CDF Format – Adopting CDF

Adopting the Computable Document Format (CDF)

Make CDFs an everyday way to communicate. Join authors, educators, researchers, and other professionals in using CDF technology to develop interactive books, courseware, reports, and applications - without specialized programming knowledge.

Develop all aspects of your documents, reports, info apps, and applications, from text to graphics to interactivity, with Mathematica. Its extensive automated functions make creating interactive graphs and diagrams easy, taking as little as one line of code.

Authoring CDF
Making Document Interactive with CDF

Getting Started with CDF

You can create CDFs with Mathematica. Additional creation methods will be coming in the future, ranging from Wolfram|Alpha to on-demand online Mathematica services.

How to Get Started

  1. Watch brief videos:
  2. Download a free trial of Mathematica to create your own CDFs.
    Comprehensive documentation is available on and many other topics.
  3. Repurpose the source code of thousands of CDFs available from the Wolfram Demonstrations Projects. For example, a Demonstration's source code could be as straightforward as the code shown below.
    Simple Source Code
  4. Want to learn more? Online CDF courses are coming soon.

Example: Coding Interactivity

Developing interactive content from scratch can be as easy as using natural language with Mathematica's built-in textual parsing capabilities. The following example illustrates how to detect edges in an image and is also available for download as Mathematica notebook.

  1. Paste an image and assign it to a symbol:
    Erster Schritt
  2. Tell Mathematica what you want to do as antural language input by typing: "= detect edges in image":
    Zweiter Schritt
  3. When you evaluate the cell, your textual input is interpreted as Mathematica syntax:
    Dritter Schritt
  4. Add interactivity with a simple high-level function and parameters:
    Vierter Schritt

Want to learn more? Online CDF courses are coming soon. Learn more now from these tutorials:

Deploying CDF

Deploy CDFs as desktop applications or documents.

Our FreeCDF terms allow you to share your CDFs with anyone for non-commercial use. See the license summary for details.

Typical Uses of FreeCDF:

  • Make executive reports into interactive presentations
  • Transform your lab notebook into a slide show with dynamic computations

Wolfram provides three different types of web icons for use on your site. All icons can be found at the Wolfram website. By using one of the Wolfram CDF icons, you agree to the Wolfram guidelines. If you want to check on your use of the icons, we can assist you with the process by passing on your e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The e-mail has to answer the following questions in english:

  1. Describe what you want to to with the CDFs.
  2. How will the end user of the CDF get the CDF? Does he need to pay anything in any form, e.g. buy a book (with CD/DVD) or buy a login somewhere?
  3. How will the user of the CDF get the CDF Player?

Desktop Applications

Deploy CDFs as desktop applications to Windows, Mac, and Linux systems without worrying about platform specifics.

Build your CDF application once and it just works on all systems. Applications can load Wolfram's curated data, access Mathematica's computational power, and contain interactive controls automatically rendered in native style. Because desktop applications don't need internet access, they're ideal for classrooms, laboratories, secure environments, and remote locations.

Contact us about commercial use. To add enhanced features to your CDFs, talk to us about custom deployment options with Wolfram Player Pro.

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