5.02.2015

How to Make Your Own GIF File

A couple of people have asked me how I have been creating GIF files. It is rather quite simple. For those of you who might be scratching your head as to what a GIF file is, a sample is provided below.


Basically, a GIF file is an animated graphics file (most just think of it as a 'video' file). This file extension just plays on repeat. It is great for showcasing a simple task that you want people to follow - but might be easier to explain through animating steps rather than writing the steps out.


In order to begin, you will need to use the Chrome browser and download Techsmith Snagit (if you don't already have it). Once it has been downloaded, the Chrome extension will show up on the top right corner of the browser.

Good to Note

There are a couple of things to note with this extension:

  • In order to use this Chrome extension, it will ask you to log into Chrome, if you are not already signed into the browser. 
  • This extension is not just for creating GIF files - you can annotate images as well as take video.
  • Techsmith saves all of your files in a folder that can be found in your Google Drive account. 
  • In order to make a GIF file, it has to be 15 seconds or less (at least I think it does)
Steps for Creating a GIF File
  • Determine what you want to 'animate'
  • When ready, click on the Snagit chrome extension (top right corner of the browser) and select the Screen option.
  • Snagit will ask you what you would like to record - based on what is already opened on your computer. Once you select the 'screen' you want to record, Snagit will start recording. In the image below, Snagit can record my entire screen, a Google Sheet that I have open, another tab that has my blog, or a file that is opened in Preview.
  • Once you are done with your recording, hit the stop sharing button.
  • Then, name your video at the top of the screen. Next select animated GIF from the menu on the bottom left.
  • Lastly, Snagit will create a link as well as give you the ability to download your GIF file to upload on a website or blog post. Keep in mind that you can access these files right from your Google Drive in the Techsmith folder. (I also like the fact that you can upload video files right to YouTube as well.)


Hope this is helpful.