Simple questions: What is Microsoft Sway?

With the launch of the Microsoft Office 2016 suite, Microsoft also launched a completely new app called Microsoft Sway. While most of us use Office apps like Word, Excel or PowerPoint, Sway is something completely new, something we've never seen before from Microsoft. We’re sure that many of our readers would like to know what exactly Sway is and what's its purpose. What can you do with this new Office app? To answer thes e questions, we decided to write this article which shares everything you need to know about it:

What is Microsoft Sway?

Microsoft Sway is an universal app, officially launched on August 5, 2015, that’s designed to help you create digital stories in which you can share ideas, concepts, reports. Simply put, it’s a presentation tool, somewhat similar to PowerPoint. However, while PowerPoint is designed to work best for creating static, fixed presentations, the Sway app works best when you want to create a more narrative focused story.

Like, for instance, share your summer vacation with your relatives, or make a quick presentation for your co-workers, or create a really nice looking Windows tutorial for your grandmother. :)

Sway is more screen oriented than PowerPoint, meaning that the digital stories you create are more likely to look better on screen, rather than presented with a projector. That also makes Sway stories great for sharing online with other people.

Another major difference between Sway and other presentation apps is the fact that the whole editing process is like designing your own web page. In comparison, making a presentation in PowerPoint is more like editing videos or designing charts, for instance.

Sway is an app that's very easy to use and creating your own digital story is a fast process. On the other hand, Microsoft simplified the editing process at the expense of details. The stories you create are quite beautifully rendered, but they lack granular control. Sway is limited when it comes to making fine touches to the way a heading looks like, for example.

How editing presentations works in Microsoft Sway

The whole editing process for creating a Sway presentation is really simple. The app itself will handle the style and the details of how your presentation will look. All you need to actually do is add content.

Any Sway you create is centered around a narrative divided into sections which, in turn, are divided into cards.

The cards can also be of different types, depending on the content they will hold. For instance, you can add text cards (which will hold section titles, description text or any other kind of text) and media cards (which can hold images, videos, tweets or other types of media).

Adding content to your story is simple, even if maybe it's a bit limiting. Instead of creating the content itself, Sway is focused more on embedding content. That means you can only do simple things like adding text, videos and photos from various sources like OneDrive, OneNote, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube or Twitter. You can also embed content like audio files or maps.

To change the looks of all the content of your digital story, you can select different themes for your Sway, depending on what pleases your eye and what meets your story's idea or concept.

When your Sway is all done and ready to go out in the world, you can either run it locally, or share it with other people online via Docs.com , Facebook, Twitter or even embed it on a web page. All the sharing is done via Sway.com , so it will work anywhere, anyhow - the people that will access your Sway don’t need to have the app installed, they only have to have a web browser and a working Internet connection.

It even works on smartphones.

Where can I get Microsoft Sway?

Sway is an universal app developed by Microsoft, which means it should be available on a multitude of platforms. By that, we're thinking at the entire range of Windows 10 devices: PCs, laptops, tablets, 2-in-1s and even smartphones. And it's true: Sway can be downloaded, installed and used on all these devices.

For now, Microsoft Sway is an app available on any Windows 10 device, plus on iPhones, iPads and in any web browser you prefer, as part of Office Online.

If you'd rather use the app, you can download it using these links:

Conclusion

Sway is a useful app that makes it extremely easy for anyone to create digital stories in just a few minutes. It somewhat resembles PowerPoint but it focuses more on the narrative in your story rather than on the fine details. You could call it a "plug and play" presentation tool - that's how straightforward the whole process of creating a Sway is. Did you try Sway? How do you like it? Share your feedback with us, using the comments form below.