Sway from Microsoft: A New Online Presentation App Available Now and It's Awesome

Sway from Microsoft: A New Online Presentation App Available Now and It's Awesome

by Dan Vlasic on 18 December 2014 · 3701 views

Sway is a new online app from Microsoft that combines features of Word and PowerPoint and lets you create beautiful and modern presentations right from your browser, literally on the go.  

When Microsoft first showcased it, there were some important technicalities that needed to be ironed out, but now that it is launched as a preview, a few things become self-evident. 

First and foremost, it feels as second skin, totally natural as a part of Microsoft's online apps, and if you have been working with Word or Excel online, Sway fits right in that missing spot. 

Second, Sway works fast and you can create neat presentations assembling files, images, text and Twitter quotes. Sway lets you pull files from your OneDrive, Facebook, Twitter,  your devices, Bing, PicHit, YouTube, iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo, Vine and other user-defined sources. 

Third, anyone having a Microsoft account can start using it, just click this link. Even if you don't have a Microsoft account, registering an email with Microsoft is a matter of two minutes. 

The Sway's interface is simplistic and intuitive, which is a plus - everything is on the surface, and there is no deeply hidden functionality. 

You can also import your PDF presentations and elaborate on them without any compatibility issues. Sway seems like a perfect solution for those users who need a quick tool to create a presentation that would be available online. Once created, your Sway is available for viewing to anyone with a link. 

The presentations have several layout and styles, and more are coming soon, but the ones that are already available look stylish and modern. 

Besides, there are two fancy buttons - Remix and Mood, and once you have added contents, you can click Remix and Sway will suggest a style and layout for your presentation. By clicking Mood, you will be able to see the structure, available styles and color schemes you would like to fiddle with, which is simple and straightforward. 

The three dots at the top right corner open up the menu that allows you to preview the current Sway, switch to the main page where all your sways are, create a new sway or provide feedback. 

I have only run a brief test and I like what I see. You can share your Sways on Twitter and Facebook, or even embed them into your blog. 

The only nag that I encountered is with Twitter posts that do not show up in the preview, but since the app is still in preview, I am sure it will be ironed out by the time Microsoft releases the app for the general public. 

You can use the app from your browser, import text, YouTube videos, Facebook posts and Twitter media, images from your PC or cloud storage, or even import your PDF to continue working with it in Sway. 

Another nifty addition is the Undo and Redo buttons, as well as bullets, numbering and text editing options. 

Microsoft users in New Zealand and Australia can also get their hands on and test the dedicated iPhone app and see how Sway performs on mobile. 

Sources: Sway, Digital Trends.

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