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Are you a student who needs to present a project? Are you an entrepreneur pitching your business to investors? Are you a business owner who needs to have a regular business meeting? Well, it doesn’t matter where you belong from and who you are, we are certain that you need to create appealing and professional-looking presentations and reports. Truth be told, we have been using Microsoft PowerPoint for as long as we can remember but the Microsoft Sway app is the new kid in the block.

Ever since the launch, Microsoft Sway vs. Microsoft PowerPoint has been the ultimate topic of discussion. Sure, there are some overlapping features but there are certain features that differentiate them; so you can make a choice that suits you. However, we have come up with this article to help you choose between the two by understanding the differences. So, are you ready to be blown away with the details that you never knew about?

What Is Microsoft PowerPoint?

Microsoft PowerPoint is a part of the Office 365 app combination and has been around for decades. With the Windows upgrade, multiple new features have consistently been added to the software. Microsoft PowerPoint remains the master of the deck and it’s best for presenters who have to keep the show running during meetings. In addition to creating cutting-edge presentations, it can be used to make short videos as well as screen recordings.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Microsoft PowerPoint is a well-integrated presentation graphics packaging that provides everything you need to create professional presentations. It is known to offer graphing, outlining, word pressing, presentation management, and drawing tools. All these tools aren’t only easy to use but are convenient to learn as well. It can create the presentations in the form of slides and can be presented as 35mm slides as well as overhead transparencies.

With Microsoft PowerPoint, the users can print the outlines, notes, and handouts. With the availability of slide masters, the users can format the slides within the presentation. All the presentations can be stored and kept in one file, inclusive of notes and handouts. Not to forget, the users can import the data from other Microsoft apps, such as Excel and Word. It’s safe to say Microsoft PowerPoint is the first choice for everyone who wants to create attractive visuals and formal presentations.

Microsoft PowerPoint is a part of the Office 365 subscription and is available for business as well as personal usage. The ultimate benefit of using it is that the visuals can reinforce the key points because it’s easier to learn new ideas and grasp the concepts through visuals and graphics (it also results in easy information retaining). In this section, we are outlining in-depth pros and cons of using Microsoft PowerPoint, so you are aware of all the nitty-gritty.

Pros

  • Easy Download & Remote Access 

Microsoft PowerPoint has become famous as the standard product or app when it comes down to professional settings. That being said, you can use the user license anywhere you want, so you can create attractive graphics that are essential for the presentation. It’s safe to say that if you don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint on your system, it might create a negative connotation about you in formal places.

  • Interesting Presentations

Honestly, formal presentations and business presentations can be extremely boring and long. However, you can use Microsoft PowerPoint to create interesting and animated slides that captivate the attention of people. Also, the interesting and captivating slides won’t make people bored, so what more could you want?

  • Easy Customization

With Microsoft PowerPoint, the users can increase or decrease the scale of images on the slide to fit the specific needs. In addition, the users can insert, align, and alter the images within a few clicks to create the visuals. Moreover, there are shapes, pointers, and arrows available which you can add to the slides and highlight the important areas of information.

  • Simple Usage 

Microsoft PowerPoint is the ultimate choice for people if they want a simple process because it helps users create the handouts. For instance, the users can print every slide directly from the software, and copy the slides to provide helpful handouts to the members of participants of the presentation.

  • Affordability

We have already mentioned that Microsoft PowerPoint is a part of Office 365 and you can buy the business plan only for $10 a month. With the business subscription, the users can get one license to use over the computer. Moreover, if you upgrade the package to $15 a month, you can use the apps on five different computers at once.

Cons 

  • Technical Errors

When it comes down to the presentations made with Microsoft PowerPoint, even the most tech-savvy people can struggle with errors because technology doesn’t always work as you want it to. For instance, the power outlet stops giving power, the computer stops working, and the display overhead doesn’t light up.

  • Overwhelming Features

With too many options and features available on Microsoft PowerPoint, the users often go overboard with the information. For instance, the users add too many sounds, colors, shapes, and other content which results in overwhelming presentations. So, the users need to apply a moderate approach when using different features in the presentations.

  • Not The Substitute 

People who tend to use Microsoft PowerPoint often depend on the information on the slides rather than providing the educational narrative. That being said, it can be easy to become too dependent on the software and forget about the actual idea behind the presentation.

  • Ongoing Costs 

Since Microsoft PowerPoint is part of the Office 365 package, you don’t receive one proprietary cost. This is because you are likely to pay annual and monthly subscription costs but tend to add up the costs.

  • Chances Of Tuning Out 

In case the presentation made by Microsoft PowerPoint is too detailed, some of the participants are likely to focus on slides and handouts rather than the ultimate narrative. For this purpose, it might be difficult to create the CTA (call to action) that you want the participants to follow.

What Is Microsoft Sway?

