GIF Tips

General Tips

GIFs have several limitations that can make creating them painful.

For one thing, GIFs are limited to 256 colors per frame, so complex images can suffer from dithering, or ‘color pooling’.

Although it’s perfectly acceptable to create GIFs that are hundreds of megabytes in size with hundreds or thousands of frames, you can generally get the desired effect by using a low framerate (4-10 fps) and capturing your frames in a way that allows seamless looping.

While nearly all clients (browsers, messengers, phones, etc) will auto play a GIF, some prevent the auto play beyond a given file size. In these cases only a single frame preview will be displayed for GIFs larger than around 3 megabytes and users will have to open the file or link to view the animation.

For the most desirable results, you should attempt to keep GIFs as small as possible by limiting or removing unnecessary frames and capturing smaller regions of your screen.


It is sometimes possible to further compress GIFs generated by Capture Mate. You can get some compression options by re-exporting via Preview, but there are several great opensource third party tools available, such as gifsicle and imagemagick.

A simple example of doing this from the commandline with gifsicle would be as follows:

$ gifsicle original.gif --optimize > optimized.gif

Other Topics in this guide

Visit Capture Mate Homepage