What is Sway?
Sway is a web-based presentation tool available to University of Georgia students, faculty and staff through the university’s licensing agreement with Microsoft.
In Sway, users can create and share interactive reports, newsletters, tutorials, presentations, assignments, lessons, projects and more. Sway users can pull content from various web sources, such as Twitter and YouTube, as well as their OneDrive to build presentations. Users can also upload text files, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and images into Sway.
Sway presentations can be opened in any web browser, shared via a link and are viewable on mobile devices and tablets as well as desktop computers. Users do not need to have a Sway account to view a Sway presentation. All Sways are saved to the Sway cloud and are accessible through sway.com, the Sway App in the Office 365 app launcher, and the Sway apps for iPhone, iPad and PCs running Windows 10.
Sway is not a replacement for PowerPoint or other presentation tools, but an addition that could be useful for creating web-based presentations and reports as well as presentations that need to be viewed on a mobile device or tablet.
Sway is accessible in the Office 365 App launcher through a user’s UGAMail account. You cannot build or view a Sway unless you are connected to the Internet.
To access Sway, log in to your UGAMail account online (ugamail.uga.edu), then click on the blue app launcher in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Click on the Sway icon.
Sway is also accessible through sway.com. Log in with your UGAMail address and password.
A free Sway desktop app is also available in the Microsoft store for PCs or tablets running Windows 10.
A free app is also available in the Apple Store for iPhone and iPad. The app is not available for download on a Mac desktop.
All of your Sways are saved to the Sway cloud and accessible through sway.com, the Sway app in Office 365 app launcher and the iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 Sway apps, as long as you have an Internet connection.
Creating a Sway
Once you log into Sway, you will be able to see all the Sways you have created and those that have been shared with you.
To create a new Sway, click Create New. This will open your Sway storyline.
You can also create a Sway from an existing Word document, PDF or PowerPoint. To create a Sway from existing content, click Import, and choose the file you wish to upload.
Sway will create a new presentation based on your document. Some of the formatting of your document may change when you import it into a Sway presentation, but you will be able edit it.
Saving a Sway
All of your Sways are stored in the Sway cloud and are only accessible with an Internet connection through sway.com, the Sway app in the Office 365 app launcher or the Sway apps for iPhone, iPad and PCs running Windows 10. To access all of your Sways, you must also be logged in with your UGAMail email address and password.
You do not need to do anything to save a Sway; all changes are auto-saved to the Sway cloud.
When you are finished editing a Sway, simply log out and close your browser window. Your Sway will be saved as you left it for the next time you log in.
Navigating the Sway Storyline
The Sway storyline is where you can add content to and edit your Sway. All of your content is added on Cards, which can be moved around and grouped to make your presentation more effective.
You also have a Sway toolbar, where you will see several options to help you create a Sway.
- Insert: This tab in the top left-hand corner allows you to insert web content into your Sway. When you click on it, you will see a search box and options to insert media from various web sources, such as OneDrive and Twitter. This allows you to search the web within Sway for content. It will also bring up suggestions for web content based on other content within your Sway. You can also upload your own content with the Upload option, or drag and drop content from your desktop.
- Cards: This tab in the top black bar allows you to add various types of content cards to your Sway, including text, headings, pictures, videos, tweets and embedded maps, audio, charts and more.
You will also see the option of organizing your cards into types of groups, such as a grid. Groups are especially useful if you have a large number of photos you want displayed as a slideshow or stack in one part of your presentation.
- Design: Clicking on Design will give you options to tweak the look and feel of your Sway. You can choose from a variety of color palettes and fonts. Or, you can click customize to select a color palette option based on the colors in any photos in your Sway. Under Customize, you can also choose fonts and set the speed of the animations in your Sway.
- Navigation: The Navigation tab offers you three options for the Navigation in your Sway: scrolling top to bottom, scrolling left to right and scrolling like a book.
- Remix!: Clicking on Remix! will randomly change the design and navigation of your Sway.
- Undo & Redo: These tabs allow you to undo or redo any changes in your Sway.
- Play: This will open your Sway in a new tab and show you what it would look like to another viewer in a web browser.
- Authors: This shows you how many people are editing the Sway. If you click on Authors, it will give you a link to share with others, so they can edit the Sway.
- Share: This tab in the upper right-hand corner of the screen will give you options to share your finished Sway with others with a link or an embed code. You can also disable sharing under this tab.
- Tutorials: Clicking this tab will open a new window with Sway YouTube tutorials from Microsoft.
- … : The three dots in the upper right corner gives you options to view all your Sways, Create a New Sway and Duplicate a Sway. You can also logout of your Sway account here, and view your Sway under Accessibility View. Accessibility View displays your Sway in a high-contrast design with full keyboard functionality and screen-reader access to all content.
