Microsoft introduces Sway into the mix

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Microsoft have expanded the preview for its new content aggregations and presentation application ‘Sway’.

Anybody with a Microsoft Account can sign up to start creating Sways, as the waitlist has been axed. Sway had launched their product on the 1st of October as one of the first new products to join the Office family in years.

The premise is simple as it lets users create presentations using pictures, text and videos on whatever device they are using. Since its debut, 10 weeks ago, Microsoft have reported over 1 million visitors to their website Sway.com and over 175,000 requests to join.

These numbers are growing by thousands every day, the company have said, so that the removal of the waitlist is completely warranted.

microsoft sway

Here are the latest features of the new Office product:

  • Undo and redo: This is by far the most-requested feature, and you can now use them on actions taken in Sway, both during the course of normal work and when using the Remix! button.
  • Bullets and numbering: These have been added to the text toolbar, which appears at the top of the Storyline when you’re in a text card. The best part is that Sway will automatically go back and look for existing Sways where you used markup as a workaround for bullets (such as the asterisk * at the start of a line) and convert them into real bullets.
  • Editing text on the canvas: In addition to editing headings and captions from the canvas, you can now also edit paragraphs of text, also by tapping or clicking and selecting Edit.
  • Reordering sections more easily: You can now reorder sections by grabbing a section where it says “Section” at the top, or any part of the section border, and then dragging the whole section where you’d like to move it. Sections will automatically collapse when you drag them to make them easier to move.
  • Importing a PDF into Sway: You can now import PDF content directly into Sway. From your “My Sways” page, tap or click the Import button and select a PDF. You can also choose the Upload option and select a PDF while working on an existing Sway.
  • Improvements to the color picker: You’ll start to see a lot more color palette options when you choose the Curated option. More choices will also show up around the app based on customization choices you make.

On the 17th of November, Microsoft launched Sway for the iPhone, however this was only released in New Zealand. Yet Microsoft have said that it would soon be introduced to the U.S and other English-speaking countries as soon as. An updated build has gone out in both Australia and New Zealand.

Here are the following improvements that have been made:

  • Offline support — now you can start creating Sways even if you have no Internet connection
  • Support for adding background images for titles and section headers (like you can in Sway on the web)
  • Updated design to support iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

swayphone

Microsoft have not yet provided us with a date for Sway’s expansion to other countries, and it also did not talk about Android and Windows Phone apps. Which, Microsoft said would arrive in the months to come.

Sway is still in its preview phase, and Microsoft are adapting to the way that people use this product, and we can be expecting many changes along the way. For people who are interested in helping Microsoft improve Sway experience, by visiting Sway Uservoice you can provide feedback which can help Microsoft do the improvements that need to be done.

You can preview the Sway website here.

Whoever is unfamiliar with what Sway is and what to do, then you can have a look at Microsoft’s video that they have provided for the public below:

 

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