Microsoft Office Adds Sway Presentation Tool

Chris CrumTechnology

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Microsoft announced a new app called Sway, which is part of its Office portfolio. It's basically a new presentation tool, which lets you add content from your OneDrive account, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sources to keep track of your ideas and arrange them in a visually enticing way for presentations if you like.

While Microsoft doesn't say it, I could see this replacing PowerPoint in the future if it catches on. It's more interesting to look at, and seems to have a great deal more options and flexibility when it comes to creating a presentation. It also works on the web, and on any device, and they presentations (or "Sways" as they're called) are easily shareable and embeddable.

Here's what a "Sway" looks like embedded:

"The magic of Sway really shows as you’re creating a Sway," Microsoft says in a blog post. "Sway’s built-in design engine takes the hassle out of formatting your content by putting all of it into a cohesive layout as you create. This means that from the first word, image, Tweet, or graphic you add, your Sway is already being formed for you. This is thanks to a lot of Microsoft Research technology we’ve brought together in the background. As you add more of your content, Sway continues to analyze and arrange it based on the algorithms and design styles we’ve incorporated."

"You can adjust and customize the format Sway has created in easy and intuitive ways," it continues. "Want a picture to stand out? Don’t worry about exact pixel heights and widths or whether you have the design chops to keep things looking good. Just tap or click the image in your Sway and tap or click the star icons to emphasize it. Sway takes your natural feedback and works its magic almost instantly. Want to rearrange your ideas? Just drag and drop any set of your content where you want, and watch your Sway react. This type of simple guidance from you helps Sway understand how your different ideas relate to each other. Sway uses your input to update the look of your creation accordingly and adapt it to display appropriately across devices. This means your Sway always looks great—even when you’re building it on a mobile device and others are viewing it on a desktop."

Here's a more in-depth look at Sway:

The product is in preview for the time being. You can request an invite here.

Image via Microsoft

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.