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Sway feature updates—Internet embeds and more!

It’s been a little over a month since we expanded Sway Preview so anybody could create Sways and help us shape and improve Sway together. It’s been exciting to get more feedback from broader usage. And we’ve been hard at work making Sway even better, based on how our customers are telling us they want to use it to reimagine how their ideas come to life.

In addition to making Sway for iPhone available more broadly in January (now available in the U.S. and many other countries where English is an official language), we’ve been working on some exciting new capabilities for Sway on the web.

Here’s a rundown of the most recent updates:

Add your content from third-party sites via embed codes

With Sway, it’s easy to pull your content together by dragging and dropping it onto your canvas from a variety of built-in sources right within Sway. We’ve been expanding the list of built-in sources; for example we added Bing Image Search and Suggested searches directly to the Add Content pane. And we’ll continue to integrate more sources directly into Sway.

We’ve also received a lot of requests from people who want to add their content more easily from a number of other sources. So, Sway now also lets you easily embed a variety of web content types from other services in your Sway—including videos, images, audio clips, maps, charts and documents. This expands the types of interactive multimedia you can include in Sway to help communicate your ideas.

 Check out a number of examples of embedded web content by scrolling through this Sway!

To get started, simply copy the embed code for your desired content from the third-party site (often found by accessing the site’s Share button). Then in the Sway Storyline, click the + button, select an Embed card and paste the code. Check out this help article for supported sites and more details.

Image 1 - BLOG

Copy embed code from a supported third-party site and add it in the Storyline.


Embed code is often found in the Share area of a third-party site. 

Import content from documents more simply into Sway

We’re making it easier for you to import existing content from PDF, Word and PowerPoint documents to enhance a Sway you’re working on. This way, you can use Sway to combine your existing text and images with additional multimedia to bring your narrative to life and make use of Sway’s built-in design engine to help create a polished output in Sway’s new format.

In December, we added support for importing PDF content into Sway. Now, Sway supports importing content from older Word .doc and PowerPoint .ppt file formats—in addition to the latest .docx and .pptx extension formats, which are already supported.

We also heard feedback that customers want this capability to be easier to use. So we’ve made it possible to now import PDF, Word and PowerPoint content directly from OneDrive. In the Add Content pane, select OneDrive, navigate to the desired document and then select Add or drag the document directly into the Storyline. The text and images from the document will then show up in your Sway.

Image 4 - BLOG

In the Add Content pane, select OneDrive to find a desired document and import its content to Sway.

Of course, you can also continue to use the Upload option and select a PDF, Word or PowerPoint file on your PC or Mac to include its content in that part of your Sway.

Image 5

While working on an existing Sway, click Upload and select the document you want to import from your PC or Mac.

You can also start a new Sway by importing a PDF, Word or PowerPoint document. Navigate to your My Sways page, click Import and then select the document. A new Sway is created using the text and images from the document, at which point you can combine it with additional multimedia and use Sway’s design engine to bring it all to life.

Separating cards grouped together more easily

We continue to make updates to Sway so the creation process is as smooth as possible. It’s already easy to group images and text together by dragging cards on top of each other, or selecting cards and using the Change Layout option to create a Group or photo Stack. While you can remove items from a group by dragging them out of it, we’ve received feedback that customers want to “ungroup” grouped cards (besides using Undo). So, we’ve added Separate as an option when grouped cards are selected. Simply tap or click Change Layout and then tap or click Separate. Each card in the Group or Stack now stands on its own.

Image 6 - BLOG

Select a Group or Stack of Cards, tap or click Change Layout and then tap or click Separate. 

We’ve been hard at work addressing customer feedback during Sway Preview and we’ll continue to roll out more updates on a regular basis. Stay tuned for more!

Sway team, @Sway

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