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SharePoint Blog

November 09
What is Microsoft Sway?


One of the lesser known tools in the Microsoft Office 365 toolkit is Microsoft Sway. My only impression of Sway was that was PowerPoint on steroids, so I decided to learn a little more about it at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. I learned that although similar, Sway and PowerPoint are unique and each has its own use cases.
Sway makes it quick and easy to create and share polished, interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more. The tool has been around for two years and is cloud based, so users do need to be connected to the internet to access it. Sway data is stored in Azure and although there is no way to download it, you can export it to PDF but then you lose the whole interactive webpage feel from the experience.

Users can either create a Sway from scratch or leverage existing content and all presentations and reports are responsive. Using the built-in design engine, users can easily add content, design and format. Sway even suggests searches via Bing to help you find relevant images, videos, tweets, and other content that you can drag and drop right into your creation. No need to juggle apps and web pages to find what you want.


But, for those who like to control every element of a presentation, Sway might not be for you. It certainly has limitations on design. You don't have the ability to control each object in your Sway presentation - other than hitting remix and allowing the system to generate a new option. So if you are a pixel perfect designer, this could be frustrating for you.
 
To create a Sway - you start by providing the elements:


Then, let Sway do the work to generate possible options using the Remix button until you find the one you like:
 




So to pull together a quick, engaging presentation that will be shared with many - Sway is a great option. As it is cloud based, there is no version management - anyone accessing your presentation will see the most recent version.
 
Sway Presentations and Reports can be shared with just a few people or made public. There are some great analytics on who has viewed your Sway, how engaged they were - how far through the Sway they read. This could be useful for a company policy document that everyone is required to read.
 
Sway can help make a dry topic more engaging. You can embed videos, tweets, other sways, Power BI dashboards and even create forms. You can add slide shows, videos, stack images and add movement and interaction to make the presentation more engaging.
 


You can also set color schemes to flow through the Sway. It can be vertical or horizontal.
 


 
As an Admin, you can control who in your organization can access Sway, block content and allow or prevent external sharing.
 
So do a search for public Sways and be inspired - here is the one from the Sway team at Microsoft Ignite https://sway.com/4dLxKa4BR2nBLWCF
 
Here are some links to more information from Microsoft on Sway:
Getting Stared with Sway: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Getting-Started-with-Sway-2076c468-63f4-4a89-ae5f-424796714a8a
FAQ's: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-Sway-d550100d-74c1-48b5-94dd-de8cc9b694e9

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