Microsoft Sway

What is Microsoft Sway? How to use the powerful presentation program and how it differs from PowerPoint.


Microsoft has been operating as a hard and software moloch for decades. And if you look at their products, it’s not hard to understand why – almost every PC user on earth has ever used Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365.

And while we often think of Office as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, there are actually many more programs.

One of the most useful is Microsoft Sway. Sway is a presentation creation app that can be accessed for free on as long as the user has a Microsoft account. For those with a Microsoft 365 subscription, Sway offers more features than the free version.

What is Microsoft Sway?

Microsoft Sway is similar to PowerPoint because both can be used to create eye-catching and informative presentations. But while PowerPoint revolves around the size of the slideshow, Sway’s applications are more varied.

With Sway you can create everything from newsletters and resumes to portfolios and blogs. You can start from scratch if you have a specific design in mind, or you can upload images, documents, and YouTube videos, and Sway will design something for you.

Moreover, Microsoft Sway is hosted entirely online, making it easy to access and share your completed work anywhere with an Internet connection.

How to use Microsoft Sway

To get started with Microsoft Sway, you need to choose one of the three options from the application:

  • “Create New” allows you to create an entirely new Sway project.
  • “Start from a topic” allows you to search for specific topics and create an overview for your presentation based on that topic.
  • “Start from a document” will ask you to upload a document, which Sway will adapt into a presentation concept.

Microsoft Sway

Sway lets you choose from a variety of templates, start from scratch, or upload an existing document. Chrissy Montelli / Insider

You can also click on one of the available templates for a direct overview.

Microsoft Sway
There are a number of predesigned templates for you to choose from.

There are two main components in Sway’s interface: the Storyline tab and the Design tab. The storyline is your dashboard for organizing the content of the presentation, while in the design you can see what the presentation looks like. Simply put, you create the presentation on the Storyline tab, and people who view it see the Design tab.

If you’ve ever created a blog with WordPress, that’s a good reference point for how Sway’s storyline works. The storyline divides individual paragraphs, images, and videos into “maps”, so that they can be easily organized, moved, and the story can be told that you are trying to communicate with your presentation. As you move items on your storyline, the Design tab will show these changes.

When you’re ready to share your Sway, click the “Play” button in the top right corner to see what it looks like, and then “Share” to send the completed Sway to whoever you want.

Microsoft Sway

As with most creative efforts, the easiest way is to put together great Sways, play with them and see what works best for what you’re trying to do.

Source: business insider

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