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What is SWF Format

We have heard of SWF for a very long time. However, when asked what exactly SWF file is or what is it used for, I think many people will be struck dumb. Never mind, we will take you around the SWF world to get more details. Now, fasten your seatbelt, and let our trip get started.

Station 1: What is SWF Format?

As described by Wikipedia, SWF (also known as Shockwave Flash or Small Web Format) is a popular open file format specially developed for multimedia, vector graphics and ActionScript. It allows web browsers to play back animation without using Java. Generally speaking, an SWF file can be produced from within several Adobe products: Flash, Flash Builder (an IDE) and After Effects, etc.

Station 2: What is SWF File Used For?

Thanks to its stunning features, SWF is gaining wide popularity. So far, it has become the dominant format for displaying "animated" vector graphics. It is typically used to create websites since it can deliver video, audio, vector graphics and text over the Internet with the highest possible quality. We know that an SWF file can be opened by Adobe Flash Player. Significantly, there are up to 98% of Internet-connected desktop computers are using the Flash Player now, according to Adobe officials. There's no wonder SWF is becoming familiar to more and more people.

Station 3: The Advantages of SWF Format

1. It is vector based. This is to say, we can scale the graphics to make it best fit for different size screens easily. Mostly importantly, there is not any quality damage to the file, which will still look very clear and play smoothly.

2. Fast loading speed. Most of SWF file is of very small size, which ensures a fast loading on the internet.

3. Easy and Smooth Compression.

4. It Supports Transparencies.

With all advantages been said, SWF has got a biggest disadvantage--poor compatibility. It is not accepted by most popular applications/software/portable devices such as iPhone 5 since we know Apple has been turning down the Flash Player for a very long time. Therefore, in order to play SWF on iPhone 5 or any other unacceptable media, a third-party tool SWF Video Converter (SWF Video Converter for Mac) is required to break off the format limitation.

Station 4: What Program is Able to Play SWF File?

As said above, SWF has got very bad compatibility with not many programs capable of supporting it natively, which include the following: Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Flash Professional CS6, Media Player Classic, Adobe Dreamweaver CS6, Web browser with the Flash plug-in, etc.

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SWF Related Guides on Mac

SWF Related Guides on Windows

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