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SWF File Format Reference

The Flash File Format Explained

The SWF file format is used for Flash. SWF stands for Shockwave Format1, the very first company that created the Flash animation format later bought by Macromedia and now owned by Adobe.

The following book is an attempt in describing the binary file format of Flash files.

Don't hesitate to post comments in order to improve the documentation. Things that need to be changed in the document itself will be updated as required. Thank you!

Note: This book is a copy of the old documentation laid out on multiple pages to make it easier to organize and maintain. The old document is still available in the SSWF packages but it will be marked as unsupported/deprecated in future packages. It is still available here.

  • 1. There are many people who found other names for the acronym such as Shockwave Flash, Shock Wave File, Small Web Format, Serious Wow Factor, and SWIFF. History of man kind is confronted with the same problems, unfortunately. And no... it really has nothing to do with the Swiss Wrestling Federation!