A screencast is the perfect way to demonstrate a particular work flow to someone. Hearing the word screencast, immediately video tutorials comes to our mind. We have all seen many video tutorials online, and some of us who have created one know the work involved in it. If you want to record for only a couple of seconds or so, video tutorials are an overkill. In such cases you can use animated GIF screencasts. One tool that does a great job in this task is Cropper.
Cropper is an OpenSource, light-weight screen capture utility. By default the program can capture only static images, however by installing a plugin you can get the animated GIF feature in it.
Start by downloading and installing Cropper from here. Then get the plugin from here. When plugin downloads, extract the plugin zip file and move all DLL files to this location:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Fusion8Design\Cropper\plugins.
Now run the program. On start, it adds a semi-transparent overlay box on the screen indicating the capture area. You can resize this box to perfectly adjust to the area which you wish to capture.
Within the overlay box, right-click, click on Output, and choose Animated Gif format as the desired output. To start recording, double-click on the box or hit enter with the box in focus. To stop recording do the same. To tweak recording settings, right-click on the blue area > Options > Plug-in Tab > Select Animated GIF.
Copper is an easy to use tool, and it does its task perfectly. You can enable additional features such as avi recording, countdown timer, and direct upload to online services by installing more plugins.