How to insert SWF files in Dreamweaver
Learn how to insert and preview SWF files in Dreamweaver and set SWF file properties.

Before you use Dreamweaver to insert content created with Adobe Animate CC, you should be familiar with the following different file types:

FLA file (.fla)

The source file for any project and created in the Flash authoring tool. This type of file can only be opened in Flash (not in Dreamweaver or in browsers). You can open the FLA file in Flash, then publish it as a SWF or SWT file to use in browsers.

SWF file (.swf)

A compiled version of the FLA (.fla) file, optimized for viewing on the web. This file can be played back in browsers and previewed in Dreamweaver, but cannot be edited in Flash.

FLV file (.flv)

A video file that contains encoded audio and video data for delivery through Flash® Player. For example, if you had a QuickTime or Windows Media video file, you would use an encoder (such as Flash® Video Encoder, or Sorenson Squeeze) to convert the video file to an FLV file. For more information, visit the Video Technology Center at

Insert and preview SWF files

Use Dreamweaver to add SWF files to your pages, and then preview them in a document or a browser. You can also set properties for SWF files in the Property inspector.

Insert a SWF file

  1. In the Design view of the Document window, place the insertion point where you want to insert the content, then do one of the following:

    • In the Insert panel, select Select Flash SWF.
    • Select Insert > HTML > Flash SWF.


  2. In the dialog box that appears, select a SWF file (.swf).

    A SWF file placeholder appears in the Document window.

  3. Save the file.

    Dreamweaver informs you that two dependent files, expressInstall.swf and swfobject_modified.js, are being saved to a Scripts folder in your site. Don’t forget to upload these files when you upload the SWF file to your web server. Browsers can’t display the SWF file properly unless you have also uploaded these dependent files.


    Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) does not process nested object tags. For ASP pages, Dreamweaver uses nested object/embed code instead of nested object code when inserting SWF or FLV files.

Edit Flash Player download information

When you insert a SWF file in a page, Dreamweaver inserts code that detects whether the user has the correct version of Flash Player. If not, the page displays default alternative content that prompts the user to download the latest version. You can change this alternative content at any time.

This procedure also applies to FLV files.


If a user does not have the required version but does have Flash Player 6.0 r65 or later, the browser displays a Flash Player express installer. If the user declines the express install, the page then displays the alternative content.

  1. In the Design view of the Document window, select the SWF file or FLV file.
  2. Click the eye icon in the tab of the SWF file or FLV file.


    You can also press Control + ] to switch to alternative content view. To return to SWF/FLV view, press Control + [ until all of the alternative content is selected. Then press Control + [ again.

  3. Edit the content just as you would edit any other content in Dreamweaver.


    You cannot add SWF files or FLV files as alternative content.

  4. Click the eye icon again to return to the SWF (or FLV) file view.

Preview SWF files in the Document window

  1. In the Document window, click the SWF file placeholder to select the content.
  2. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), click the Play button. Click Stop to end the preview. You can also preview the SWF file in a browser by pressing F12.


    To preview all SWF files in a page, press Control+Alt+Shift+P (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift+P (Macintosh). All SWF files are set to Play.

Set SWF file properties

You can set properties for SWF files using the Property inspector. The properties are also applicable to Shockwave movies.

  1. Select a SWF file or a Shockwave movie and set the options in the Property inspector (Window > Properties). To see all properties, click the expander arrow in the lower-right corner of the Property inspector.


    Specifies a unique ID for the SWF file. Enter an ID in the unlabeled text box on the far left side of the Property inspector. As of Dreamweaver CS4, a unique ID is required.

    W and H

    Specify the width and height of the movie, in pixels.


    Specifies the path to the SWF file or Shockwave file. Click the folder icon to browse to a file, or type a path.


    Specifies the path to the source document (the FLA file), when Dreamweaver and Flash are both installed on your computer. To edit a SWF file, update the movie’s source document.


    Specifies a background color for the movie area. This color also appears while the movie is not playing (while loading and after playing).


    Starts Flash to update a FLA file (a file created in the Flash authoring tool). This option is disabled if you do not have Flash installed on your computer.


    Lets you apply a CSS class to the movie.


    Makes the movie play continuously. When Loop is not selected, the movie plays once and stops.


    Automatically plays the movie when the page loads.

    V Space and H Space

    Specifies the number of pixels of white space above, below, and on both sides of the movie.


    Controls anti-aliasing during playback of the movie. High settings improve the appearance of movies. However, at high settings movies require a faster processor to render correctly on the screen. Low favors speed over appearance, whereas High favors appearance over speed. Auto Low favors speed at first but improves appearance when possible. Auto High favors both qualities equally at first but later sacrifices appearance for speed if necessary.


    Determines how the movie fits into the dimensions set in the width and height text boxes. The Default setting displays the entire movie.


    Determines how the movie is aligned on the page.


    Sets the Wmode parameter for the SWF file to avoid conflicts with DHTML elements, such as Spry widgets. The default value is Opaque, which allows DHTML elements to appear on top of SWF files in a browser. If the SWF file includes transparencies and you want DHTML elements to appear behind them, select the Transparent option. Select the Window option to remove the Wmode parameter from the code and allow the SWF file to appear on top of other DHTML elements.


    Plays the movie in the Document window.


    Opens a dialog box for entering additional parameters to pass to the movie. The movie must be designed to receive these additional parameters.