Tame your computer - get stylish with Sway

In her regular series for Cambridge Network members - now in its 15th year - software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'. This week she explains how to transform your documents into interactive presentations, reports or newsletters (Word for Microsoft 365).

Roem tip time logo

Over the years I’ve heard people make snarky comments about PowerPoint and rave about presentation software such as Prezi. I’m not starting a discussion about this (after all, I do my best to make people fall in love with all the nice things you can do to convert existing presentations into high impact slide shows) but I was delighted to find out about Sway – a PowerPoint alternative from Microsoft. (Thanks, Julia!)

Whereas people typically use PowerPoint to present information to an audience, Sway is best used to bring online content to an individual who might look at it on a mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

But there’s even more to get excited about … Microsoft 365 subscribers for Windows desktop clients can easily transform their Word documents into an interactive, easy-to share presentation that will look great on any device.

Here’s how:

  1. For best results I recommend applying Heading 1 styles to your Word document. (Anyone fallen in love with CTRL + ALT + 1?)

  2. Select Transform from the File tab.

  3. Select your preferred Style. (I quite like the cleanliness of Studio and Cinema.)

  4. Click on Transform.

This will open your document in Sway from where it is very intuitive to change the look and feel (by clicking on the Design button in the top left hand corner). To share, click on the on Share button in the top right hand corner.

If you select the Anyone with a link radio button and copy and paste the link as normal (CTRL + C and CTRL + V anyone?) everyone can view the content and it will look good on any device, not just a desktop computer. For example, check out this link on your mobile, tablet and laptop.

What you see used to be a simple Word document with a couple of Headings that you can now view by scrolling and swiping, or pressing the spacebar if you use a desktop computer. A button in the bottom right hand corner lets you navigate to different sections and you can Print or Export to Word or PDF by clicking on the three dots in the top right.

There’s obviously a lot more you can do with Sway, but I might cover that in a future tip. Speaking of which … I promise that over the next couple of weeks I’ll move away from all the bits and bobs that only work for Microsoft 365 subscribers.

Related tips

Don't use your mouse to scroll

Applying and modifying Heading Styles to titles and subtitles


Courses and webinars

I have reopened classroom training. And remember, we never cancel classes due to insufficient enrolments, so if you’re lucky you might have a one-to-one session. I will also continue to deliver the ever-growing list of 60-minute webinars, inspired by your real-life questions, addressing day-to-day tasks and frustrations.

See the course schedule here or the webinar schedule here.

I am also running other short courses in conjunction with Cambridge Network's Learning Collaboration:


I meticulously test every tip I write to make sure it is correct, easy to understand and time-saving. Let me know if something isn't clear or doesn't work.

Missed an issue? To view all tips created so far – including corrections, where necessary – go to http://roem.co.uk/hints.php

Unless stated otherwise, the steps are written about Microsoft 365 using Windows 10.

10 May  2021

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.  Contact her by email (Karen@roem.co.uk) or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk

Looking for something specific?