Files with the extension SWF contain animations in Adobe Flash format. The abbreviation stands for Small Web Format.
Thanks to the cross-platform availability of the Flash Player as a browser plug-in, SWF files are very widespread on the Internet today.
SWF files can contain both vector and bitmap graphics as well as audio, videos, animations, text and links. A variety of interactive content, from presentations to the navigation of a website to games are also possible.
Flash has many advantages, including a fixed, cross-platform layout, independence from local resources such as fonts, interactive capabilities, and controllability. But has the disadvantage of not being an open standard.
Flash can also be streamed and protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management).
The contents of a SWF file can be extracted and modified with appropriate software.
However, many SWF converters only produce videos that lack the rest of Flash's ability. The production of fully functional SWF files requires authoring software.
Most often resolving problems with opening SWF files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support SWF files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of SWF files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.
It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate SWF files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the Adobe Flash applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where Adobe Flash has been installed.
Sometimes problems with opening SWF files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as: