My woes with Mathematica animations exported in SWF-format continue. The goal is to Export an animation in SWF-format, and also make it scalable, so that when I embed it into a slide set (produced by LaTeX) in PDF-format, the animation will resize when I zoom in/out. I have asked a related question on TeX.SE, where a solution via converting the animation into an MP4-file was suggested. That solution works, but lossy compression (or something) makes the end result look passable but not nearly as good as the same animation in a Mathematica notebook.

Following the further discussion in TeX.SE I looked at the header of the generated SWF-file with a text editor (NotePad). Indeed, there reads scaleMode - noScale. So time to study Mathematica's help files. Promising sounding options are listed in ref/format/SWF. Most notably Scalable and ControlAppearance (kind of pointless to have those unclickable control buttons in the end product). So let's try...

roll[u_] := Show[
  {ParametricPlot[{Cos[t] + u, Sin[t] + 1}, {t, 0, 2 Pi}, 
    AspectRatio -> Automatic, AxesOrigin -> {0, 0}, 
    Ticks -> {{0, 2 Pi, 4 Pi, 6 Pi}, {}}],
   ParametricPlot[{u, 1} - t {Sin[u], Cos[u]}, {t, 0, 1}],
   ParametricPlot[{t - Sin[t], 1 - Cos[t]}, {t, -0.6, u}],
   Graphics[{PointSize[0.02], Point[{u - Sin[u], 1 - Cos[u]}]}]}, 
  PlotRange -> {{-1.2, 20}, {-0.2, 4.2}}, Axes -> True]

sykloidi = Animate[roll[u], {u, 0, 20}]

Export["Analyysi I/2013/kalvot12-13/sykloidi.swf", sykloidi, 
 AnimationDuration -> 6, FrameRate -> 8, Scalable -> True, 
 ControlAppearance -> None]

Nope. No change. The .swf still does not scale. In the header of the SWF-file it still reads scaleMode - noScale, and the control buttons didn't disappear either.

Did I use wrong syntax for Export in the above snippet? What's the right way of doing this?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Try "Scalable" -> True instead! $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2013 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Oh dear! @belisarius is right! How did I miss that <insert blushing emoticon>? It zooms just right, too! Would you like to write that as an answer, please? This is the first time I have ever seen a Mathematica-option needing quotation marks. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2013 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


I don't know why, but many options require the Option Name enclosed in quotation marks.
In this case:

"Scalable" -> True 

Usually the docs are clear enough (if you are mostly awake and pay attention):

Mathematica graphics

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ My guess is that they want to reduce namespace pollution, as strings aren't symbols, but the usage pattern seems a bit haphazard. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2013 at 20:50

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