Office 365 | Focus on Sway (Video)


Ziad: Hello and welcome everyone to our webinar series. My name is Ziad Paracha and I’m an account executive with Encore Business. Thank you so very much for joining our Office Hour webinars again. Today we’ll be introducing a newer application tool within the Office or Microsoft family called Sway. Now Sway is like I mentioned, the newest member of the Microsoft family and probably one of the most underused products that I’ve ever seen. And now, you know, this is primarily because of two reasons. One, often users are not actually aware of this product or its functionality, what it can actually do to you and how it would provide value. And two, because Sway actually kind of be a little bit intimidating, mostly because it’s a new thing. A lot of us are used to products like Word and Microsoft PowerPoint, but it’s very different when it comes to creating presentations.

Sway is different in that, you know, a lot of the tools that are out there within the Microsoft products have its own kind of unique application of service. Whereas this webinar is really gonna give you an introduction as to, you know, a new paradigm of creating and sharing interactive web-based applications and presentations. Sways are very interactive. They’re immersive. The layouts, you know, kind of auto adapt, and look appealing when they’re presented on all sorts of devices. So you can present this on a, you know, laptops or desktops as well as iPhones and tablets. And also create those, the Sways, as they’re called, on those devices as well with a very similar platform experience. And of course, Sways can also be shared. You can share them via email or you can just send them on social networks or download them and wherever else you, you know, share, all the other sorts of presentations as well.

Now you’re thinking, great, Ziad, that’s perfect. What can I actually do with Sway? What is Sway?This is what we’re here for. Sway basically an authoring tool, it enables you to grab contact and drag and drop it from your social media accounts , your personal devices, like your hard discs, your cloud storage that you’ve got capabilities or you can download data from there or simply integrate that within Sways and also from the web. So you can literally Google or whichever platform you use to get that kind of bringing all of those kind of things and create a very compelling experience for you.

Now, one of the things that make you know, Sway different is that, you know, you spent time in Sway, you know, putting together the content and actually, like I said, authoring that content rather than moving, you know, spending your time into, you know, moving things around and trying to make it look pretty and, you know, formatting the images and this and that, like Sway you automatically does that for you. And sure you can, you know, you know, change the fonts and some of the images around in Word and PowerPoint. But changing, you know, you don’t really necessarily have to do that because when you utilize Sway, that is often done automatically by one of the features called Remix in Sway. And I’ll show you that of course when we get into our demo. And actually while I go into this demo, I’ll show you a real quick presentation created in Sway as well, to show you what Sway can actually do. So here’s a presentation. I can share that with you guys later as well, how to Sway, right?

And so if you can see, this as an up and down presentation that is moving way too fast for my liking, and then of course you can change that up and make it into…switch that style and to make it more of a horizontal Sway as well. So let’s look at this one. So how to Sway? There’s a presentation for you that’s created within Sway. So if you’d like to become an expert, there’s other guides that you can have as well. And like I mentioned as well, I can share these links as well, on our blog afterwards as well. And you can again switch layouts. You can pick up which content you want to display. You can go into this left and right or horizontal layout or you can…of course I showed you the vertical or the normal, you know, slide show type of layout as well. In the design, you can switch the style in which the content is laid out. So there is different rows and different styles that you can format to whether it’s pictures, whether it’s writing. You can again, similar to PowerPoint, change the background and the overall style of, the layout of the presentation. You can also, again, change orientation. We’ve talked about this. You can customize that style to make it a little bit more experienced.

Here’s the remix button that I will show you as well when we get into the real deal. But you know, you kind of get the idea as to what Sway can do. If you look at the one in vertical, it’s a little bit different. If you want to look at the similar experience but just only vertically, but as you can tell, it’s the exact same slide, but you can see how it kind of changes that. And again, all I had to do is press one button and this was done for me. Okay, so let’s launch Microsoft Sway. So if you go right into your Office portal, the application should be included within your Office license, depending on what the restrictions are. So if you click that, it would open up into a Sway in a new window where you can actually create a new blank Sway. You can start from a document that you’ve also created. So this could be a Word document that you just kind of wanna switch and turn it, convert it into a Sway. You can do that. You can simply download that document and that will automatically turn…all the fonts and formatting on that document will turn into a Sway, and you can create a presentation from there. Or you can use one of the really cool templates that are out here. Of course, there’s more templates if you click this link here and it will come up with some generic templates that are very common and commonly used.