- Preview: This view allows you to view any portion of your Sway while you are creating it.
There are two options for text cards in Sway: Headings and Text. Each has several options for formatting the text.
To bold text in a Heading or Text card, click Emphasize.
To italicize text in a Heading or Text card, click Accent.
To make text a link, highlight the text and click on the link icon.
You can also make a bulleted or numbered list on a text card by clicking Bullets or Numbers.
Clicking the trash can icon will delete your card.
There are a few ways to add photos to your Sway.
- If you want to add photos from the web, click Insert, and search for photos. Then drag and drop your chosen photo into the Storyline.
- In your Storyline, click the green plus sign icon. This will pull up options for your next card in the sequence. Choose the photo icon. This will add an images card. Then you can drag and drop a photo from the web.
- To upload an image from your computer, drag it from your desktop and drop it into your Storyline. You can also click on the green plus sign icon in your Storyline and choose the arrow icon. This will bring up a window to choose an image from your computer.
Once the photo is added, you can also add a caption, choose the size of the photo and choose Focus Points in the photo.
To choose the size of your photo, click Options on your image’s card. You can choose from Subtle, Moderate or Intense.
Selecting Focus Points in the photo lets you set what portions of the photo you want shown, no matter the screen size. Setting Focus Points is especially helpful if you know your Sway is going to be viewed on a mobile device with a smaller screen. To select Focus Points, click Focus Points on your image’s card. Then click portions of the photo you think are important. You can also select “The entire image is important,” to show the entire image.
Adding content from Web
To add web content to your Sway, click Insert. Sway will automatically display suggested content based on other content already in your Sway. You can also search content, or choose from several source options by clicking Suggested.
You can add web content from:
- Your OneDrive or OneDrive for Business
Clicking Add Source will let you suggest more sites to add. Clicking Upload will allow you to upload content from your desktop.
Uploading content from your desktop
To insert a Word document, PowerPoint slides or a PDF into your Sway, just drag and drop your file into the Sway Storyline. Your file will be converted into a Sway. Some of the formatting of your document may change when you import it into a Sway presentation, but you will be able edit it.
Sharing a Sway
To view options for sharing your Sway with others, click the Share icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Clicking the green slider icon will allow you to make the Sway shareable (Share) or private (Just Me). All Sways are automatically set to Share.
To embed your Sway in another web page, click the </> icon. This will give you an embed code that you can copy and paste into your web page.
Clicking the Y icon will open Yammer, Microsoft’s social networking site.
Underneath the embed and Yammer icons, you will see a link to your Sway that you can copy and share on social media, in an email or in a document.
You can also choose who can view your Sway. Share with only my organization means that your Sway will only be accessible by people with a uga.edu email address, and they will have to log in with their UGAMail address and password before viewing your Sway. All Sways are automatically set to Share with only my organization.
You can also choose to make your Sway viewable by anyone with a link or public, meaning it can be found through a search engine. Choosing this option will also give you more options for sharing on social media, including buttons for Facebook and Twitter.
If you click More Options, you can also disable Sway duplicating. Unchecking this box will mean no one can copy your Sway.
You will also see a gray box that says Stop Sharing. Selecting this means all previous links to the Sway you shared will be disabled and your Sway will be inaccessible to others.
Viewing a Sway
When you click a link to view a Sway, you may be prompted to log in your UGAMail address and password. This is legitimate, and means that the person created the Sway designated that it could only be shared with other people at UGA.
If another Sway users has sent you an edit link, after signing into Sway, you will be prompted to either edit the Sway or just view it.
- I can’t embed content in my Sway: Sway currently only accepts embedding content from certain sites. These include: Channel 9; Docs.com; Flickr; GeoGebra; Giphy; Google Maps; Infogram; Mixcloud; Office Mix; OneDrive (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents); Sketchfab; SoundCloud; Sway; Vimeo; Vine and YouTube. Make sure you also have the correct embed code. Sway only supports iframe based embeds.
- I can’t upload my video to Sway: Sway does not currently support video uploads. To insert a video in your Sway, first upload it to a video sharing site, such as YouTube. You will then be able to copy the link or embed code and add the video to your Sway.
- Can I download a Sway? No. Sways are only accessible online. If you are leaving the University and wish to save Sways created under your uga.edu email address, you must first create a Sway.com account under another email address and share your Sways with that account.
- How can I save a Sway? All Sways you create are saved to the Sway cloud, and are only accessible online through sway.com, the Sway app in the Office 365 app launcher or the apps for iPhone, iPad and PCs running Windows 10. Any changes you make to a Sway are auto-saved to the Sway cloud. When you are finished editing a Sway, simply log-out and close your browser window. Your Sway will be saved as you left it for the next time you log in.
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