August 31, 2021
What is Sway App – Getting Started with Microsoft Sway

What is Sway App – Getting Started with Microsoft Sway

I’ll recommend Microsoft Sway if you’re looking for an easy way to create content online. The Sway app has got you covered, whether you’re hoping to create visually striking presentations or documents.

But what is the Sway app, and how do you go about using it? That’s exactly what you’re about to discover.

What Is Sway App?

Microsoft Sway is a design app that makes it super easy to create and share presentations, stories, documents, and more. It is relatively new, at least compared to older Microsoft design apps like PowerPoint.

Unlike other design apps, Sway doesn’t come with design templates that make your personal stories or presentations look like every other person’s own. Instead, the app has an in-built design engine that tailors your content to suit your unique style.

Adding and formatting content in Sway is straightforward. You can create attention-grabbing content in minutes. Plus, you don’t need any design skills to reimagine how your ideas come to life with Sway.

Getting Started with Microsoft Sway

You are probably new to Microsoft Sway if you’re asking, “what is Sway app?” You’ll need to sign in to Microsoft Office to get started with Sway.

To do that:

  1. Go to https://sway.office.com  
  2. Click Get Started
  3. Click Sign in to log into your Microsoft account and enter your login details (or click Create one to create a free Microsoft account)

Once you’ve signed in to Microsoft Sway for the very first time, a welcome page like the image below shows up.

Welcome to Sway

Click Create New to start designing your first Sway.

If you’ve edited something on Sway before, the welcome page will look a bit different like this:

New Design with Sway

In this case, you have three options:

  • Create New: Start a design from scratch (don’t worry, it pretty easy)
  • Start from a topic: Give Microsoft Sway a topic about your design and let it suggest a great outline for you
  • Start from a document: This option allows you to upload a Word, PowerPoint, or PDF document, which the app automatically uses to create a Sway.

Scroll down on the welcome page to choose a fully customizable template if you prefer to build on existing designs.

The Storyline

A blank page known as a Storyline shows up when you create a new Sway. Here, you can insert text, images, and other content that tell your story.

Cards hold every item you insert in the storyline, and you can reorder them at any point during the design process.

Sway Storyline

The first thing you want to do is to give your Sway a title. This will act as the description of your Sway project.

To do this:

  1. Click on the Title your Sway placeholder (by default, Sway creates a title card once you start the app)
  2. Type a description for your project (others will see this title when you share your work, so let it briefly say what the project is all about in a short but meaningful way)

Create Cards

You will notice a + icon at the bottom of the first card (and all other subsequent cards). Use this icon to create new cards for different types of content.

Title Your Sway

To add new cards:

  1. Click the + icon
  2. From the categories displayed, select a card that is most appropriate for your content type
Add Text to Sway

Each card type comes with different functionalities, but commonly used cards share some common options, including:

  • Emphasize: Create bold texts with the emphasize option
  • Accent: Italicize texts with the accent option
  • Bullets: Create a bulleted list with this option
  • Numbers: Create a numbered list with this option
  • Link: You can create hyperlinks in your Sway with the link option
  • Delete: Represented by a trash icon, the delete option removes a card from your Sway

Add Text, Images, and Videos

Adding text and images in Sway is super easy. For text, simply click inside the placeholder and type.

To add images and videos:

  1. Follow the steps above to create a card
  2. Click on the Media tab and select image or video
  3. A panel shows up on the right side of your window, showing a list of suggested images or videos
Sway Suggested Images
  • Choose an image or video from the list or type a search term in the search bar to look for media related to your search item
  • Click and drag your preferred image or video to the card

You can also click multiple media and drag them all into your Sway to create multiple cards. By default, Sway suggests creative commons media, so you don’t have to worry about infringing any copyright laws.

Inserting Additional Content

You can add content to your Sway from other sources, such as YouTube, OneDrive, Flickr, or your mobile device.

Inserting Additional Content

To do that:

  1. Click Insert on the top left of the Sway window
  2. Click Suggested to select a source for your content

One of the cool things about Sway is that you can drag and drop images, text, and even documents from your desktop right into the Storyline.

Change Styles

With Sway, all you have to focus on is your story. The app takes care of formatting and layout for you by suggesting different designs. You can choose from the default designs and customize them if that’s what you want.

To do that:

  1. Click the Design tab
  2. Click Styles and select one from the list of styles

Alternatively, use the Remix function (in the Design tab) to cycle through random layouts and moods until you find something appropriate for your Sway.

Preview Your Sway

You can see how your Sway will appear to others when you share it with them. To preview the finished Sway, click the Play button at the top of the Sway window

Share Your Sway

When you are ready to share your Sway with others, click the Share button at the top of the window. You can copy the share link or select one of the other options, including sharing on social media and generating a visual link.

Conclusion

If you’ve ever wondered: what is Sway app? Now you know. It is pretty easy to use, and it lets you rearrange the order of your content at any time, so don’t hesitate to experiment.