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simple animated screen captures


LICEcap can capture an area of your desktop and save it directly to .GIF (for viewing in web browsers, etc) or .LCF (see below).

LICEcap is an intuitive but flexible application (for Windows and now OSX), that is designed to be lightweight and function with high performance.

LICEcap is easy to use: view a demo (output is here).

In addition to .GIF, LICEcap supports its own native lossless .LCF file format, which allows for higher compression ratios than .GIF, higher quality (more than 256 colors per frame), and more accurate timestamping. If you record to .LCF, you can play back the .LCF files within REAPER (and/or use it to convert to .gif or another video format).

LICEcap is GPL free software, each download package includes the source.

Features and options:
  • Record directly to .GIF or .LCF.
  • Move the screen capture frame while recording.
  • Pause and restart recording, with optional inserted text messages.
  • Global hotkey (shift+space) to toggle pausing while recording
  • Adjustable maximum recording framerate, to allow throttling CPU usage.
  • Basic title frame, with or without text.
  • Record mouse button presses.
  • Display elapsed time in the recording.
  • For Windows: Windows XP/Vista/7 (might work with reduced functionality on other versions)
  • For OSX: OS 10.4+ (10.6+ for full feature support), PPC or Intel (note: OS X support is still preliminary, some features are not supported)
  • A reasonably fast CPU
  • A healthy amount of RAM (1GB+, especially when encoding to LCF)

Discuss LICEcap in the Cockos Forums.


LICEcap v1.24 for Windows (12/29/13) (300kb installer)
LICEcap v1.24 for OSX (12/29/13) (800kb DMG)
  • Windows: use licecap.ini in same path as executable if it exists (portable mode) -- (was in 1.23 but did not work)
  • Fixed excess-newline-in-config-file bug
Source code

Source code repository is available via git:
Send GPL patches to

Old versions
    LICEcap v1.23 for Windows (4/28/13) (300kb installer)
    LICEcap v1.23 for OSX (4/28/13) (800kb DMG)
    • Support for choosing number of loop iterations of GIF files
    • Removed licecap_cli.exe from installer
    LICEcap v1.22 for OSX (12/4/12) (800kb DMG)
    • OSX: cursor support for 10.6+ (10.4 and 10.5 do not get actual cursor used)
    • OSX: mouse click detection (may require "enable access for assistive devices" on some OS versions)
    • OSX: fixed time text artifacts
    LICEcap v1.21 for OSX (Note: alpha version) (11/30/12) (800kb DMG)
    • OSX: fixes support for 10.7+, improved performance on 10.6
    LICEcap v1.2 for Windows (8/4/11) (432kb installer)
    LICEcap v1.2 for OSX (Note: alpha version) (8/4/11) (800kb DMG)
    • Allow user to set capture dimensions before recording
    • Insert text frames (when paused) - via JeffOS, thanks JeffOS!
    • OSX version: first alpha version doesn't support proper cursors or mouse status or hotkeys, but somewhat usable
    LICEcap v1.1 (6/9/10) (389kb installer)
    • Fixed LCF export for widths not multiples of 4
    • Added hotkey for pause (shift+space)
    LICEcap v1.0 (6/7/10) (389kb installer)
    • First release

* Note: inspiration for the image near the top comes from the wonderful ollie

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