The new presentation software from Microsoft is suppsed to be easy to use and fun, so I decided to give it a shot.
While I use a lot of Microsoft products (Word, Excel, Acess, Windows 10), I’ve never had the need to use PowerPoint, so you should keep that in mind while reading this. Also, I used the app on my laptop running Windows 10–I did take a peek at the web application for Sway and it’s a duplicate of the app.
Sway is supposed to be easy to use, and it pretty much is. At first it felt a bit limiting. There seemed to be very few options and I couldn’t figure out how to leed it in the right direction for what I was hoping to do, which was a bit frustrating until I decided to break down and check out a few tutorials. A lot of what I was hoping to do was about grouping the cards and chosing the right navigation.
Another part of Sway that I had a problem with was images, which seemed odd because a presentation is about the use of images. I wanted to show an entire image, but Sway kept wanting to show only a portion of the image. Then I found the Focus Point button and was able to choose to have an entire image displayed or focus on a part of an image. This is good for people presenting images from a vacation or an image that may need cropping.
The next problem I had was with text. I found how to stylize my text, but having it placed where I wanted was major issue until I found out about grouping. Each card can hold a very limited amount of information, so the information you want to make sure displays together needs to go into groups. How these cards display depends on the navigation you choose, so you have to do a lot of previewing to make sure it’s going to look right.
I also used groups to make some sections less interractive with the viewer–viewer interraction was not something I expected to find in the final presentation. Limiting the interraction has a lot to do with how you break up the information and how you group it. Again, you need to go back and forth with the preview to make sure it does what you want.
While discovering how an application may work is fun for me, it might feel frustrating for others. Thank goodness for the tutorials, which are easy to understand and highly informative. If you give your presentation some thought, you’ll end up with something that’s fun to wach and has just the right inrterraction between the presentation and the viewer.
If you’ve used presentation software before, some of this may come easier to you than it did to me. Also, if you want to display your work of genius to the world, or just your friends, you’ll want to upload it to Docs.com, where it can be fine tuned a little futher to make it easy to find via search and allows you to use a cover image and display rights of use.
Below is my final product. You can also click on this link to vew it. My Sway