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SWF(Small Web Format) The file format for playing Flash animation files (Flash movies). The Flash source file, which holds the timelines and multimedia elements, uses the .FLA (Flash Authoring) extension and is published to an .SWF file for playback by the Flash media player.
Originally, SWF meant "ShockWave Flash," which was confusing because Shockwave is a different authoring package that uses the .DCR extension for playback files (see Shockwave). As a result, SWF was renamed "Small Web Format." Stand-alone Flash video files use the .FLV extension (see Flash video). See Flash and Swiffy.