Open SWF File

Information, tips and instructions

What are SWF files

SWF files are used to display ActionScript elements, digital media, and animated vector graphics. The SWF file format was developed by Macromedia, which is currently owned by Adobe. In addition to vector graphics, in SWF you can work with text and mathematical formulas. SWF files include animations with varying degrees of interactivity and functionality. These files are also compatible and can be played in web browsers with flash plugins installed. They can also include certain interactive-type programs, such as simple-running browser games that initially consume few computer resources.

Technical details about SWF files

The SWF extension originated as an acronym for "Shockwave Flash", as it was developed for the Shockwave player. They are binary files that are stored as 8-bit bytes. The latest version, SWF10, expands text capabilities with support for bidirectional text and complex scripting with the new DefineFont4 tag, allowing you to incorporate JPEG images with several novel qualities, such as alpha channel for opacity and anti-aliasing.

There are other applications that allow you to open files with the .swf extension, including free software such as MTASC or SWFTools. SWF files also have the ability to be encapsulated to run autonomously, not just through plugins. Despite being a vector format, SWF also supports bitmaps, with animation possibilities.

One of the virtues of the SWF format is that you can create small files that, however, allow interactivity, interoperability and operation on any platform, even on a limited bandwidth, either through Dial-Up modem or through EVDO or 2G cellular data connection. The plugin for playing SWF files is available on the manufacturer's website for different browsers and different operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux.

The format is quite simple, although it is in binary format and therefore not easily readable. SWF files are compressed using ZLIB in order to store all data using the fewest number of bits, minimizing redundancy.

Initially, the format was not open, however, Adobe removed the restrictions in 2008, as part of its Open Screen project.

It is possible to convert SWF file to GIF but by doing so all vector graphics will be rasterized and backward conversion from GIF to SWF will be limited to bitmaps only.

Finally, as mentioned at the beginning, this format supports programming using the Actionscript language, which represents a great tool for developers.

File Extension Info

SWF Quick Info
  Adobe Flash File
  application/vnd.adobe.flash-movie    application/x-shockwave-flash   application/futuresplash
Opens with
  Adobe Flash Player
  Adobe Flash Player Projector