SWF stands for Small Web Format. SWF is a file extension for a Shockwave Flash file format that is created by Macromedia and is now owned by Adobe. SWF is an Adobe Flash file format that is used for multimedia, vector graphics and ActionScript. They are specifically designed to be small, compressed files that can be published on the web.
SWF files can contain both video and vector based animations along with the audio effects that are designed for effective delivery of the multimedia file over the web. They can be viewed in a web browser using the Flash plug in. These SWF files may contain animations, bitmap and vector graphics, components, and digital video.
File extension: .swf
MIME type: application/x-shockwave-flash, application/x-shockwave-flash2-preview, application/futuresplash, image/vnd.rn-realflash
Features of SWF files
Originally, SWF files were designed to contain only the animated graphics but now, the SWF format has been modified for audio and video. It is a partially open repository used for multimedia and vector graphics
Tools with which SWF files can be built:
Adobe toots: Flash, Adobe Flash Builder (an IDE), and the Adobe Flex SDK etc.
Other open source tools: Motion-Twin ActionScript 2 Compiler (MTASC), Ming library, SWiSH Max2
Third party programs: Multimedia Fusion 2, Captivate, SWiSH Max or BannerSnack
Advantages of SWF Format
Vector based: This means that the graphics can be scaled easily, hence even if they are zoomed in or fit onto different size screens, SWF file will still look very clear and play very smooth.
Faster loading: It was intentionally created to be small and light. This is to display all the animations clearly, to be reused by a player running on any system and to make it work even with slower network connections.
Easy and smooth compression: Like PNG format, SWF uses a non-patented lossless data compression method known as DEFLATE, that con compress the files with any loss of data.
Transparency support: SWF offers a variety of transparency options. With the help of truecolor and greyscale images, transparency levels can be varied and declared as needed. That means either a single pixel value or single pixel with an added alpha channel can be can be declared as transparent. This enables any percentage of partial transparency to be used.
Major disadvantage of SWF File
These SWF files can be played only when the system is installed with Macromedia Flash. If not they cannot be played.
Additional Note: If you want to know how to recover SWF files, then just click the link given.