How to Convert Flash to PDF

In a Web 2.0 era where content and media sharing is the norm, Flash was one of-if not, the main media platform being used to watch Flash videos on the web. Not surprisingly, Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia in 2005, allowed the PDF developer to leverage the multimedia technology within the PDF format, making Flash a natively supported element within Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

Despite Adobe Flash’s slight decline in popularity over the years, some of your best and richest content may still be in the .SWF format. Luckily, with Acrobat 11 Pro, you have a basic Flash to PDF converter you can use to either boost your PDF documents or preserve your rich multimedia content. Here’s how.


To Add Multimedia Flash into PDF files:

  • 1Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro.
  • 2Go to View > Tools > Interactive Objects.
Acrobat Interactive Objects Tools
  • 3In the Tools Pane on the right, select Add SWF.
Acrobat Add SWF Option
  • 4Select the area where you want your Flash content to appear by dragging a square on the page.
Insertion Area For SWF
  • 5Within the Insert Flash dialog, either enter the URL of a SWF file or click on Browse to find the SWF media file on your computer.
  • 6Click on the Show Advanced Options box to configure specific settings. Also, ensure that Snap to content proportions is checked to retain the same width and height ratios of the original content.
Acrobat Insert SWF Dialog
  • 7In the dialog that appears, there will be 3 panels. Here you can customize your Flash video.
  1. Launch Settings - Designate how your media appears and plays within the file.

For this tab, set a Poster Image, the still image displayed on the page, to ensure your content gets a polished look. Select Retrieve poster from media or further customize it with your own image by choosing to Create poster from file.

Acrobat SWF Launch Settings
  1. SWF - Allows advanced users to add ActionScript variables for the .SWF file’s content
  2. Resources - Lets you include all resource files that are associated with the .SWF file which are needed to animate the content properly.
  • 8Once everything is set, click on OK. Acrobat will insert your Flash content as specified.
  • 9To quickly finalize your changes, click on the Save icon on the toolbar.
Inserted Flash content in Acrobat

To Convert Flash to PDF:

  • 1In Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro, click on Create and select PDF from file…
Acrobat Create PDF
  • 2Browse for, select and open the .SWF file you wish to convert.
Selecting SWF File
  • 3Once it’s selected, click on the Show Advanced Options check box. Ensure Snap to content proportions is checked.
Acrobat Insert SWF Dialog
  • 4Tailor your Flash to PDF conversion in the next dialog. As in the above method, you can customize the Launch Settings, add SWF script, and include any necessary Resources and files needed for the SWF content to function.
Acrobat Insert SWF Settings
  • 5Click on OK when your settings are selected. You will then see your Flash content in the PDF format.
Acrobat Flash To PDF
  • 6Save the PDF to your computer by going to File > Save As. In the next dialog, type in a name and select a location for your new PDF.
Acrobat SWF Save As