Computable Document Format (CDF)

Computable Document Format (CDF) is a new electronic document format that has been designed to allow easy authoring of dynamically generated interactive content. It was created by Wolfram Research. 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 files can be read using a proprietary CDF Player with a restrictive license, which can be downloaded free of charge from Wolfram Research.

How CDF is different from PDF?

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 particularly suited to scientific, engineering and other technical content and digital textbooks. Computable Document Format has been used in electronic books by Pearson Education, to provide the content for The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, and to add client-side interactivity to Wolfram Alpha.

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