How To Take Animated Gif Screenshots in Windows


Sometimes a static picture by itself doesn’t convey a meaningful message, especially if you want to show someone a particular workflow or emphasize on a particular subject. A short video clip would be helpful, but sometimes it’s rather an overkill to record couple seconds of video and upload to a video hosting site, too much work for something mean to be simple at first.

This is where animated gif shines (examples can be find here, here and here). Most screen capture tools we’ve covered in the past only lets you to capture static image files in different format.

Cropper is yet another screen capture utility that gives you options to capture animated GIF. It’s an OpenSource project hosted on Microsoft’s CodePlex. The main app itself doesn’t come with the animated GIF capture capability. However, with Cropper Plugins you can unlock more useful features, and one of them is the ability to capture animated GIF images.

Here is How to use Cropper to Capture Animated GIF

First you need to install Cropper if you haven’t. Download the latest version here.

When you launch Cropper, you will see this light blue overlay box. This indicates on the area it will capture. You also need to extract the plugin zip and place it under

Program Files (x86)\Fusion8Design\Cropper\plugins

Download?ProjectName=cropper&DownloadId=8026 - How To Take Animated Gif Screenshots in Windows


Within the blue area, you can right click to choose what format you want to capture. Also right click on the notification icon, you will see this Options, click and go to the Plug-in Tab. Select Animated GIF, from here you can tweak the settings.


How To Use Cropper

From the documentation, it states that you have three options to trigger to start capture, but when I tested this app, the only method that worked was double click.

  • Arrow keys: Nudge the main form one pixel.
  • Alt+Arrow keys: Resize the main form one pixel.
  • Alt+[ or ]: Resize the thumbnail indicator one pixel.
  • +Ctrl: Changes the amount of resizes and nudges listed above to ten pixels.
  • [ or ] or Mouse Wheel: Resize the main form twenty pixels while keeping the crosshairs centered.
  • Right-Click: Context menu on the main form.
  • Double-Click or Enter or S: Take a screen shot of the area under the Cropper window or start/stop a recording plug-in.
  • Tab: Cycle form colors.
  • Shift+Tab: Cycle form sizes.
  • Esc: Hide the main form.
  • F8: Show the main form.



Now you can capture your desktop screen with an animated GIF Smile

Use it wisely.



  1. I found that if you leave the Cropper overlay open, it shows up in the recording. To “fix” this, hide Cropper (right-click, select “Hide”) and then you can trigger the recording with `PrintScreen` (like you would normally to start a screenshot). It will record the area where the Cropper window was open last; then press `PrintScreen` again to stop recording.

  2. This worked great for me on Windows 8. There was some linkrot on the download site, but hopefully it’s only temporary. Even with the link to the AnimatedGif plug-in 404ing I was able to get it still by downloading the entire plug-in pack.

    For those having problems getting the cross-hair out of the output GIF, simply use the context menu to hide the utility and then use Print Screen to start and stop the recording for quick playback in your favorite browser or GIF viewer.


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