What I want is to import an SWF file into Illustrator.

I prefer doing that with an exchange open source tool, if there is.


There's no way to directly import a .swf into Illustrator without access to Flash, as the file types are not compatible.

You could use a tool to convert it, but I don't know of any Open Source ones.

PDF995 (a free online tool) apparently lets you import the SWF and then export it as PDF, which can be opened by Illustrator. You do it by going to SWF window > Print and choosing a PDF printer.


What you can do is

1) Create a new document in Flash

2) File > import > import to stage

3) Scale all the elements so that they fit on the stage

4) File > Print > PDF > Save as Postscript

5) Give it a name and when done...

6) Open it in Illustrator!

  • Thank you for your answer. actually I am looking for an open source doing the job. I dont want to depend on Flash.
    – hsawires
    Dec 1 '14 at 9:29
  • On my Mac, Flash CC2014, there doesn't appear to be a "print" opiton under the file menu. :(
    – mhulse
    May 31 '15 at 8:01

the technique I'm gonna describe works between Flash Cs6 & Illustrator Cs6 to be able to move your vector graphics from flash to illustrator and yet still maintaining their vector properties.

  1. From inside flash choose: File > Export image and choose Filetype or "save as type" as Adobe FXG.
  2. Then from inside Illustrator choose: File > Open and point to that .fxg file you saved before.You should end up being able to have all those flash vectors now nicely sitting in a illustrator artboard.

Thats all.

  • Hi user82272, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. The question specifically states without using Flash though. Do you know of such a way? Keep contributing and thanks for your time and effort!
    – PieBie
    Dec 14 '16 at 10:01

Just discovered that Adobe Animate supports SWF files. https://helpx.adobe.com/it/animate/kb/edit-import-swf-file.html

  • 1
    Adobe Animate is just the new name for the product previously known as "Flash". Adobe renamed it in 2016. Maybe check the date this question was asked. The question asks how to do it without "Flash" . . . so suggesting Adobe Animate is basically like saying use Flash.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 24 '20 at 13:06
  • It is not a name change, when importing the SWF file most functionalities were lost, only the assets were usable. So it IS NOT a renamed Flash, it just manages to import something from a sfw file.
    – Omiod
    Oct 24 '20 at 13:11
  • 1
    Sorry, but you are completely wrong. The same thing happened if you tried to import a SWF into the versions previously known a Flash. Of course you lose functionality, because the original source document would have been a .FLA.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 24 '20 at 13:19
  • FLA files can be opened directly in Adobe Animate without loss of anything, which is hardly surprising since it's still the native file format of Adobe Animate.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 24 '20 at 13:40
  • 1
    Also, you can check out the Adobe Animate release date page on Wikipedia here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Animate#Versions
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 24 '20 at 13:53

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