So if you look here, we can click on any random one, you’ve got some newsletter type ones, how-to kind of templates. You can have some business presentations. Some blog type templates, right? And more newsletters. Just normal presentations, just galleries. And depending on what you want to use Sway as, you can have it …if it’s in educational environment for example, you can actually have it for students to use or you just use for creative presentations. If you’re in a more business thing, again, you could do newsletters, but you can also, you know, use Sway as really smart on-boarding, kind of presentations as well that you can create from here as well and so on.

So, you know, I can show you what kind of, some of them look like here as a template, but then I’ll also create a brand new one so that you know how to go on it on a step by step basis. So what it does is it’ll show you, okay, this is what you can do in a Sway, here’s a presentation layout. This is what, kind of, the transactions would look like. Do you or do you not like this? And you say, you know what? This looks fantastic. Let’s start editing this way. Click that button. It prepares a template for you with all the animations and image structure and everything like that already created for you. You just have to replace that with your own content. So you can go on here and you can change your content to whatever you would, you would like here. So, you know, a biography on Ziad. Or whatever you want. And you can just start editing based on that.

But you know, let’s say, you know, you don’t like…and of course, you can change pictures through here and all of that stuff when you open that, and I will show you how to do that on a new title Sway. So I clicked…instead of that, I just clicked the start with a new blank template. And here is your blank template. Now, within this kind of environment, you have your story line and design, right? So your story line is basically your canvas. And the way that Sways work is it creates onto something called the canvas, which is basically, you know, an infinite canvas. That basically, it never ends, it doesn’t have like pages like a Word document does or slides like PowerPoint. It has a canvas and this is what that canvas looks like. And so from just from the terminology used itself, it’s a very artistic way of kind of expressing, to do…that you want to illustrate. And there’s different ways of kind of illustrating different capabilities for that at least.

So let’s get started. So let’s start our title. It’s, you know, we can talk about a topic, create a presentation on physics, right? Why not the most interesting conversation you can ever have with somebody on physics. And of course that is sarcasm. But let’s say this is your story line and you wanna talk about physics. You wanna create a background. If I click that image, it opens up automatically to the suggested location. Now I can also just create this, click this insert button right here and it will open that as well. Now it automatically gives you suggested searches from there. So because I made that title physics, it already comes up with a whole bunch of different, you know, content similar to that that you might be interested in doing. It also gives me the options to, you know, create something from my own content. So let’s say I already have a, you know, an extractable PDF of physics content in my hard disc, I can actually choose my own device or cloud storage accounts and do that straight from here.

What I can also do here is click the suggested button that’s right up here and it will just share similar things. So you know, if you have Bing images, if you have YouTube, for example, my device, you can also have and integrate like Twitter in here and other feeds as well that you can actually have. And I’ll show you, you know, dynamic content that you can kind of take out from Twitter and put into there as well as a live stream within your presentation, along with YouTube videos and whatnot. So you know what, let’s…or we can search right here as well, but since it’s already come up with what I wanted to search, let’s search physics. So what it would do, it would come up with all sorts of different things for physics, whether it’s images or videos, right? And it will create basically a search within the Sway environment. So I don’t have to open up a new tab, I don’t have to open up anything else. It comes all within here. So let’s say, you know, I like this page where we’ll take that and you could just simply drag and drop that picture right in here. Or you could click that and then just single click an ad. And that comes right into the title page. Now you’re probably wondering, okay, that’s great. Is it gonna show up this way or this way? How is that gonna work out? How are we gonna test what that environment looks like? This is like what that play button here is for. Some of you might have a review button up here as well depending on which version you were using. But if you’re updated with the Office 365, that’s what it should look like.

