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Mick Perkins
Digital trainer

Where to for SWF?

Where to for Indesign interactive documents?

With the imminent demise of the swf format and its incompatibility with all where does this place the file format

with regards outputting indesign interactive documents with multi state objects, animations and other media heavy functionally

i realise we can output the indesign file to epub, but

is there another way?

Is there other software?



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Mick Perkins

Posted on 10/22/19 8:01:29 PM Permalink

​Thankyou so much Jorge for all of your time in answering this question

you have given me much food for thought and really appreciate your time with this topic

Jorge De Jesus

Posted on 10/22/19 11:27:41 PM Permalink

Just glad I can help or at least try to help I know how it is, specially when you want to move forward.​ I also must admit it was a great question and topic. =)

Jorge De Jesus

Posted on 10/21/19 5:38:12 PM Permalink

​Hi Mick,

I am not sure if you question has been answered but I looked into that before and saved a file that I found on this topic explaining SWF files. I have copied and pasted the article in whcih it helped me when dealing with SWF. Dean is also right HTML5 is great tool as well as it handle animation better then HTML. Let me know if this helps.

A file with the .SWF file extension (pronounced as "Swiff") is a Shockwave Flash Movie file created by an Adobe program that can hold interactive text and graphics. These animation files are often used for online games played within a web browser.

Some of Adobe's own products can create SWF files. However, various non-Adobe software programs can produce Shockwave Flash Movie files as well, such as MTASC, Ming, and SWFTools.

SWF is an acronym for Small Web Format but is also sometimes called a Shockwave Flash file.

within a web browser that supports the Adobe Flash Player plugin. With this installed, a web browser like Firefox, Edge, or Internet Explorer is capable of opening SWF files automatically. If you have a local SWF file on your computer, just drag and drop it into a browser window to play it.

Google Chrome does not automatically load Flash components but you can explicitly allow Flash on certain websites so that they will load properly.

You can also use SWF files on the Sony PlayStation Portable (with firmware 2.71 onward), Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3 and newer. This works similar to a desktop browser by playing the SWF file upon loading it from a website.

Adobe Flash Player does not let you open the SWF file through any sort of File menu or by double-clicking the file on your computer. To do that requires a different program. However, please know that some SWF files are interactive games while others might be non-interactive advertisements or tutorials, so not every SWF file is supported in all SWF players.

SWF File Player can play SWF games for free; just use its File > Open... menu to select the right one from your computer. A couple of other free SWF players we like include MPC-HC and GOM Player.

One free SWF file opener for macOS is SWF & FLV Player. Another is Elmedia Player, but since it's mainly a multimedia player for videos and audio files, you probably can't use it to play SWF based games.

SWF files can also be embedded in PDF files and used by Adobe Reader 9 or newer.

Of course, Adobe's own products can open SWF files, too, like Animate (which used to be called Adobe Flash), Dreamweaver, Flash Builder, and After Effects. Another feature-filled commercial product that works with SWF files is Scaleform, which is a part of Autodesk Gameware.

Since you might need different programs to open different SWF files, you can change the default program for a specific file extension in Windows if it's automatically opening in a program that you don't want to use it with.

free video file converters can save an SWF file to video formats like MP4, MOV, HTML5, and AVI, and some even let you convert the SWF file to MP3 and other audio file formats. One great example is Freemake Video Converter.

Another is FileZigZag, which works as an online SWF converter to save the file to formats like GIF and PNG.

Adobe Animate can convert an SWF file to EXE so that it's easier for the file to run on computers that don't have Flash Player installed. You can do this through the program's File > Create Projector menu option. Flajector and SWF Tools are a couple alternative SWF to EXE converters.

Flash Decompiler Trillix useful to convert SWF files to FLA for decompiling and converting the different components of the SWF file, and it doesn't even require that Adobe Flash be installed.

One free and open source SWF to FLA converter is JPEXS Free Flash Decompiler.

More Information on the SWF Format

Software that can create SWF files has always been acceptable by Adobe so long as the program displays a message that states "error free in the latest publicly available version of Adobe Flash Player."

However, before May 2008, playing SWF files was restricted to Adobe software only. From that point forward, Adobe removed all limitations for both the SWF and FLV formats.

Dean Utian

Posted on 10/23/19 3:45:24 AM Permalink

​Hi Jorge,

The information you've given is good in covering various elements of SWF. There are some things that are a bit out of date or incorrect.

​SWF - stands for ShockWave Flash.

At one point, there was Shockwave for a range of Macromedia products, the first being Shockwave Director. Others included Shockwave Flash, Shockwave Authorware, Shockwave Freehand (as I recall). Shockwave became a confusing term, especially with a site and separate entity created called Shockwave.com. Flash became more popular and created its own identity distancing itself from Shockwave. The message that then came from Macromedia was that SWF stands for Small Web File. I see some places say it stands for Small Web File, others Small Web Format. There was never official Macromedia documents saying this what the acronym represents. However, this was the case for the term Shockwave Flash, which is how it is described in HTML that refers to SWF files.

With Flash and SWF at the end of its life (​Adobe has announced that Flash Player will be deprecated in December 2020) , other tools no longer support it. You can't import SWF into AfterEffects for example.

Mick Perkins

Posted on 9/19/19 1:38:07 AM Permalink

​Any suggestions as to what adobe software my be best for creating an interactive document going forward

I think there is a gap in the market in this area

Mick Perkins

Posted on 6/29/19 11:10:48 PM Permalink

​Thanks dean

great suggestion will try this out

maybe i can get back to you, i i have any more questions?

Dean Utian

Posted on 6/30/19 8:09:31 AM Permalink

Hi Mick,

I haven't used this feature extensively but happy to help where I can.​

Dean Utian

Posted on 6/29/19 11:27:45 AM Permalink

Mick Perkins

Posted on 6/29/19 4:23:38 AM Permalink

​Am i able to inset an animated gif file into a spark page ?

Dean Utian

Posted on 6/30/19 8:21:27 AM Permalink