How to make and share the perfect GIF on your Mac

I’m totally obsessed with animated GIFs. I’m constantly sharing throughout the day over text messages or social media.

They can be annoying if used too often, but there’s nothing like a well timed GIF to liven up a conversation or tweet.

Whether you’re a GIF master or novice, there are a couple of Mac apps I use that will help take your skills to the next level.

Sharing GIFs

The appropriately named GIFs app for the Mac is the simplest and most straightforward way to find and share GIFs that I’ve come across. It pulls from Giphy, Reddit, and Tumblr, arguably all three of the internet’s largest GIF repositories, to let you instantly find the GIF for just about any situation.

You can browser individual GIF lists manually, like the great “ReactionGIFs” thread on Reddit, or just search everything. Specific GIFs you really like can be starred for quick access, but any GIF can be saved from the app and shared elsewhere.

The best part? The app is totally free in the Mac App Store.

Making your own GIFs

It’s one thing to share the perfect GIF, but making your own is a whole other story.

If you want to really impress your friends and followers, download the Mac app GIF Brewery and start stitching together your own animated GIFs from videos.

For instance, I like to take recordings from my iPhone’s screen and make them into GIFs to illustrate certain apps. Or I use videos I shot on my iPhone to make a GIF out of a funny moment, like my colleague Steve Kovach winking.

GIF Brewrey makes it easy to take videos on your Mac’s hardrive and edit them into GIFs. It has a linear editing interface that’s similar to video editors like Apple’s iMovie and Final Cut Pro. One particular feature I love is that you can make multiple GIFs out of one video, which is great for when I’m doing a walk through of an app.

GIF Brewrey costs $US4.99 in the Mac App Store, and while most people won’t pay for the ability to make GIFs, I’ve found it to be the best tool out there. If you’re looking for a free alternative, the next best thing is an app called GifGrabber.

Congrats! You’re on your way to being a GIF master!

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