Computable Document Format

Computable Document Format (CDF) is an electronic document format[1] designed to allow easy authoring[2] of dynamically generated interactive content. CDF is a published public format[3] created by Wolfram Research.[4]

Computable Document Format
Filename extension.cdf
Internet media typeapplication/cdf
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)com.wolfram.cdf
Developed byWolfram Research
Initial releaseJuly 21, 2011
Open format?No
WebsiteComputable Document Format


Computable Document Format supports GUI elements such as sliders, menus, and buttons. Content is updated using embedded computation in response to GUI interaction. Contents can include formatted text, tables, images, sounds, and animations. CDF supports Mathematica typesetting and technical notation.[5] Paginated layout, structured drill down layout, and slideshow mode are supported. Styles can be controlled using a cascading style sheet.


CDF files can be read using a proprietary CDF Player with a restrictive license, which can be downloaded free of charge from Wolfram Research.[4]


CDF Files can be created using Mathematica. Online authoring tools are available through the Wolfram Cloud.


Computable Document Format has been used in electronic books by Pearson Education,[6][7], specifically MyMathLab, to provide the content for the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, and to add client-side interactivity to Wolfram Alpha.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ Wolfram Alpha Creator plans to delete the PDF The Telegraph (UK)
  2. ^ Wolfram makes data interactive PC World
  3. ^ "About CDFs". Wolfram Research.
  4. ^ a b Wolfram punts expanded medium for technical docs Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine ThinQ
  5. ^ Wolfram Launches new document format. Meet CDF ZDNet
  6. ^ Wolfram launches PDF Killer Archived 2012-04-28 at the Wayback Machine School Library Journal
  7. ^ Briggs Cochrane Calculus
  8. ^ WolframAlpha adds powerful interactive search results The Next Web, 12 August 2011
  9. ^ Wolfram Launches its own interactive document format PC Pro, July 2011

External links

CDF Player

CDF Player is a Computable Document Format viewer developed by Wolfram Research. The proprietary CDF Player is released with a restricted license, which can be downloaded free of charge from Wolfram Research. In contrast to static formats such as PDF and pre-generated interactive content provided by formats such as Adobe Flash the CDF Player contains an entire runtime library of Mathematica allowing document content to be generated in response to user interaction using any algorithms or visualizations which can be described in Mathematica. This makes it suitable for scientific, engineering and other technical content and digital textbooks.CDF reader support is available for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Linux and iOS but not for e-book readers or Android tablets. The reader supports a plugin mode for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari, which allows CDF content to be embedded inline in HTML pages.

Comparison of document markup languages

The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of document markup languages. Please see the individual markup languages' articles for further information.

Conrad Wolfram

Conrad Wolfram (born 10 June 1970) is a British technologist and businessman known for his work in information technology and its application. In 2012, The Observer placed him at number 11 in its list of Britain's 50 New Radicals.

Document processor

A document processor is a computer application that superficially resembles a word processor—but emphasizes the visual layout of the document's components, above creation and formatting of text. Document processor tools are not just typical document elements—paragraphs, lists, headers, etc. The primary attraction of a document processor is the ability to program documents with strong layout controls and powerful conditional automatic formatting rules that create structured documents. This facilitates creating large numbers of similar elements generated and reformatted for different media with little human effort.

Examples of document processors include programs and technologies such as PTC Arbortext APP (formerly Advent 3B2,) Adobe FrameMaker, LyX, BroadVision QuickSilver (formerly Interleaf TPS), Syntext Serna, and the Wolfram notebook interface. Examples of markup languages used for non-graphical document processing include SGML/XML, LaTeX, GNU TeXmacs and troff.

List of document markup languages

The following is a list of document markup languages. You may also find the List of markup languages of interest.

List of filename extensions (A–E)

This alphabetical list of filename extensions contains standard extensions associated with computer files.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha (also styled WolframAlpha or Wolfram Alpha) is a computational knowledge engine or answer engine developed by Wolfram Alpha LLC, a subsidiary of Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from externally sourced "curated data", rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.Wolfram|Alpha, which was released on May 18, 2009, is based on Wolfram's earlier flagship product Wolfram Mathematica, a computational platform or toolkit that encompasses computer algebra, symbolic and numerical computation, visualization, and statistics capabilities. Additional data is gathered from both academic and commercial websites such as the CIA's The World Factbook, the United States Geological Survey, a Cornell University Library publication called All About Birds, Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Dow Jones, the Catalogue of Life, CrunchBase, Best Buy, the FAA and optionally a user's Facebook account.

Wolfram Mathematica

Wolfram Mathematica (usually termed Mathematica) is a modern technical computing system spanning most areas of technical computing - including neural networks, machine learning, image processing, geometry, data science, visualizations, and others. The system is used in many technical, scientific, engineering, mathematical, and computing fields. It was conceived by Stephen Wolfram and is developed by Wolfram Research of Champaign, Illinois. The Wolfram Language is the programming language used in Mathematica.

Wolfram Research

Wolfram Research is a private company that creates computational technology. Wolfram's flagship product is the technical computing program Wolfram Mathematica, first released on June 23, 1988. Wolfram Research founder Stephen Wolfram is the CEO.

The company launched Wolfram Alpha, an answer engine on May 16, 2009. It brings a new approach to knowledge generation and acquisition that involves large amounts of curated computable data in addition to semantic indexing of text.Wolfram Research acquired MathCore Engineering AB on March 30, 2011.On July 21, 2011, Wolfram Research launched the Computable Document Format (CDF). CDF is an electronic document format designed to allow easy authoring of dynamically generated interactive content.

In June 2014, Wolfram Research officially introduced the Wolfram Language as a new general multi-paradigm programming language. It is the primary programming language used in Mathematica.Other products include Wolfram SystemModeler, Wolfram Workbench, gridMathematica, Wolfram Finance Platform, webMathematica, the Wolfram Development Platform, and the Wolfram Programming Lab.Wolfram Research served as the mathematical consultant for the CBS television series Numb3rs, a show about the mathematical aspects of crime-solving.


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