How to Generate GIFs From Videos on macOS

Using the Shortcuts app to create GIFs on Mac

Sagun Raj Lage
5 min readDec 10, 2021


Imagine you’re on macOS writing a technical blog post and you need to add a screen-recording to your post to make yourself clearer. You summon the in-built screen-recorder of macOS by pressing Cmd + Shift + 5 and create a recording.

Sadly, the file size of the screen-recording becomes too large, or you’re writing on a platform like Medium, where you have to use YouTube, Vimeo, or other streaming services to host a video. That’s a hassle! Also, if you don’t have a decent internet connection, you have to wait for the upload to complete.

By chance, even if you somehow add your screen-recording video to your post, there is no guarantee that your readers will have an internet connection speed enough to play your video.

And in case you’re hosting your blog on your own server, hosting a video on your own server will lead to a plethora of hassles and problems, including an increase in bandwidth and storage consumption.

Now, you must be asking what the alternative is. You can post GIFs instead of videos. And here’s a good news for you — if you’re on macOS Monterey or higher, you can use the Shortcuts app to create GIFs from videos.

Apple introduced Shortcuts for Macs running macOS Monterey at WWDC21. Before WWDC21, it was available only on iOS and iPadOS. Using Shortcuts, users can create macros for performing various tasks on their device. Also, it offers a number of curated shortcuts through its Gallery. Users can activate different shortcuts manually through the Shortcuts app and widget, the share sheet, and Siri. Also, shortcuts can be programmed to automatically trigger after an event occurs. The events may be launching an app, the time of the day, or leaving a previously set location.

Left: The app icon of Shortcuts | Right: The Gallery screen of Shortcuts

Time to Generate GIFs using Shortcuts

To generate GIFs with the help of Shortcuts, launch Shortcuts on your Mac and go to the All Shortcuts section under My Shortcuts. Now, you may either see a screen with some Starter Shortcuts or a screen without any Starter Shortcuts.



Sagun Raj Lage

Author of Getting Started with WidgetKit (2021) | Research Assistant at University of Houston-Victoria | iOS Engineer | Full Stack Engineer