Sway FAQ

Features and Functionality

What is Sway?

Sway is a digital storytelling app in the Office portfolio that can be used at work, school and home to easily create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories and more with coworkers, students, friends and family. Sway makes sure your creations look great on any screen.

Why did you create Sway?

We live in a world that is increasingly mobile and cloud oriented. The diversity of multimedia that people use to express their ideas, and the dynamic nature of that data – the fact that people always want the latest information – is driving the need to easily build and share ideas using a variety of media, in the cloud. Also the pace at which people want to share their ideas is also increasing, in large part due to social behavior. The create/publish/share cycle is getting shorter and shorter. And with access to an increasing number of apps, people have less time to master the skills to go deep in any one app. Sway is meant to address these trends by providing a simple and intuitive way to pull together, format, and present your content.

What am I supposed to make with Sway?

You can use Sway in a variety of contexts: reports, presentations, personal stories, and many other uses that we haven't even imagined yet. It's a tool for you to easily pull together your content and create an interactive, web-based canvas of your ideas. You bring the creativity, Sway will make it happen. In particular:

In education, teachers have been using Sway to reimagine class lessons, recap class projects, provide supplemental material for parents, provide new accessible storytelling tools to their students, and more. Sway has helped students breathe new life into school projects, class reports, and even personal portfolios. Sway is helping even the youngest students become “active producers of their own original content” at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas (BFI), a local non-profit after-school program in Seattle. Watch this video to learn more.

In business, professionals have been using Sway to save time at work and easily create engaging, eye-catching interactive reports, presentations, newsletters, trainings and more. Sway can help you showcase a custom solution your IT services company built, or demonstrate your industry thought leadership. Use Sway’s new format to blog publicly or share expense report training with your employees. Pitch prospective clients or attract customers with marketing materials that stand out and flow responsively across devices. Here at Microsoft we’re using Sway ourselves for internal trip reports, presentations, newsletters, corporate storytelling pieces, and more. Check out this video on how Sway has helped the interaction design firm Potion work together with clients and show off their work in new ways.  

As you can see from this video about singer/songwriter Daria Musk, Sway has been a hit with musicians as well as digital artists and creatives of all sorts to combine mixed multimedia in a living digital collage or virtual portfolio that is easy to share with others. Sway has been helping talented and passionate hobbyists, foodies, travelers, and even families stay in touch, share their adventures and highlight their pursuits in meaningful new ways!

Who is Sway for?

Ultimately, Sway will help people quickly create and share their polished, interactive content for all sorts of uses. Whether you’re a student pulling together your digital report on the red panda, a professional compiling an annual shareholder report, or a do-it-yourselfer sharing your gardening expertise, Sway can help get you up and running quickly with something polished and presentable that expresses your ideas. Keep checking out Sway.com for more inspiration! 

Can I share content privately/confidentially? 

Sway lets you control the level at which your creations are shared. The default setting under Share for the consumer version of Sway (accessed via Microsoft account) is that anybody with the URL link to your Sway can view it, without logging in. You can revoke the URL at any time to stop sharing your Sway.  

You can also make your Sway public, in which case it will become discoverable on the Internet. This means anyone can potentially use Bing, Google or other search engines to find, view and even share your Sway. This can be great if you’re making a marketing brochure, a portfolio or just expressing yourself, and want to grow your audience and gain many more viewers who may find your Sway during the course of their everyday searches.

You can also make sure your Sway stays private by choosing “Just me,” which requires you to log in with your personal credentials to see your Sway. Even those with the URL would not be able to see it without your log in information.  

Office 365 customers have a fourth option called Share with only my organization under the Share button, which requires that viewers are logged in with credentials from your organization to see the Sway. Share with only my organization is the default setting for all new Sways in Sway for Office 365. It is still possible to make Sways (such as product brochures, newsletters or class projects) accessible to those outside your organization by choosing either Anyone with a link or Public as the sharing setting, in which case there is no subscription requirement to view that Sway.  

Office 365 Admins also have the ability to disable external sharing at the organizational level.  

Does Sway allow me to collaborate or co-author? 

Office has a long history of facilitating collaboration, and Sway allows you to work seamlessly with others to create and edit your creations. You can share editing permissions and coauthor at the same time, meaning multiple people can edit the same Sway at the same time and see where each other is working in the Sway, without having to save or refresh the browser.  

