Introduction to Microsoft Sway

On today’s menu: Microsoft Sway! The preview phase took place in 2014 and one year later there has been the first official release. Microsoft Sway is a presentation service for keynotes, newsletter, reports and personal stories. Within the project management world it can be used e.g. to inform stakeholders about the latest project events via an up-to-date interactive service. Who is still excited receiving a newsletter via email, nowadays?! Often, these are sorted out into the SPAM folder or deleted unread.

What exactly is Sway?

Sway displays your content like a presentation via a sharing link within the browser.  It is particulary interesting, because you can present a lot of different sources like pictures, videos, OneNotes, content from other O365 services or even external stuff from the cloud.  Furthermore, the format is responsive and can be consumed on mobile devices like the IPhone and most of the web browsers. Check out my demo Sway here.

How does the generation of a Sway work?

You can start from scretch, use a topic or you can start from an existing PowerPoint that you upload to the service. I my example presentation above, I started from a topic.

10 seconds later, there’s already a pre-set presentation for you, generated from sources of the www. Of course, in most cases this is not 100 % what you really need, but it gives you a good impression to where the journey could go! To change to the presentation mode, just click on play.

The user interface is super easy. Once you have a Sway opened in the editing mode, you’ll see cards on the left hand side. Cards are elements (text boxes, pictures, videos, etc.) that you can add to your Sway to present you content. Here’s an example:

There are already a lot of design templates, but you also have the possibility to start from zero and be creative or to use the corporate design of your company. The colour palette, font, animation emphasis (subtle, moderate, intense) and text size (small, normal, large) is adaptable. Your Sway can be vertically, horizontally or optimized for presentations – change it if necessary in the layout section.

Sharing

To enable the access for others, you can invite specific people by entering their names, or you can share the content in your organisation or with anyone – in anycase with an url. You can differentiate between reading or writing access. Within the “More Options” area, there’s the possibility to enable password protection.

What subscriptions are required to use Sway?

It is included in almost every enterprise bundle of O365. Check out this link to get a list of the subscriptions for Sway.

Further information

  • The admin possibilities are quite limited. You can assign a subscription and enable / disable the service. To get further insights, check out this link.
  • A link can be included in a Microsoft Teams tab as URL connector, in this case a Sway presentation can be a great onboarding place for your team!
  • You cannot influence the language of the sway.com/my page with the settings of your O365 profile, it is connected to your location. To change the language, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “change language”.
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