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From SWFTools
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What's the price of swftools?
SWFTools is free of charge (donations are welcome, though), and is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 or (at your option) any later version.
Headers include this information (copied from pdf2swf.c):
  This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
  the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
  (at your option) any later version.
Where can I donate?
You can donate via PayPal by clicking on the "donate" button on
How to compile/link swftools on Unix/Linux/BSD?
See Installation.
Is there a pdf2swf/avi2swf for Windows?
Windows versions of all SWF utilities are downloadable from (There's a self-extracting .exe version of all versioned releases, and a .zip or .rar archive of the newest development snapshot.)
Where's the source code of the Windows version?
It's the same as the Unix source code. If you want to compile under Windows, it's recommended that you get the CVS version of the sources.
You need MingW ( to compile it. When cross-compiling under Linux, e.g. the following generates the Windows .exe files:
 CXX=i386-mingw32msvc-g++ CPP=i386-mingw32msvc-cpp CC=i386-mingw32msvc-gcc \
 ./configure --host=i586-mingw32msvc && make
For compiling on Windows itself, there's a HOWTO from Daichi Shinozaki:
The fonts in the SWFs generated by pdf2swf are wrong!
Watch the output of pdf2swf closely. You should see something like:
 WARNING Font Myriad-Roman could not be loaded.
 WARNING Try putting a TTF version of that font (named "Myriad-Roman.ttf") into /swftools/fonts
Provided you actually own the font in question (here: Myriad-Roman.ttf), you can copy that fonts into your current directory and pass the:
 "-F ./" (--fontpath ./)
option to pdf2swf. If you use a font in several PDFs, you can also simply copy it to (on Windows) C:\SWFTools\Fonts\, or (on Unix) /usr/local/share/swftools/fonts to make it work all the time.
Can png2swf handle transparency?
Yes. It supports PNG mode 2 transparency (256 color palettes with alpha) since version 0.4.2. Mode 6 (32 bit RGBA truecolor) is also supported since version 0.4.4.
How to do Flash MX compression with SWFTools?
Most tools support the -z flag for outputting compressed SWF. Furthermore you can compress/uncompress SWF files using swfcombine:
 swfcombine -dz file.swf -o file_new.swf
compresses, while
 swfcombine -d file.swf -o file_new.swf
avi2swf converts my avi files upside down!
Try using the -p (--flip) switch.
How to extract images/sounds from myfile.swf using swfextract?
First list all extractable items:
 swfextract myfile.swf
The result is something like:
   Objects in file myfile.swf:
 [-i] 3 Shapes: ID(s) 1-3
 [-i] 5 MovieClips: ID(s) 4, 5, 8, 10, 12
 [-j] 3 JPEGs: ID(s) 69, 116, 447
 [-p] 1 PNG: ID(s) 318
 [-s] 3 Sounds: ID(s) 28-30
 [-f] 10 Frames: ID(s) 0-10
Now you can extract a shape using
 swfextract -i 2 myfile.swf -o shape.swf
a sound using
 swfextract -s 28 myfile.swf -o sound.wav
a PNG image file using
 swfextract -p 318 myfile.swf -o file.png
Is there a mailing list for SWFTools?
Yes there is. You can subscribe by going to
Why didn't Matthias answer my swftools-related mail?
Currently, Matthias is getting much more mails than he can answer. It's frustrating, but it's true. He tries his best to at least *read* all mails he receives.
If you need an answer to something, it's usually more effective to post it on the mailing list, though, as there are a lot of friendly users around there which may have the one or other helpful tip concerning your problem.
When will feature/bugfix/enhancement XY be implemented?
Setting deadlines in a non-commercial, spare-time project like swftools tools is hard, and keeping them is even harder, if not impossible.
Therefore, do not ask about deadlines, and you won't get fuzzy, or even wrong, answers.
  • How to compile avi2swf?
avi2swf isn't part of the swftools distribution anymore. If you want to convert avi files to swf, please use either mencoder or ffmpeg
   mencoder file.avi -lavfopts i_certify_that_my_video_stream_does_not_use_b_frames \
                     -ffourcc FLV1 -oac mp3lame -of lavf -ovc lavc \
                     -lavcopts vcodec=flv:acodec=mp3:vbitrate=500:abitrate=56 -srate 22050  \
                     -o file.swf
 ffmpeg -i video.mpg -b <bitrate> -s <X>y<Y> -pass 1 -passlogfile log_file video.flv
 ffmpeg -i video.mpg -b <bitrate> -s <X>y<Y> -pass 2 -passlogfile log_file video.flv
 flvtool2 -UP video.flv
How can I create transparent SWFs from PDFs?
Run pdf2swf as usual, and then, on the resulting file, execute:
 swfextract -i 3- file.swf -o file.swf
How can I convert SWF frames to bitmap?
There's a "swfrender" utility in the CVS, which isn't finished yet, and will only work for *very* simple SWF files. (No Actionscript, no no morph shapes, no blending modes, no filters, etc.)
Probably other Flash Open-Source projects (like Gnash) have some more sophisticated utilities for this. (One user reported that swfdec ( and pyswfdec ( work good.)
If you find other tools that work, I'd like to know about it. Please mail me at