How to Use Microsoft Sway and What Is it.
Microsoft Sway has been around for years but remains one of Microsoft’s most closely guarded secrets. The digital storytelling app allows you to quickly create beautifully animated presentations that are automatically adapted for different devices.
Unlike PowerPoint, Sway requires little training. Think of Microsoft Sway as PowerPoint for people who don’t want to learn PowerPoint. In fact, Sway doesn’t even want you to call them “presentations.” You will be creating “Sway”.
Is Microsoft Sway Free?
Microsoft Sway is a free web app for anyone with a Microsoft account. Go to Sway in your browser and sign in with your Microsoft account. If you use Sway as part of Microsoft 365, you will have access to several additional features that people using a free account won’t have, such as removing the footer and adding password protection to your Sway.
Microsoft 365 users can enjoy higher limits on the number of Sway items they can use in each Sway they create.
Again, these limits are for the Sway presentation. A free account will probably be sufficient for most users.
How You Could Use Sway
Microsoft completely removes design concerns from the creation process. All you have to do is add content. Sway’s job is to make it look good. Plus, Sway gives you access to a wide variety of images and videos for free to use on Sway. You can use Sway to create:
- Presentation for work
- Newsletter for clients.
- A slideshow of embarrassing photos from Zoom’s friend’s birthday party.
- An exciting story on any topic you want.
A good first step is to browse the templates that Sway provides, or Get Inspired by the Popular Sway, and see some great examples of what you can do with the app. Alternatively, you can search by topic and Sway will create an outline for you to follow. Don’t you want PowerPoint to do it for you?
How to Create and Design a Sway
The Sway workspace is divided into two tabs: Storyline and Design.
Since your last Sway will most likely not be a series of slides (although you will have the opportunity), but rather a single fluid web page that you will scroll through (top to bottom or left to right), imagine your presentation as the journey that you take with the audience from start to finish.
Storyline Sway Workspace
Select Create to start a Sway from scratch, or select Start With a Topic to have Sway create a diagram for you. Alternatively, you can start by downloading a PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document and Sway will use it as your template.
In this case, we search for a theme and click the Create Scheme button. Sway will create the foundation of your presentation for you.
Sway has automatically assigned Sway a title and content cards that you can edit at any time. Remove any card by clicking the trash can icon on the card you want to remove.
You add content to your Sway by adding cards to the storyline, and you can rearrange the cards at any time using the Sway’s drag and drop controls.
Click the plus sign to add a card and choose what type of content you want. Content types include video, images, and text, among others.
Another way to add content to Sway is to search for content on your computer or the Internet. Select Paste from the menu bar.
From here, you can search various sources for content to add to Sway.
Select a content source, and then enter a word or phrase in the box labeled Search Sources. Finally, select the magnifying glass icon or press Enter. Select the Creative Commons Only checkbox to restrict results to content that does not require a license to use.
Finally, select one of the search results and click the Add button to add that item to your Sway.
The cards in the Storyline workspace offer several options depending on what type of content they contain. Picture cards let you format the text of an image caption, choose the focus points on the image, and choose how much you want the card to stand out.
Setting the focus points is important because it helps the Sway choose how to position the image. Select the most important parts of the image and Sway will determine the best image position based on your device and the style you choose.
You can preview how your content will look on your computer or mobile screen.
Text cards also provide options for text formatting, linking, and highlighting.
Sway Design Workspace
The Design workspace is where you control the look of your Sway. Select the Design tab from the menu.
Then choose Styles.
In the Styles panel, you can choose the orientation of the Sway. Swing can be vertical or horizontal, or you can select the Slides option. Select the style preview you like best and then click the Customize button to refine your selection. You can always change your mind later.
You can always preview how your Sway will look to others in the Design workspace.
If you’re not satisfied with that, hit the Remix button to let Sway choose the design and layout for you.
Click the Play button to get all the options.
How to Share Your Sway
The Share button gives you several ways to share your Sway.
You can create a link to view or edit, or share to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or you can get the code to embed the Sway into your website.
Save Time and Impress Others with Microsoft Sway
Microsoft Sway is a great tool for quickly creating visually engaging stories. The next time you feel like creating PowerPoint, try Sway instead. You will appreciate how quickly you can go from a blank presentation to a bright and beautiful one, no matter what device you are viewing it on.
How to Use Microsoft Sway and What Is it
How to Use Microsoft Sway and What Is it