Have you been to a business school ever; or by any chance attended a Marketing 101 class; or have you just heard of the term presentation? Because, if you have, then there’s a hell lot of chance for you to see what we’re going to discuss today!
Steve Jobs once said that almost anything and everything in the world today depends upon presentation; if it looks good, it sells good! And Microsoft really took the hint from him (we guess), when they thought of inventing Sway, although really late (in August, 2015).

Sway is nothing but a simple application which answers the question: How can I make my presentations look (more) attractive?

Taking its inspiration from Adobe’s own Slate application, Sway helps you in creating reports, presentations, personal stories and much more.

All one needs to do, is either start fresh by moving with blank documents, and adding images, videos, interactive charts, and animated text fonts; or convert your ready-made documents into more vivid, creative and eye-catching designs.

When Microsoft launched it, the major motive was to sway the PowerPoint audience towards using a new product, which might make making presentations and reports prettier and hassle-free. But, the benefits and ease of use that Sway provides may not be enough to overpower the cons that it brings along.

Sway: Pros or Cons

Talking about content (the part and parcel of any report), Sway gives full authority to the users to design and edit the content however they deem fit, along with the option to incorporate web content. Though this might not be something new for any presentation application, but is just as important to talk about.

But the major disappointment that comes with Sway, is the issue of copying a few graphics and charts. Most data can be and is accepted for a copy from other sources such as Excel, Word, PDF, but there might be some situations when the user might find the need to save some charts as images to be able to use those in the application.


This might just be the most critical part of the application, considering that this is exactly what it does. Microsoft has incorporated a specific Sway Design Engine that decides the colors, fonts, positioning, and the overall design of the content. But, this also means giving up control to the design engine, keeping only partial rights to decide the designs, guidelines, etc.

But the plus point to the design language also provides a tremendous amount of interactivity and touch-screen gestures. Another boon in disguise for some: For those who do not like using too-much aesthetics-related brains on such stuff, Sway would do everything for you!

Ease of use

The major pro that this application might bring to the table, is the simplicity and the ease of access provided by Sway. From making your own personal sways from the scratch, to simply converting a word document or a power point presentation into a sway, just a single click and viola. But, with the ease of use comes the limitations to perform tasks; the types of options you get to customize, change animations, choose slides, etc. is comparatively limited in comparison to what you might find in software such as MS Powerpoint, or Apple Keynotes.

What we believe, is that the Sway application is a competitor not to the likes of Powerpoint or Keynotes or Prezi, but a decent option to convert your minimalist work products into creative and presentable layouts. It falls under the leagues of software such as the Adobe Slate.

Adobe Slate does almost the exact same thing, but gives you more options in the creative and content front. However, Sway gets an upper hand when it comes to making sways from ready-made documents; Slate does not provide that option to you.

Finally, if we’re considering the type of audience Sway is made for: Someone who needs to creatively design or present a plain report/document, but doesn’t have too much energy or time to actually work on that department; also that someone who isn’t exactly a control freak (someone who doesn’t necessarily need to control every single aspect of the design).

The type of audience Sway isn’t for: Someone who needs to control every inch of detail and isn’t just looking for simplicity. For such users, we’d suggest shifting to more creative, yet functional applications such as Prezi, Keynotes, et al.


1 thought on “Microsoft Sway Review: The Lesser known Presentation App”

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