What is an SWF file?

SWF stands for “Small Web Format” file. It is an Adobe Flash File Format mainly used for multimedia, vector graphics, and Action Script. SWF file format originated with FutureWave Software, and then transferred to Macromedia, later come under Adobe’s control. These files contain animations or applets of varying degrees of interactivity and function. Sometimes they also occur in programs, commonly in-browser games, using ActionScript. Programmers can generate the SWF files within several Adobe products, including Flash, Flash Builder, Adobe Animate, After Effects, and MXMLC, a command-line application compiler forming part of the freely available Flex SDK.

                       Adobe Illustrator generates the SWF file format through its “Export” function. It can not open or edit them. SWF files were mainly used to bring animated graphics, video. They had also become a popular means of delivering browser-based games. However, as web technologies improved. Adobe and many other web browser developers announced that they were officially supporting Flash after 2020.

               SWF was most pronounced as “swift” it was originally an acronym for “Shockwave Flash” as the SWF file format was mainly designed for Shockwave Player. And therefore, SWF files had become a standard means of publishing Flash content on the web, the acronym has modified to mean the Small Web Format. As SWF files consist of compiled ActionScript and compressed media, they are not meant for editing. To change the Flash animation, it is highly recommended to edit the original .FLA file instead of the SWF file. 

SWF File Format

you must have heard about the Shockwave Flash file format. SWF is a file extension for that these files only. Shockwave Flash files are created by the Macromedia and now owned by the Adobe. These files contain video and vector based animations and sound too. They are designed for efficient and optimum delivery over the web world. SWF files can be easily opened in the web browser by using the Flash plugin.

How to open SWF file?

To view any SWF file in any browser requires Flash. It could become problematic not only because Flash is the soft point for viruses and hacker attacks that are also outdated. That’s why most of the browsers get automatically blocked.

On Android

On Android, an SWF file can be opened on SWF Player that can come in handy. What are the steps to open SWF file with SWF player mentioned here:

  • Install SWF Player on your android device.
  • Open the application and tap on the local files.
  • Browse the file you wish to open and select it.
  • Click on the file to play it.
  • Click on the back button while the file is playing to open its on-screen controls.

In Google Chrome:

If you want to open the SWF file in google chrome, you will have to first enable the Flash.

  1. Firstly, Launch Google chrome
  2. Then on the top right corner, you will find gear cog.
  3. Then select the “manage to add–ons” from the drop-down list.
  4. Then tap the Toolbar and Extensions on the next page.
  5. The next stage is to scroll to the Google Windows Third Party Application Component option.
  6. Then Select the Shockwave Object.
  7. And click on the Enable button under status.
  8. Hit the close button.

On Mac

Mac user must come across the SWF files and to play these files on Mac; there are some tools for that mentioned below:

1.VLC Player

  • Download the VLC Media Player for the Mac system from the official website.
  • Then open VLC Media Player.
  • Drag and Drop the file you need to play into VLC Player.

2.Web Browser

In a Web Browser, to open an SWF file, you can simply install the Adobe Flash Plugin in your browser, whatever it is Opera, Chrome, or Firefox, but it enters with a risk, so don’t install the plugin in safari. Unlike earlier, most of the browsers do not come with the pre-installed Flash Player. But the earlier versions of the web browsers still comes up with the Flash Player as the option or built-in.

                      In an earlier version of Chrome, you can turn off Flash whenever you don’t require it. So if you are using Chrome, you should first enable the plugin to run. For security purposes, you must uninstall Flash from Mac and then use it only sandboxed within a browser like Chrome.

Run SWF file

  1. Open internet explorer again and then right-click on the file.
  2. Tap on the “open with” option.
  3. Questions will arise how you want to open this file and be directly prompted to go to the “App store.”
  4. Tap on “more apps.”
  5. Select Internet Explorer from it and then click on OK.

Open SWF files in VideoStudio

  • Firstly launch VideoStudio
  • Choose the File option and then select the Open tab from the drop-down menu.
  • Browse the SWF file that you want to open.
  • Choose the file
  • Edit and then save the file.

Open SWF file Outside the Browsers

Adobe has a Hidden Flash Player known as Flash Player Content debugger that can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Steps to download the Flash Player

  • Go on the website of Adobe
  • Go to the Download link of Flash Player projector content debugger.
  • On Windows, just run the .exe file with a double-click and then drag and drop your file into the window or open it through file option.  

How to edit an SWF file?

As SWF files are compiled with the FLA files, they are not easy to edit at all. Therefore you can edit the FLA itself. FLA files are the binary files that hold the source files for the entire Flash application. FLA files are compiled with the Flash authoring program to create SWF files. For Mac users, Flash Decompiler Thrillix is used to convert the files into FLA files.

How to convert SWF file?

 I f you want to convert the SWF file into any other file format such as MOV, HTML5, MP4, MP3, or AVI, you can use any of the video file converters.  An SWF file converter helps you to convert the file into a PNG or GIF file. Some applications, such as Adobe Animate, convert it into an EXE file that makes it very easy to run them without Flash Player.

Steps to Convert SWF to MP4 or MOV

  • Download and install the After effects
  • Open the app and then import the file-go to the File Menu and then select the import button, go to the import file tab and pick the SWF file you wish to open.
  • Add your file to the render queue either by dragging or going to the compositions and adding to the queue.
  • Set the settings in the output module and set the settings in the output you want the file to reach.