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Sway vs PowerPoint: Microsoft’s Top Two Presentation Services

Sway vs PowerPoint

When it comes to making presentations with Microsoft, most people will automatically open PowerPoint. PowerPoint is one of Microsoft’s most well-known products that has been used for making beautiful slideshow-style presentations for decades. It’s known for being easy to use and great for either personal projects or business purposes.

But many don’t know that PowerPoint isn’t Microsoft’s only presentation software. Microsoft Sway came out almost a decade ago as a platform to create interactive and visually appealing presentations for all types of projects. Although the software has been out for some time, top providers of IT Support Services in London have found that many people haven’t used it before.

From a glance, Microsoft Sway and PowerPoint look very similar in their features and capabilities. Both products allow users to create attractive presentations that can accommodate personal, school and business purposes. Users can include text, images, videos, timers, animation effects and more in their projects.

But Sway was not created to replace PowerPoint. Both products have their place in the Microsoft product family and it’s because of their key differences that make both great products to put in your presentation making arsenal.

We asked providers of IT Support in London, TechQuarters, what makes these two products different and what things to look out for when your next project is lined up and you’re choosing which platform to use.


One of the biggest differences between the two platforms is the actual layout when creating the presentation. PowerPoint only works with slides that, when finished, will make up the presentation.

Sway on the other hand doesn’t have slides and is instead made up of one continuous page. The user will use cards as the building blocks to create a presentation all on the same page. If you’re used to PowerPoint this might sound strange, but the single page creates a more naturally flowing presentation.

Additionally, the overall user interface is very different. While PowerPoint has a similar layout to other Microsoft Office products with the ribbon, tabs and work area that you can customize, Sway doesn’t follow the same interface. Sway has a more intuitive and straightforward interface with two main “tabs” called ‘Storyline’ and ‘Design’ at the top of the presentation. These two tabs will contain all tools you’ll need.

Key Features

With completely different interfaces and layouts, Sway and PowerPoint also have very different features. Because PowerPoint relies on slides for its projects, it’s unsurprising that most of the tools are geared toward slide designs and transitions.

With PowerPoint, you can easily add all forms of media to the slide including images, videos and graphs but while PowerPoint has undeniably more extensive features than Sway, Sway has a different function for its media.

Sway also allows you to add media like images, video, audio, graphs and more. But when it comes to the way you view the media, Sway has more to offer than your average PowerPoint slide. Sway has a more diverse range of layout options mostly because it isn’t limited to just slides.

Users can compile their images and other media in a composition, grid, stack or slideshow but what makes it truly special is that the platform uses a web page structure. This means that instead of just going from left to right in a slide format you can choose if you want your viewer to view in a traditional slide, vertical or horizontal layout.

Sway has fewer features but Microsoft 365 Consulting Providers have pointed out that the features Sway does have are more intuitive and straightforward. Because of this and the fact that Sway has hundreds of templates that can be used and customised you can create an interactive presentation faster on Sway than on PowerPoint.

Additionally, because of the web page structure, it’s easier to find a layout that is suitable for everything from business to personal projects like presentations, reports, newsletters, stories, photo albums and visual trip reports.


When it comes to sharing your final product, the two platforms are also very different. When presenting your slide, PowerPoint is viewed directly from the platform you make it on. Creators can manually click through slides or use tools for automatic slide play. The presentation can also be saved as a video that can be sent as a file over email.

On Sway, the creator doesn’t control the presentation as it’s being viewed because the intent is for the presentation to be an interactive page. This is ideal when you want your audience to view the presentation at their own pace. You can control the layout of how you want it viewed and you can set the Autoplay option so that the presentation can continuously loop when it reaches the end.

Sway is also easier to share with links to the presentation that can be posted on social media, embedded into websites or directly sent to specific people. Most importantly, those who have access to the link do not need to view the presentation on the Sway platform and only need a web browser and the link.

In conclusion, both Sway and PowerPoint are powerful applications for creating visually appealing, professional-level presentations. They are both easy to use but when choosing between the two, it mostly comes down to what your intent is. If you want a slideshow style presentation, then PowerPoint will be your go-to. If you want a more interactive and shareable presentation, then Sway will be your new favourite Microsoft presentation platform.

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