I am worried about my content being private and secure. What measures have you taken?

We find that people create to share. So all consumer-made Sways (made via Microsoft account) are ready to share by default; there is no save button or publish. Just provide the link to who you want to share with. We make the URL to your specific Sway uniquely generated and we give users the ability to revoke their link if needed. Sways are not published to Docs.com until you choose that option under the Share button.  

You can also make sure your Sway stays private by choosing “Just me,” which requires you to log in with your personal credentials to see your Sway. Even those with the URL would not be able to see it without your log in information.  

Office 365 customers have an option called Share with only my organization under the Share button, which requires that viewers are logged in with credentials from your organization to see the Sway. Share with only my organization is the default setting for all new Sways in Sway for Office 365. It is still possible to make Sways (such as product brochures, newsletters or class projects) accessible to those outside your organization by choosing either Anyone with a link or Public as the sharing setting, in which case there is no subscription requirement to view that Sway.  

Office 365 Admins also have the ability to disable external sharing at the organizational level.  

Where can I get more information on Microsoft technical support?

Community support is available at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_sway

Can I put in charts or tables? 

Sway allows you to add charts and tables in different ways. You can create interactive charts and graphs right within Sway by using the Chart (Preview) Card. Then you can add or edit your data and choose the chart type and appearance.  

You can also embed charts, graphs, and tables from Excel Online files stored on your OneDrive using embed codes. In Sway, either upload or add an Excel file stored on your OneDrive to have Sway automatically embed the entire Excel sheet inline with the rest of the interactive content in your Sway. Or visit the File menu in Excel Online, and choose Share then Embed to generate custom embed codes to use, for example if you want to embed just part of an Excel sheet or a specific chart or table.

What is different between the consumer (Microsoft account) version of Sway and Sway for Office 365?

The fundamental value of Sway for business and education users is the same as for consumers: to easily create interactive reports, presentations, lessons and more that are polished, engaging, professional, and look great across devices. Therefore, the Sway creation experience looks and feels the same whether you’re logged in with a Microsoft account or an Office 365 work or school account. Sway is still your digital design assistant no matter how you use it. However, a few things are different when you log in with an Office 365 work or school account. For example, content sources in the Insert tab are tailored for Office 365 commercial users; Sways can only be viewed by default by others in your organization; built-in sharing options are scoped for Office 365 commercial use; and Office 365 Admins can control the experience.  

What administrator controls are there?

Office 365 Admins can control the Sway experience for their organization. Initially, admins have some basic controls over Sway: the ability to turn off the Sway service and to disable external sharing at the organizational level. We’ll continue to grow the list of admin controls over time, using our extensive experience in understanding and accommodating admin control requests.

Sway Preview

Is Sway no longer in Preview? Why is now the time to become Generally Available?

Sway has moved from Preview to General Availability! Sway has also moved beyond First Release and rolled out to all eligible* Office 365 for business and education customers worldwide. We came a long way in the ten months we were in Preview. We learned from the hundreds of thousands of amazing Sways you built. Your invaluable feedback helped us improve Sway to meet your needs—from adding fundamentals like multi-user collaboration, to the very “Sway” way we addressed photo cropping. The ten months that Sway was in Preview were an amazing journey, but in many ways the journey has now really gotten going. We’ll keep listening to your feedback and rapidly update the product with your help. Drop us a line on UserVoice to let us know what you think of Sway, how you use it, and how you’d like to see it improve!

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.

Is Sway still in Preview?

No, Sway is no longer in Preview. Sway is Generally Available, both for the consumer experience (using a Microsoft account) and the Sway experience for eligible* Office 365 business and education customers. Even though Sway is no longer in Preview, we will keep listening to your feedback and rapidly update the product with your help.

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.

What was the purpose of Sway Preview?

With Sway, Microsoft is reimagining how people bring their ideas to life. When we first introduced the concept in October 2014, we wanted real users to help shape Sway’s future by working closely with us while we continued building it during Preview. Even though Sway is no longer in Preview, we will keep listening to your feedback and rapidly update the product with your help.

Do you have examples of progress you made with Sway Preview?

