Creating animated GIFs using iShowU Instant

Daniel GibbsNews and Updates

You know those animated images you see on websites (including this blog) and in social media? These are called animated GIFs. They’re sort of a cross between a regular image and a video; they allow you to show something moving but don’t require you to upload and embed a video; you can use an animated GIF almost anywhere you can use an image. When creating a recording of your screen in order to show someone how to do something, you may not need a whole video; a short animation may suffice. Here’s an example of an animated GIF showing how to use some 3D modelling software:

Example animated GIF created with iShowU Instant

If you’re using iShowU Instant, creating animations like these is very easy to accomplish, but before we get to that, let’s look at when (and when not) you might want to use an animated GIF.

To GIF or not to GIF

While you can create animated GIFs for any recording in iShowU Instant, you probably don’t want to use them for everything:

  • If your recording needs audio, use a video. Animated GIFs are images so cannot contain audio.
  • If your recording is longer than 30 seconds, use a video. Animated GIFs take up a lot of space so need to be kept short.
  • If your recording area is large (e.g. full screen), use a video. Animated GIFs take up a lot of space so need to be kept small. Of course, you can record full screen and set your output size to something smaller if you wish.

In summary: use an animated GIF if you want to make a short recording of a relatively small area of the screen with no audio.

Animated GIFs in iShowU Instant

In iShowU Instant, animated GIF creation is done via a sharing service; this means that you create your screen recording first, and then create an animated GIF from it afterwards. Before you start your screen recording though, there are a few things your should check:

  • The area you’ve selected to record is as small as possible
  • The output video size is “Same as input” unless you’re scaling the video down
  • The output video quality is high; this quality has no effect on the size of the GIF so might as well make it high
  • The mouse and keyboard visualizations are set up correctly; because there’s no audio, it’s often helpful to have these to help show what’s happening

Once you’ve finished the recording, click the Recent Recording icon at the top-right of the main recording window, click the Share button next to the recording you just did, and select “Animated GIF”. After the GIF has been generated, it will be shown in Finder. In case that was too hard to follow, here’s an animated GIF showing you what to do:

Creating an animated GIF with iShowU Instant


Animated GIFs are short animated images with no sound that are ideal for short videos. These can be embedded on webpages more easily than videos and are easily created using iShowU Instant.