So this is what my title page looks like. It’s got physics and it’s got the title page, but I can also change that and I will show you how to do that as well. If you click this little arrow, it looks like a dropdown menu, it basically splits the details of that particular card. So you’ve got your heading. This is your title, this is your background. Great. You can add a logo in here. So if you want to put in the logo from wherever you can do that. You could also add a whole bunch of other things. Let’s say, you know, we’re happy with that, we’ll move on. This little button here, this plus sign adds more content. So you can have suggested content, you can have another heading, you can have some text, images, you can do something where you can stack images on top of one another and it will, you know, and I’ll show you how you can do that as well. And every click you do, a new image will show up one on top of the other You can upload media from that or any sort of text on that device as well. And then of course there is a whole bunch of things here as well. So these are the common suggested ones that are here. And then you’ve got media. So you can have videos, you can have audio, you can embed things as well. And of course you can group certain content as well. So you can create a slide show in here, right? You can have a comparison. So, you know, before and after type of thing or anything like that, you can do that. And other things that you can do as well.

So let’s say we would just want to go into our suggested, we want to have an image added. Okay. So this is just going to be an image. Then you can go up here. Again, you can search whatever you would like. You know, let’s say, you want…you know, you don’t like it here, you wanna maybe talk about a particular type of physics. Let’s go astrophysics. And of course all the things would come in that you might need for that kind of portion. And you can, again, simply drag and drop that content right into here as well. Okay. Now within this slide as well, you can do a whole bunch of things in terms of the content of what you’re trying to write. So let’s say if I want to write, you know, “image of astrophysics,” I don’t know. You can bold this content, which is what Emphasize does. So it’s bolded or you can italicize as in Word, which is Accent.

So here you go. You can also make that into a bullet or a numbering system. You can link particular things. So if I wanna hyperlink something in my Sway, I can do that right here. This focus point is interesting because what it really does is it does exactly what it says. It picks a point on an image that you want and focuses on that. So let’s say something overlaps. Now you can either say that, you know, this entire image is important. I want this exact same thing to show. Or you could actually focus your attention on certain parts of…this will probably be a really terrible picture to show this kind of feature on. But let’s say you have a really nice picture and, you know, you’ve got a background in it that you don’t really want, you wanna focus on maybe a person. Hey, let’s talk about…oops. You wanna focus on a person, you could actually…or a face or particular content within that thing. You could actually pick that section. So let’s say I want this to focus on anything around this area. Like I don’t want anything in this area to not be shown in my presentation. Everything else is whatever. This is of course, your kind of tablet and/or desktop type of view, here is your mobile version. So it’s showing you how this would show on which device you are on, right? And of course, you could play that, and I have it on up and down, kind of put there, so you can see some of the picture is actually cropped out and only that particular focus is there.

Now again, like I mentioned, this is a very terrible picture, but let’s say you have a fairly large picture, you have multiple pictures in one area and you wanna show just one kind of, you want to make sure the focus is on this one particular content. You can do that. And it will reformat the entire presentation based on what you want to focus on. So really cool way to do that. Again, you can go back into editing that portion as well. Okay, we’ve got this. Let’s go back onto this and play it. So I can show you some of the features instead of me creating it, we won’t have time to create all of the things that are here. So let’s say we pick this side and this is an…or a presentation type of thing. So you can see here there are, you know, kind of these animations that I can show you. So if there’s multiple images shown, you can focus on this particular area instead of the larger picture. You could also have different kind of headings and titles that are shown here, different layouts. Now these are set automatically. You don’t have to decide whether the picture should be up here on the side, but if you, of course you want to move those around, that sort of abilities are there. What I really wanna show you…so this is the live feed and I will show you that feature as well. But I wanna show you if they’ve got the stock option here in this presentation. And I can show you what those pictures look like. Oh, and there is that one as well. So again, the focus point here was on this animal here and you don’t have anything else showing in that picture. So again, something that you can do.

