Common File Format - Ireland - Drumcondra Education Centre - Interactive Whiteboards

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Common File Format - Ireland

Classroom Resources
CBI Interactive Whiteboard Project - DEC, ICS, CESI

(In case you arrive at this page via an Internet Search, click here to get to the CBI Project Homepage)


'Common File Format' Resource Page:

Common File Format (CFF) are files which are designed to be shared over a number of Interactive Whiteboard platforms. CFF follows from the work of Becta (an organisation now sadly gone!). CFF files have the extension .iwb



An open-source non-IWB specific Viewer is available via http://iwbcff.sourceforge.net/ (the 'Browse All Files' link is a useful starting point)

Further, as of April 2010, the following IWB software editors support this format:

    • SMART 10.7 ...can Export and Import CFF files
    • StarBoard 9.3 (from Hitachi) ...Can Import and Export CFF files (via an additional plug-in)
    • MimioStudio 7.11 ...can Export and Import CFF files
    • Teamboard Draw (version 5.5?) ...can Import CFF files
    • RM Easiteach 3.6 ...can Export CFF files
    • RM Easiteach Next Generation ...can Import and Export CFF files
    • Promethean's ActivInspire (version 1.6) ...can Import and Export CFF files
    • The open-source Sankore ...can Import CFF files

Note that CFF files may not have the full functionality of the original IWB editior. CFF is a method of content transfer: while many content items are retained there will be 'errors in translation' (such as, for example, changes in Font Size). Content may have to be re-formatted following an Import. In the following, I have indicated the CFF Generator, and the effect upon importing to another IWB platform:

  • SMART to Starboard: all Text Objects were reduced to Font Size 4. Grouping, Colours and Layout were retained
  • SMART to Mimio: all preserved. Need to Zoom In
  • Starboard to SMART: all Text Objects were reduced in Font Size; all Text Objects were 'crammed' into the top-left corner of the Notebook page; Textbox Shading was lost. Object Grouping and Text Colours were retained
  • Starboard to Mimio: all preserved. Need to Zoom In
  • Mimio to Starboard: all Text Objects were reduced to Font Size 9; Textbox Shading lost. Grouping and Layout were retained
  • Mimio to SMART: "The IWB File Convertor failed"
  • Easiteach 3.6 to Easiteach Next Generation: preserved are Text objects (and their colours), hyperlinks (when in Play mode); lost are some pictures (!), actions (such as Hide/Reveal), animations (such as 'follow a line')


...and here are our 'Common File Format' files (often, in the File Name, I have indicated the 'source' IWB): the files start with Primary but you can jump to Post-Primary



Post Primary


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