Sway Preview went really well, with over 4 million unique views of Sways (which continues to grow by the day). We received lots of great feedback and worked hard updating the product to add features and improve the customer experience. Some examples of significant updates we made to Sway during Preview include: shared editing and real-time coauthoring; the addition of Bing Image Search and Suggested searches; the ability to create interactive charts and graphs right within Sway; the ability to add your OneNote images to Sway; support for easily adding your content from third party services via embed codes; more options for sharing, both inside and outside the organization; intelligent image cropping with Focus Points; and Office 365 and more language support. We also steadily continued to improve the authoring experience to make it even more easy and intuitive.

Even though Sway is no longer in Preview, we will keep listening to your feedback and rapidly update the product with your help. Continue to visit Sway.com to see the latest updates in the product, or follow Sway on the Office blogs or on Twitter and Facebook.

How do I get access to Sway?

Professionals, teachers, students, and consumers can all get started using their Office 365 work/school account or Microsoft account to log into Sway.com on the web, the new Sway for Windows on Windows 10 PCs and tablets, or Sway for iPhone and iPad. Sway is also integrated into the web-based Office Online, so it’s easy to switch between Sway and other familiar Office apps and Office 365 services in your browser.

If you are a qualified* Office 365 for business or education subscriber you automatically have access to Sway for Office 365 at no additional cost. Log into Sway.com or any of the Sway apps with your work or school account. If you are already logged into Office 365 in the browser, use the app switcher in the top left and select the Sway tile.

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.

What Office 365 subscriptions have access to Sway for Office 365?

Sway is available at no additional cost to most Office 365 business and education customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.

I have a subscription to an applicable subscription SKU for Sway for Office 365. How do I ensure I have access to Sway for Office 365?

Sway is on by default for eligible Office 365 business and education subscribers. Users should automatically see the Sway tile in the Office 365 app switcher and be able to log into Sway.com or any of the Sway apps using their work or school account.

I have a really good idea! How do I share it with you? 

Thanks for sharing – we love ideas here!  Please send us your thoughts at http://sway.uservoice.com. 

I discovered a problem when I was using Sway. How can I report a bug? 

Thanks for letting us know when things aren’t working quite right. You can submit your bug/issue reports to http://sway.uservoice.com or access community support at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_sway

Pricing/Subscription

How much does Sway cost?

There is no cost for consumers to use Sway for non-commercial use on the web, Sway for Windows, Sway for iPad and Sway for iPhone with a Microsoft account. There is also no cost to view a Sway that has been shared with you.  

Sway is available at no additional cost to most Office 365 business and education customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.  

Are there any features only available to Office 365 commercial subscribers?

The fundamental value of Sway for business and education users is the same as for consumers: to easily create interactive reports, presentations, lessons and more that are polished, engaging, professional, and look great across devices. Therefore, the Sway creation experience looks and feels the same whether you’re logged in with a Microsoft account or an Office 365 work or school account. Sway is still your digital design assistant no matter how you use it. However, a few things are different when you log in with an Office 365 work or school account. For example, content sources in the Insert tab are tailored for Office 365 commercial users; Sways can only be viewed by default by others in your organization; built-in sharing options are scoped for Office 365 commercial use; and Office 365 Admins can control the experience.  

Do you need an Office 365 subscription to use Sway or view a Sway?

For consumers using Sway with a Microsoft account, or anybody viewing a Sway made with a Microsoft account, there is no subscription requirement to view a Sway that has been shared with you.  

Office 365 customers have an option called Share with only my organization under the Share button, which requires that viewers are logged in with credentials from your organization to see the Sway. Share with only my organization is the default setting for all new Sways in Sway for Office 365. It is still possible to make Sways (such as product brochures, newsletters or class projects) accessible to those outside your organization by choosing either Anyone with a link or Public as the sharing setting, in which case there is no subscription requirement to view that Sway.   Office 365 Admins also have the ability to disable external sharing at the organizational level.      

Market availability

How do I access Sway?

Professionals, teachers, students, and consumers can all get started using their Office 365 work/school account or Microsoft account to log into Sway.com on the web, the new Sway for Windows on Windows 10 PCs and tablets, or Sway for iPhone and iPad. Sway is also integrated into the web-based Office Online, so it’s easy to switch between Sway and other familiar Office apps and Office 365 services in your browser.  

