SWF – short for “Small Web Format” or “Shockwave Flash”, is a kind of popular format intended to be small enough to publish various animations or applets on the web.
SWF has come under the control of Adobe and can be generated from within several Adobe products: Flash, Flex Builder (an IDE), as well as through MXML.
Early SWF format was praised because it created compact animations that were fast loading. Now, SWF files can incorporate sound and video and even bitmap files.
Major Advantages of SWF Format
1. SWF is vector based. This means that the graphics can be scaled easily, so they can be zoomed in or be fit onto different size screens, and the file will still look very clear and play very smooth (unlike bitmap animation).
2. SWF is fast loading. It was intentioanlly created small and light to display entertaining animations and could be reused by a player running on any system and which would work with slower network connections.
3. Easy and smooth compression. Like PNG format, SWF uses a non-patented lossless data compression method known as DEFLATE, which is the same algorithm used in the zlib compression library.
4. Supports transparencies (like PNG and GIF). SWF offers a variety of transparency options. With truecolor and greyscale images either a single pixel value can be declared as transparent or an alpha channel can be added (enabling any percentage of partial transparency to be used).
Major Disadvantages of SWF Format
With all the formats though come their disadvantages however, there are not many with SWF but a major one is compatibility. One can not play an SWF video unless it has Macromedia Flash installed on the computer.
Some Tips about SWF
Grab online SWF files for free and with ease.
Convert SWF files to pupolar video formats for playback on various portable devices.
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