Microsoft updates Sway with embedding and other extras

Microsoft updates Sway with embedding and other extras

by Pete Daniel on 6 February 2015 · 1625 views

You may have not heard of Sway yet. It is Microsoft's idea of an online version of PowerPoint which they call Office Sway. If you wanted to know how to display an interesting PowerPoint type slide system which can scroll horizontally as the user flicks through it on a tablet or uses the middle scroll button on a desktop mouse to do the same thing, then Sway has many interesting applications.

2 large Microsoft updates Sway with embedding and other extras

Traditionally web pages weren't very good with horizontal scrolling. Web pages had to be a certain width to fit into the most commonly used resolution used on CRT monitors. However, sway provides a scrolling interface on its own in a similar way to Slideshare does, but in more of an intuitive manner which doesn't require the tapping of navigation buttons to move a slide across. The slides are as if they are on one large display roll rather than individual slides, so the navigational experience when using Office Sway is much more fluid and dynamic. It is actually rather slick truth be told.

iPhone App

1 full Microsoft updates Sway with embedding and other extras

There is already an iPhone app for Sway with more apps likely coming as Microsoft continue to develop out this presentational app that has its eye towards storytelling and less to individual slides per se.

iOS 8 is required to use this app so it relies on the latest features from iOS to run it.

There is no Android app yet but one is in the works.

Cloud Service Integration

Office Sway uses the Microsoft Azure cloud server configuration to help rending content as it goes and suggest better page layouts based on the information being added to the app. There is some artificial intelligence going on behind the scenes here and the results are quite pleasing.

Create Faster Presentations In Small Pockets of Time

The Office Sway app continues to improve as Microsoft engineers build it out from its earlier first public iteration in November.

Images from Bing are now included to provide better pictures and improved access within the Microsoft search engine. Bing is known for its powerful full screen desktop images when visiting the search engine so this is likely to be a popular inclusion.

Suggested Search has been added recently to help users when typing in searches for items to add to their own Sway documents.

The idea behind this is to get people to treat Sway as their one stop shop to put together fast presentations on the run when sitting at a laptop or desktop PC just isn't suitable in that small chunk of time that they have free.

Embed Media From Various Sources

Don't just embed media from the usual places, now it is possible to pull in content from tube sites like YouTube and Vimeo, social sensation Vine, music content from SoundCloud and imagery from Flickr.

Import Existing Documents

Existing Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents can be imported into a Sway document. These documents may be on a PC or sitting in the OneDrive cloud account. Older .doc Word documents and .ppt PowerPoint files are also now able to be imported too.

Refined Organization

A Sway presentation has now been modified to make it easier to integrate video content, textual content, images and more from an expanding range of sources. Sway cards can be grouped together or stacked, and separated out as needed without needing to make fundamental changes to what's being presented on each Sway card.

Office Sway continues to be improved with new features to meld online sources, access to existing documents, presentational options, and subtly improved usability which should eventually make it a real rival to their own PowerPoint presentation software for the mobile market.

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