If you are a qualified* Office 365 for business or education subscriber you automatically have access to Sway for Office 365 at no additional cost. Log into Sway.com or any of the Sway apps with your work or school account. If you are already logged into Office 365 in the browser, use the app switcher in the top left and select the Sway tile.  

Sway for Windows 10 (PCs/tablets) is available in 214 markets.** Sway for iPhone and iPad is available in 140 markets.** You can log into these apps with the same Microsoft account or Office 365 work or school account you use with Sway on the web, in order to access and edit your Sways across devices.  

We have a dedicated forum on UserVoice specifically for gathering feedback related to the Sway for iPhone app.  

We are working on native Sway apps for Windows Phone and Android, since we want everyone to be able to use Sway from any device. Anyone can continue to create using Sway on the web in any major browser on a PC, Mac, or tablet whose screen is larger than 600 pixels wide, and Sways can be viewed using a browser on any device of any screen size.  

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.  

**See the Sway Language and Market Availability help article for a complete list.

What are the system requirements for Sway?

Sway on the web is best experienced when using Microsoft Edge (Windows 10 required), Internet Explorer 10+, Firefox 17+, Chrome 23+, and Safari 6+ (Webkit 537+).  

Viewing a Sway on the web works at any screen resolution, while creating and editing Sways requires a screen width of 600 pixels or higher (Sway on the web is view-only on screens less than 600 pixels wide).  

Sway for Windows requires Windows 10. Just like Windows 10, Sway for Windows is currently available only for PCs/tablets. We’re working on Sway for Windows Phones which will arrive in the coming months.   Creating, editing, and viewing Sways using Sway for iPad and iPhone requires iOS 8 or higher, iPad 2 or newer, and iPhone 4s or newer.  

Do I need to create a Microsoft account in order to use Sway? 

Yes, to use the consumer version of Sway for non-commercial use, you will need to have a valid free Microsoft account to create and edit Sways using the web, Sway for Windows, and Sway for iPhone and iPad.  

If you are a qualified* Office 365 for business or education subscriber you automatically have access to Sway for Office 365 at no additional cost. Log into Sway.com or any of the Sway apps with your work or school account. If you are already logged into Office 365 in the browser, use the app switcher in the top left and select the Sway tile.  

You do not need to be signed into Sway to view a Sway that has been shared with you, unless its sharing setting has been set to Just me (in which case your own credentials must be logged in) or Share with only my organization (in which case credentials from the same organization must be logged in).  

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.  

What languages and markets is Sway available in?

The Sway.com user interface and Sway for Windows 10 (PC/tablets) are localized in 39 languages: Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay(Malaysia), Norwegian (Bokmal), Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic, Serbia), Serbian (Latin, Serbia), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

Sway for iPhone and iPad are localized in 29 languages: Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

Sway.com is accessible worldwide without restriction, and we’ve seen some great Sways written in languages even if the user interface itself didn’t support that language. We want to deliver the Sway experience to users worldwide in their language. We are working hard to add support for additional languages we do not yet support.

**See the Sway Language and Market Availability help article for a complete list.

Why don’t you ship Sway in <insert language>?

The Sway.com user interface and Sway for Windows 10 (PC/tablets) are localized in 39 languages. Sway for iPhone and iPad are localized in 29 languages. We want to deliver the Sway experience to users worldwide in their language. We are working hard to add support for additional languages we do not yet support.

Commercial licensing and availability

What are the Commercial Use Rights for Sway?

Consumers can use Sway (the web experience and the apps) for non-commercial use with a valid free Microsoft account.  

For commercial use of Sway (the web experience and its apps), an Office 365 subscription is required. If you are a qualified* Office 365 for business or education subscriber you automatically have access to Sway for Office 365 at no additional cost. Log into Sway.com or any of the Sway apps with your work or school account. If you are already logged into Office 365 in the browser, use the app switcher in the top left and select the Sway tile.  

You do not need to be signed into Sway to view a Sway that has been shared with you, unless its sharing setting has been set to Just me (in which case your own credentials must be logged in) or Share with only my organization (in which case credentials from the same organization must be logged in).  

*Sway is available to most customers with an Office 365 plan that includes Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus. For Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers and customers in certain geographies, Sway will be made available at a later date. Some legacy Office 365 plans that are no longer in market as of August 2015 may also not have access to Sway.    

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