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What is Sway?

Coastal Computer - Thursday, February 18, 2016
It’s Mircrosoft’s new presentation or “Storytelling”, app, as they’ve dubbed it. Part PowerPoint, part Office Online. Sway aims to make creating presentations, projects, reports, marketing material and other business collateral easier to produce than PowerPoint with the added ability to then share or collaborate online or through the cloud seamlessly.

Microsoft’s strategy as of late has been to try and capitalize on the trend of companies mobilizing their workforces by making their apps function universally amongst different devices. With Sway, after a user creates a “Sway” they then can send a link to colleagues and customers for viewing or editing. The rendered output onto desktops, laptops, tablets or phones should remain consistent…should.

Creating new Sways is done just like other Microsoft apps, by going to the top right-hand dropdown menu and selecting create new. Once a new Sway has been created it’s a simple drag and drop dashboard. Users can embed audio, video and pictures from their Office 365 Drive, hard drive or browse online for assets directly from Sway. All content is then automatically saved to the Drive allowing easy access for other projects.

One crucial part missing with all creative WISYWIG (What You See Is What You Get) applications though is the human element. No matter how easy the app is to use if the person designing has no eye for aesthetics then the finished product is going to look good.

Sway does its best to remedy this by coming with 100 plus templates with predefined color schemes, fonts and layouts. Nothing special. The remix button however is what can truly help the design-challenged. Place all your content onto a Sway then hit the “Remix” button and Sway we arrange the elements. The user still has the ability to edit a Sway once it’s been remixed.

Sway is now available to the general public and can be downloaded for free several different ways. Either through Office 365, or through the Microsoft office store and Sway is capable with Windows and Mac OS’s.