Sway Quick Start

Sway is a digital storytelling app for work, school, and home that makes it quick and easy to create and share interactive reports, presentations, newsletters, personal stories, and more.

  • Easily compile text, images, videos, and other content in an interactive online format.

  • Apply designer-created layouts and color schemes, or let Sway suggest design elements that match your content.

  • Search and import relevant content from other sources.

  • Share your completed Sways on the web.

Sign in

  1. Go to sway.com.

  2. Select Sign in on the top menu bar with your Microsoft account or work or school account for Office 365.

Note: Sway is free to use for anyone with a Microsoft account (Hotmail, Live, or Outlook.com). You can create more-sophisticated Sways with more content when you use Sway as part of an Office 365 subscription. For more information, see Add more content to your Sways with Office 365.

Sign In button on the toolbar

Connect from Office 365 for business

If you’re already working online within your organization’s Office 365 environment, you can connect to the Sway home page from the app launcher.

  1. Go to the Office 365 home page, or select the app launcher App Launcher at the top of the browser window.

  2. Select the Sway tile on the home page or in the app pane.

Note:  If you prefer to use an app, Sway apps are available for Windows 10 and iOS devices. You can find the free Sway app for your Windows 10 device in the Windows Store, or for your iPhone or iPad in the App Store.

Screenshot of the App Pane with the Sway tile active.

Start creating a Sway

You can create a new Sway from scratch, start a Sway from the content of an existing file, or have a starter Sway built for you based on a topic that you provide.

  1. Select Get started to display options for creating a new Sway.

  2. Do one of the following on the Welcome to Sway page:

    • Select Create New if you want to start from scratch.

    • Select Start from a topic if you want Sway to provide base content for you. Type your topic in the Enter a topic box, and then select Create outline.

      Note: Sway may provide other topics related to your query if it can't find enough public data for your chosen topic. If this happens, simply select the topic that's most relevant to you, and then select Create Outline.

    • Select Start from a document if you want to import content from an existing file. Browse to and select the file, and then select Open.

Composite screenshot of the Welcome To Sway screen and the QuickStarter topic entry pane.

Get to know the Sway Storyline

The Storyline is where you type, insert, edit, and format the content that tells your story. Here are some Storyline basics:

  • Content is arranged in sequential order by adding “cards.”

  • Each card holds the type of content you want—such as text, images, videos, and even Office documents.

  • You can rearrange the cards at any time to suit your needs.

Screenshot of a Sway created by QuickStarter.

Give your Sway a title

  1. Select the Title your Sway placeholder text shown in the first card on the Storyline.

  2. Type a short but meaningful description of what your Sway is all about.

Note: When you create a Sway based on a topic or document, the title is prepopulated for you based on the topic or file name.

Screenshot of the Title Your Sway input box.

Add content to your Sway

  1. Select Insert Content Insert Content in the lower-left corner of the card you want to add content after.

  2. Select Text to insert a text card after the existing card.

  3. Type the text you want in the Add some text area of the new text card.

Tip: You can select Cards on the top menu bar to display all available content cards, and then select the type of content card you want to insert.

Screenshot of the Insert Content options.

Add an image to your Sway

  1. Select Insert Content Insert Content in the lower-left corner of the card you want to add content after.

  2. Select Image Insert Image Card to insert an image card after the existing card.

    The Insert pane opens if it wasn't already open.

  3. Find an image you like.

  4. Drag the image from the Insert pane to the image card.
    Or, select the image and select Add at the top of the Insert pane.

Insert and edit images

Find content to add to your Sway

You can search for and add additional content to your Sway, such as an image that is stored on your computer or mobile device. Sway can also search the web for relevant content, such as videos and tweets, and add it to your Sway.

  1. Select Insert on the top menu bar.

  2. Select the content source menu, and then select the content source you want to search.

  3. Type any search keyword or phrase into the Search sources box.

  4. Select Search The Office Support site Toggle Search button. .

Screenshot of the expanded search source menu.

Preview your Sway

When you preview your Sway, you can see how it will appear to others when you share it.

  • Select Close Storyline/Restore Preview Restore Preview to the right of the Storyline to display your Sway in the Preview pane.

  • Select Play on the top menu bar to fully experience your Sway (including any interactivity options that you’ve added).

Screenshot of the Storyline and Preview panes.

Change the design of your Sway

  1. Select Design on the top menu bar.

  2. Select the theme you want.

  3. Select Customize in the Design pane to adjust a specific part of the currently applied theme, such as color, font choices, and the emphasis of animation.

Tip: You can select Remix! on the top menu bar to apply a random design to your Sway at any time. Select Remix! repeatedly until you find a design that suits your taste.

Screenshot of Sway design thumbnails.

Change the layout of your Sway

  1. Select Layout.

  2. Select whether your content should scroll vertically, scroll horizontally, or appear like a presentation.

Screenshot of Sway layout thumbnails.

Share your Sway

It’s easy to share your finished Sways. Family, friends, classmates, and coworkers can see your creations on the web without signing up, signing in, or downloading anything.

  1. Select Share on the top menu bar.

  2. Select an option for sharing your Sway.

    Note: Your choices on this menu depend on the type of account that you used to sign in to Sway. You can change the privacy settings for any Sway whenever you want more control over what you share.

For a more detailed look at all available sharing options, see Share your Sway.

Screenshot of the Sway Share pane.
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