So let’s go into our Twitter feed. Let’s say we want to embed a something from our Twitter. So you go into this Embed feature and it comes with an embed card. Now you can also do it from here. Like I mentioned, I just don’t have the Twitter integration, so I’ll have to do that from another link. But for example, I could do that with YouTube and I’ll do that right after I do this one. So you’ve got the Twitter feed right here that you wanna add or maybe a Twitter code or you can, what, you wanna add your, you know, like a location. So you might want to add maps. You can embed that link from there or any sort of integrations that are there from, you can do it from your Power BI, if you’ve got that, you can do it from any other location on your SharePoint sites. You can embed other documents and charts, so on and so forth.

But let’s go into a Twitter account and let’s say we’ve got this, you know, we’ve got our previous Office Hours blog for OneDrive. We’ve done many different Office Hours webinars at this point and you wanna maybe take one of those and you want to embed this tweet. So you take that link right here, you can copy it. Now again, if this, if it was something that was already in here, all you would have to do is click here, and I’ll show you what that would look like. And you would have a Twitter button here and all the feed would come here. But because I don’t have that created, I will just show it to you in this way.

Now here you go. I just copied and pasted that slide and look at that. It turns into a Twitter card, it will actually be alive. You can actually have a live, dynamic, rich, content-based Twitter feed within your presentation. You can also embed or have a video. So let’s go into YouTube. We’re gonna talk about physics still. You can type that right in here. And again, YouTube content opens up right in here. And we’re gonna talk about one of the scarier things, it’s quantum physics. You click it, press add, right? You’ve got a video. Now let’s say you wanna add more than one video. Let’s say you wanna talk about this one as well as this one. Similar story, just click add and both of those content will be added there as well, right? You can also group that content. So now this content is grouped into one kind of slide as you will or one card. And you can change the group type as well from here, or you can ungroup them, whatever else you wanna kind of do here, you have that option as well.

Let’s add a couple of images just to kind of show you what it looks like. So instead of, I don’t want Youtube, I wanna go into images. And you’ve got a whole bunch of images that you can have here. So let’s say, we’ve go back down here… Now there’s two ways here, by the way. You can select this entire thing or you can select content within each one and organize it. Let’s say I wanna have maybe this video on before this Twitter feed, you simply just click and move that around and that will change the order of your presentation as well. So let’s say you wanna add, you know, you wanna stack some images together. You can add some content in here. Let’s say add content. We wanna have some images. Again, you can upload things however you want. You can have some images, some words if you want. And I’m so sorry for the boring topic that we have, but we will continue on with this. You can add another image. Let’s say this one, I am just at this point picking random images just for you. You maybe wanna have some text in there. So you can talk about science is cool. You can have a whole bunch of pictures that you can eventually…it will stack for you.

So we’ve got a couple of things here now. We’ve got, you know, a title page, we’ve got, you know, let’s say a presentation. We just wanna have an image only. You could have a video, you can have live Twitter feeds and you can have multiple videos in one slide. Of course, within that as well, you can also have text. So if I wanted to have, you know, a whole question of physics, right, I can type all that in here. So you’ve got that and then you’ve got stacked images, right, with some text as well. So let’s see what that looks like. Now, by no point am I a genius in making these sort of presentations look appealing. But again, you know, Sway is supposed to do that for me. So let’s see what it’s done. So we’ve got physics, the title page. It’s got my first slide right here, my video, which I can actually play right through this presentation as well. And I will not play that for you. And again, you can do everything you could do on YouTube right in through here, including captions, you know, changing the quality, full screening that, sharing it, having more info. You can do all of that stuff right from within here. Same YouTube experience that you would have.

