ActionScript Naming Conventions (a pocket guide)

In the ACE communities we have been discussing the ActionScript naming confusion and have hence come up with the following “pocket guide” as of how to name the entities in Flash based systems.

SWF (adj.)

File format of a published FLA (Flash authoring) file. Note all capitals. Use SWF files, not just SWF or SWFs. Pronounced “swiff.” Say a SWF file, not an SWF file. SWF stands for Shockwave Flash, though some say it’s Small Web Format—however, that is not official and this should not be spelled out in documentation. See also FLA and filename extensions.


Capitalize as shown here. For version numbers, use 2.0 and 3.0, not just 2 or 3.

There must be a space before the 2.0 and 3.0: ActionScript 2.0.

Do not abbreviate ActionScript as AS.

Note: It is OK to leave ActionScript 1 in legacy documentation rather than changing to ActionScript 1.0; however, do not change ActionScript 1.0 to ActionScript 1 and in new material write it as ActionScript 1.0.


Do not use. Instead, say ActionScript coding.


Do not use the plural of ActionScript. Say just ActionScript or add a noun after it: ActionScript snippets, ActionScript code, and so on.

Filename extensions

Use a period followed by the two-, three-, or four-letter file suffix, in lowercase, when referring to the file information that an application adds when saving or exporting a document (for example .doc, .gif, .swf). OK to refer to this as just extension rather than filename extension, but doesn’t use file extension. When referring to the general file format, omit the period and use all caps for the file type (PSD, GIF, SWF, BMP). Reword to use lowercase and a period when the extension is not intuitive or doesn’t have a well-recognized capitalized alternative.

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