shines with its compression options that allow you to manipulate file sizes to accommodate your needs.
- Quick access icon in your menu bar
- Has hotkeys programmed for even faster usage
- Offers advanced compression options
- Absolute control on modifying your file size
- Tons of capture controls, including fps
- Solid screen selection tools
- No cropping or overlay features
- You have to pay for Pro to get the watermark to go away
Smart Gif Maker
Best for: Users looking for a simple UI
Price: $1.99 to remove watermarks; free to download
Mac App Store rating: 2.2 out of 5, 21 reviews
Smart Gif Maker offers one of the best interfaces for making GIFs from screen captures on a Mac. The program is simple and efficient and makes it easy for users of any level to create a GIF.
Smart Gif Maker has a wide range of import options with drag-and-drop functionality for editing. Though editing options are minimal – there are just enough tools to get the job done – the editing window shines in its simplicity and ease of use.
The development company that created the app closed, so don’t expect updates. But it’s a cost-efficient option for anyone looking for a simple program to create GIFs from screen capture on a Mac.
- GIF previews before export
- Drag and drop functionality
- Edit GIFs with a Paint-like template
- Ability to create reverse GIFs
- Can set all of your frame durations at once
- Simple interface
- Lots of user complaints about the program crashing
- Development company closed; no more updates
Best for: Only screen recording
G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5, 12 reviews
If you only want to screen-record a GIF on a Mac, then LICEcap is a viable option. The program allows you to capture your desktop activity quickly and save it as a .gif or .lcf file. Outside of the base features, you can pause recordings, insert text, adjust the framerate, display the elapsed recording time, and record mouse clicks.
LICEcap is a simple, free program that can record your screen as a GIF, and that’s all. It has no frills, so choose another program if you need additional editing and sharing tools.
- Can move your screen capture frame while recording
- Elapsed time display
- Records in both .gif and .lcf
- Quick and accurate Mac GIF recorder
- Global hotkey
- Framerate adjustment options
- Doesn’t integrate with other apps
- No editing tools
Best for: Users who need cloud storage
Price: $29.99 – App + Cloud Basic; $8.99 per user/month billed annually or $10.99 billed monthly – App + Cloud Pro
TechRadar rating: 5 out of 5
While it’s true that the latest macOS has a superb screenshot tool, some users may want a little more. CleanShot X offers a variety of features that could make up multiple applications. The program does screen capture and recording, text recognition, annotations, floating screenshots, GIF recording, and more.
The screen recording tools offer much more than many of the programs on the list dedicated only to GIF creation. But we’ll specifically highlight the ability to integrate audio into your recording with the Mac’s built-in microphone.
Overall, this tool might offer a little more than what you’re looking for from this list. But if you want added value to your GIF recording program, this is a stellar choice.
- Webcam recording
- Ability to record your microphone and macOS audio
- Auto-hides notifications
- Comes with a variety of other screen capture tools
- Has text recognition capabilities
- Developed for macOS
- Potentially offers more features than you need
- Other free options available that do recording and screenshots for GIFs
Best video converters
Movavi Video Converter
Best for: Users who need a full package video converter that does GIFs too
Price: $57.95; offers a free trial
OneHourProfessor rating: 4.8 out of 5
Movavi Video Converter can definitely fulfill your GIF recording needs on your Mac. The program is a total-package program that can take care of a wide range of video conversion needs.
The program allows you to convert media files to popular formats, compress files, and make basic video edits. Movavi Video Converter is an all-in-one solution that includes essential conversion and editing features and is easy to use.
- Works with over 180 formats
- Tons of compression features
- Editing features, including subtitles/text
- AI features to increase the quality of your video
- Fast conversions and high amount of formatting options on the list
- Scale your timeline for precision
- Powerful but easy to use
- Has a lot of extra features if you only want to record GIFs
- Watermark on the xfree version
Best for: Mac users who need a PowerPoint-like program
TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5
Apple Keynote is one of the original applications that Apple created for their iWork suite – their answer to Microsoft Office. The program is a slideshow creator that includes a lot of additional features.
Specific to the list, the program allows you to export slideshows as an animated GIF. And since the program also allows you to play YouTube and Vimeo videos directly in the interface, you can convert anything you want into a GIF with ease.
- Offers over thirty themes for presentations
- Lots of effects and transitions
- Integrates other Apple applications for ease-of-use
- Free program for Mac users
- Excellent editing and import options
- Allows you to insert live video feeds
- Doesn’t convert PowerPoint presentations very well
- Works mainly as a presentation creator but can also convert to an animated GIF
Best for: Creating GIFs from a small file
Price: $9/month – Basic, $16/month – Pro, $25/month – Business
Trustpilot rating: 4.7 out of 5, 143 reviews
If you’re looking for a free file converter to turn an image into a GIF, then Zamzar could be a solid option. The program works completely online – though they offer a desktop download for subscribers – and converts files into GIFs with ease.
The program is a simple three-step drag-and-drop process, so it’s perfect for users of all skill levels. However, just know that the server can be a little slow if they have high traffic. And the free version only supports files up to 50 MB, so you may need to upgrade if you're working with bigger files.
- Offers compression features too
- Convert images, documents, sound, and video
- No software to download; deletes files within seven days from their server
- Supports over 1,200 file formats
- Unlimited daily conversions
- Offers support to convert files not on their list
- Max file size of 50 MB on a free version
- Can be slow if experiencing high traffic
Best for: Users who just started creating GIFs
Trustpilot rating: 4 out of 5, 3 reviews
Ezgif is an easy online solution for anyone who needs to create a GIF quickly. The program has basic editing features – cut, crop, resize, reverse – and allows you to convert and cut a video into a GIF or create a GIF from a string of images.
If you want to make your GIF pop, you can also insert from a small selection of effects and filters. Overall, it’s a perfect choice for anyone that’s new to creating GIFs and wants to test out the process.
- Completely online
- Basic editing features
- Healthy amount of filters for free
- Straightforward interface
- Converts quickly
- Perfect for all levels
- 100 MB max file size
- No advanced editing tools
CloudConvert GIF Converter
Best for: Only converting to GIF
Price: Offers a wide range of packages and subscriptions based on conversion minutes. Starts at: €8.47 for 500 minutes – Package, or €8.47 / month for 1,000 monthly conversion minutes.
Cloudconvert GIF Converter is a straightforward online program that converts files of all types into GIFs – along with many other formats. This isn’t a free program, so it may not be ideal if you only want to convert files to GIFs.
But if you need a comprehensive solution to convert all types of files, then this is a viable option. Plus, it allows custom app integration and works completely in the cloud on a highly secure server.
- Supports over 200 formats
- Offers custom app integration
- High-quality conversions
- Loses no quality in the conversion
- No data sold, ever
- Guaranteed data security
- No editing tools
- No effects or filters
If you’re not sure of how to record a GIF on a Mac, no worries! The list of programs above offers an excellent starting point for you to learn. Weigh all the pros, cons, price points, and descriptions before you decide, and you’ll be able to choose a great GIF recorder for Mac that’ll suit your needs.
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