SWF ( /ˈswɪf/ SWIF) is an Adobe Flash file format used for multimedia, vector graphics and ActionScript. Originating with FutureWave Software, then transferred to Macromedia, and then coming under the control of Adobe, SWF files can contain animations or applets of varying degrees of interactivity and function.

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

SWF files can be generated from within several Adobe products: Flash, Flash Builder (an IDE) and After Effects, 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 and the free software suite SWFTools. There are also various third party programs that can produce files in this format, such as Multimedia Fusion 2, Captivate and SWiSH Max.

Originally, the term SWF was used as an abbreviation for ShockWave Flash. This usage was changed to the backronym Small Web Format to eliminate confusion with a different technology, Shockwave, from which SWF was derived.

Read more about SWFHistory, Description, Licensing, Related File Formats and Extensions

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