I’ve got my live Twitter, as you can see, we’ve got the OneDrive that we’ve talked about, you’ve got Office 365 content, you know, all the hashtags are there. You can see other trends and tweets from within this link. All right, you’ve got multiple videos in one slide along with text. And now I’ve only got one…like I don’t even know what that is, but there’s a little bit of some texts that are here just to show you that something does show. Now if I was to have let’s say a more of a paragraph, these pictures will automatically move to a certain location that’s more suited for that slide to show you the optimum kind of, I guess quality of that slide. So perhaps this text would move on this side and images would move on this side and the text will be on the right hand side. Or other ways around that, it will automatically do for you. And then of course you’ve got the Stack feature. So it says, you know, tap to flip through the stack. And that’s exactly what you do. You just click once and it moves these images around. Look at that, my text is also here as well. And you’ve got a whole bunch of different things that you can show. And again, these things can be full screen, at the same time, you can move this around. This would be moved around if I had to do more text here, that you could do as well.

Now let’s say…I’ve presented this, it looks still pretty dry, I didn’t like the way it came out, maybe I wanna do something different. So that’s where we’re going to this Design component. This is where all the appealing kind of stuff happens, or appearance, kind of making it look nice kind of deal. Here is styles, there’s that remix button that I was telling you about. So let’s say I don’t wanna do anything. I like it so that it’s horizontal. I don’t like the vertical look to it. I like horizontal. Here it is. There’s the horizontal look for exactly what we did. Again, these were all in one heading and therefore it showed like this. Otherwise it would…every kind of card will show one after the other like this.

And as you can see that the style has already changed because it turned to horizontal. The slide automatically changed to having this kind of setting rather than the images on the top and the writing on the bottom. Okay. I can also click Remix here. So if I click Remix, you’ll notice that it changes automatically. I don’t like that one, click remix again, it changes the look of it automatically. The style of it has changed automatically, right? I can also pick some of the styles myself. So let’s say I wanna have more of this kind of look or let’s say if I want to have a different color. It will change that for me. If I’m not really good at picking, remix that again and it will change the layout and the design for you. So here’s the layout, the design, this is what it’s saying it’s probably the best one to do, but you can change it around again and remix based on the other ones that you get. And it will change it to any different thing and you keep clicking in until you pick the one that you like.

So that’s basically what that Remix feature can do for you. You can also share Sways, so you can share Sway, you can share it with specific people or groups. You can share it with whatever people are in the organization or have a link that’s shareable to anybody, right? You can invite people to actually view that document by sharing that link or edit it. And you can also get a visual link automatically. There’s also other things you can including put a password in so people can’t open documents or view confidential things. You can share a password with certain people so not everyone has access to that and so on and so forth. And here is what that would look like. So you can copy and paste into the thumbnail and paste it into an email for instance, and you would get a visual link for the presentation that was created as well.

So a whole bunch of different things that you can do. The idea that I wanted you guys to really get today is that Sway is, you know, something that should be more used within organizations and users in general, you can actually use that quite a bit. It’s very easy to make. You can create a presentation within 10 minutes, you can use previous templates and it’s even easier then. If you’ve already got a template that you’ve created, you can actually use your own template, right? So you can create a new type of Sway, you could duplicate that Sway, you could save this as a template and recreate more Sways with a similar template, right? And you can do a whole bunch of different things like print and other things as well for these Sways.

So really an important tool, I think personally, to utilize and maybe get some of the usage back on for it. You can have it on many different applications, on mobile phones, as well as obviously within your office suite. So you can actually create it on your phone as well really, really quickly. So if you’re running late for a presentation, you can create them on the go.

One last thing that I really want to discuss right now would be that if you need assistance in any portion of things, we are offering a 13 minute cloud consult on Office 365. So whether you are a current user or you have, you know, just wanna look at what solution is best available for you, we are you know, giving you a full meeting, absolutely free, 30 minute free, to give you all the content that you would need, some advice and consult work. And of course there are only limited time slots available. So email me at the email that I’ve mentioned here to book your spots as well. Thank you so very much. If there are any questions, let me know. Otherwise, thank you once again.

Melissa: Thanks Ziad. I don’t see any questions coming in the question pane. And if you wanna give that a few minutes?

Ziad: Sounds great. If there are any other questions, you can definitely reach out to me via email and the email is there as well or connect with me on LinkedIn and chat through there as well. So thank you so very much and hope to see you at our next Office webinar.

Melissa: Great. Thanks Ziad.

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