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File type: SWF

What is SWF?

SWF file extension represents Shockwave Flash files, now associated with Adobe's Flash media format. These files are primarily animated files & games that use the Flash format.
If an SWF file is downloaded to a user's computer, the user must have a separate application capable of opening and running the file. Also, SWF files can be opened with a web browser if the Adobe Flash Plug-in is installed.

More on SWF from Wikipedia

How can I open SWF files?

In order to open SWF files, you must have a program installed on your computer that is capable of opening them. FileRatings can help you find an appropriate program.

You can also open SWF in your web browser if you have the Adobe Flash Plug-in is installed.

Flash file Icon
Filename extension.swf
Internet media typeapplication/x-shockwave-flash
Developed byFutureWave Software,
later taken over by Macromedia and
Adobe Systems
Type of formatVector graphic animation


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The file format SWF, has variably stood for "Small Web Format" or "Shockwave Flash". It is a partially open repository for multimedia and vector graphics, originating with FutureWave Software and then coming under the control of Adobe. Intended to be small enough for publication on the web, SWF files can contain animations or applets of varying degrees of interactivity and function.

SWF currently functions as the dominant format for displaying "animated" vector graphics on the Web. It may also be used for programs, commonly games, using ActionScript.

SWF files can be generated from within several Adobe products: Flash, Flex Builder (an IDE), as well as through MXMLC, a command line application compiler which is part of the freely available Flex SDK. Other than Adobe products, SWFs can be built with open source Motion-Twin ActionScript 2 Compiler (MTASC), the open source Ming library, the free software suite SWFTools, the proprietary SWiSH Max2. There are also various third party programs that can produce files in this format, such as Multimedia Fusion 2, Captivate, SWiSH Max or BannerSnack.


FutureWave Software, a small company later acquired by Macromedia, originally defined the file format with one primary objective: to create small files for displaying entertaining animations. The idea was to have a format which could be reused by a player running on any system and which would work with slower network connections.

Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005.

On May 1, 2008, Adobe dropped its licensing restrictions on the SWF format specifications, as part of the Open Screen Project. However, Rob Savoye, a member of the Gnash development team, has pointed to some parts of the Flash format which remain closed. On July 1, 2008, Adobe released code which allowed the Google and Yahoo search-engines to crawl and index SWF files.


Originally limited to presenting vector-based objects and images in a simple sequential manner, the format in its later versions allows audio (since Flash 3), video (since Flash 6) and many different possible forms of interaction with the end-user. Once created, SWF files can be played by the Adobe Flash Player, working either as a browser plugin or as a standalone player. SWF files can also be encapsulated with the player, creating a self-running SWF movie called a "projector".

Adobe makes available plugins, such as Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Integrated Runtime, to play SWF files in web browsers on many desktop operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux on the x86 architecture. As of 2007 intensive development had taken place on Gnash, a free-software implementation of a SWF player. Another FOSS implementation is Swfdec.

Based on an independent study conducted by Millward Brown, over 99% of Web users now have an SWF plugin installed, with around 90% having the latest version of the Flash Player.

Sony PlayStation Portable consoles can play limited SWF files in Sony's web browser, beginning with firmware version 2.71. Both the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PS3 consoles can run SWF files through their Internet browsers.

Also many mobile phones support flash as standard, such as Nokia.

Use one of the following applications to open SWF files:

  1. InfoSWF & FLV Player
  2. InfoSwiff Player
  3. InfoE.M. Total Video Player