Make Animated GIFs In OS X With A Right-click

Create animated GIFs from the OS X Finder in just seconds.  It only takes a few minutes to set up and will give you a “native” feeling without the need to install any additional software.  Plus, you never need to open an app to create the GIF, you can just highlight files > right-click > Make Animated GIF.

How To Set It Up

Download a pre-built workflow or follow the steps below.

Pre-requisites

You will need a utility called convert, which is part of imagemagick.  The easiest way to install it is via Homebrew.  In short, you need to first have Homebrew installed via this command:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Then, install the utility with this command:

brew install imagemagick

Set Up The Automator Workflow

  1. Open Automator
  2. Choose Servicegif maker 00
  3. Choose files or folders from the pull-down menu
  4. Choose Finder.app from the other pull-down menugif maker 0
  5. Drag Get Selected Finder Items from the Actions menu to the workflow section on the right side of the windowgif maker 1
  6. Drag Run Shell Script from the Actions menu to the workflow section on the right side of the windowgif maker 2
  7. Choose as arguments from the pull-down menu in the Run Shell Script section of the workflowgif msker as arguments
  8. Enter this command into the field: /usr/local/bin/convert -delay 20 -loop 0 "$@" ~/Desktop/animated.gif
  9. Choose File > Save
  10. Enter Make Animated GIF as the namegif maker 4

Here is what the entire workflow should look like when you are done.

gif maker 3

How To Use It

  1. Highlight some picture files, such as screenshots
  2. Right-click them
  3. Choose Services > Make Animated GIF from the context menu that appearsmake gif
  4. After executing, a file named animated.gif will appear on your desktopanimatd gif here

Customize Speed And Looping

There are plenty of options available, which can be seen by entering convert -help in Terminal.  But for the context of this post, I will just cover the two options I used:

  • -delay 20 is the time in hundredths of a second between frames.  Increase or decrease this as desired
  • -loop 0 makes the GIF loop endlessly.  Change the number to however many iterations you want.

27 Replies to “Make Animated GIFs In OS X With A Right-click”

    1. Did you put a dash in front of delay? Here is the exact command if you want to copy and paste:

      /usr/local/bin/convert -delay 20 -loop 0 "$@" ~/Desktop/animated.gif

    1. Did the installation of imagemagick complete successfully? If it’s the first time installing homebrew, you should run homebrew doctor to verify you can install things properly.

  1. Just wanna tell for anyone having trouble to get this to work using macports. For me it was located in: /opt/local/bin/convert
    Im using OSX 10.11

    Hope that helps.

  2. I get this error:

    convert: no decode delegate for this image format `WORKFLOW’ @ error/constitute.c/ReadImage/501.
    convert: no images defined `/Users/ebhubbuch/Desktop/animated.gif’ @ error/convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/3241.

    1. This probably has something to do with a missing library and/or the filetype you are trying to convert. How did you go about installing imagemagick?

      You could try first using a different image format.

        1. Try taking some screenshots with your Mac and creating it using that. I know for sure it works for .png screenshots, so that should tell you if it is imagemagick or the files you are working with.

      1. I have noticed an issue when using it, its doubling the layers in the GIFs. For example when using 3 files it repeats the sequence twice, with 6 layers total?

        So each GIF is twice the filesize it needs to be?

          1. Hm yeah I was thinking maybe it was doing something with the infinite loop but I guess not. I never actually opened the GIFs afterwords (just used them for whatever I made it for). Let me know if you figure out why it is like that.

    1. Strange…I have never seen that. There might be some flag to pass to the command, but the imagemagick options are extensive…

  3. Is there a way to edit the Code, that i am able to generate more than one Gif that will be overwritten by the next? For example there will be animatied.gif and then animated_01.gif ??

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