What is Microsoft Sway used for? Is Microsoft Sway Free? What is the Microsoft Sway app? How to use Microsoft Sway? These questions have been popping up ever since Microsoft Sway was launched back in 2015. Over the course of time, new yet beneficial features have been added to the app to make it worthy of your time and subscription. It is known to create interactive presentations and content that doesn’t need a special presenter. It can be used to create portfolios and reports, whatever you need.

It was launched as part of Office 365 Education and is famous as the alternative to PowerPoint. With the Sway canvas, the students can choose the theme and add research and notes. It can be used for organizing the content and adding data and images. As a result, the students can quickly arrange the data and content into a fully integrated and comprehensive project. Also, the remix option allows the users to change the theme instantly if one of them doesn’t work.

Not to forget, it allows advanced users to edit the pictures to fit specific interests and colors. Once the presentation is complete, the users can publish, share, and embed the presentations. It can be worked with a majority of file formats, such as videos, audio, text, images, charts, camera pictures, PDFs, audio recordings, audio clips, and links. Also, the complete project can be integrated into any Microsoft Office app and updates the original file.

Microsoft Sway download can work on Windows, desktops, iPhones, and iPads. When it comes down to the pros of using Microsoft Sway, it is completely free to use and there are multiple automated options for easy use of the software. As a result, the users don’t have to fret about creativity. The content and projects designed by Microsoft Sway can be saved automatically and various users can collaborate at one time. Also, the link can be sent out to the collaborators.

On the other hand, Microsoft Sway has some limitations that users need to be wary of. For instance, it demands the users to have a Microsoft account but it’s pretty easy to log in there and manage everything. However, what we don’t like about the completed projects is that they cannot be saved in publishable formats, such as PDFs and videos. Also, the projects designed on Sway cannot be emailed and can only be shared on Twitter and Facebook.

Difference Between Microsoft Sway Vs. PowerPoint 

When it comes down to these two presentation apps and software, both are designed by Microsoft which means there are some similarities. However, in this section, we will be looking at core differences between Microsoft Sway and Microsoft PowerPoint, such as;

  • Layouts

Microsoft PowerPoint presentations can be designed and created in the format of the slides which is the strongest point. There are various effects and features available on PowerPoint which helps create a seamless presentation as you can use timers and transitions. On the other hand, Microsoft Sway can be used for creating three layout options for presenting the data in different forms, such as slideshow, horizontal, and vertical.

  • Templates 

When it comes down to Microsoft PowerPoint, there are thousands of premade templates available offline as well as online. In addition, the users can create their own templates for designing the presentations. On the contrary, the availability of templates is pretty limited on Microsoft Sway and you can access the templates from the “My Sways” window. Also, the users have the option to save the presentation as a template.

  • Content

With Microsoft PowerPoint, the users can add a variety of content manually into the presentation, such as images uploaded from search engines and computer folders, texts, graphs, charts, albums, videos, audios, screen recordings, and equations. The users have the option to insert the objects in the form of complete files, such as Microsoft Word documents and Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets.

On the other hand, if you opt for Microsoft Sway, the users can upload the content and build the presentation directly in the app. What’s best about adding content in Sway is that it supports OneDrive which means you can upload the content from there as well. Moreover, the users can pull in content directly from the websites and add it to the presentation. However, keep in mind the copyrights.

  • Data Sharing 

When it comes down to data sharing, it largely depends on the version of Microsoft PowerPoint that you are using. For instance, the users can share the presentations by email in case they have an Office 365 subscription. In case you are using the desktop version, the users need to save the presentation and share it through email. Also, the users can save the presentations as PDF or send them off so the other person cannot edit the files.

As far as Sway is concerned, it allows the users to share the presentations and files with specific users and specify the access type that users have, such as edit or view only. Moreover, the users have higher control over how they can share the presentations. It can be sent as a link to the users. Not to forget, the Sways can be embedded into the website as an iframe.

  • Collaboration

When it concerns Microsoft PowerPoint, the users have to have an Office 365 license which means users can collaborate with various users at a time. However, the collaboration isn’t available for standalone app or software. In the case of Sway, it is a cloud-based app that allows users to share files with their colleagues through links.

  • Fees & Licenses 

It is pretty obvious that Microsoft PowerPoint can be purchased as a part of an Office 365 license, standalone license, or Office bundle license. That being said, you must check if the web version is available. As for Microsoft Sway, it can be used by anyone for free and is accessible on Windows 10 and the web. Moreover, the Sway users will have better control over who can see the presentations.

  • Offline Access 

In case you are using the desktop version of Microsoft PowerPoint, the users can edit and manage the file even if the system isn’t connected to the internet connection. However, if there is no internet connection, the users won’t be able to search for online pictures or save the presentations on the cloud. On the contrary, Microsoft Sway offers the services through the cloud which means you need an internet connection to use Swap (yes, even if you install it on your desktop as an app).

  • Presentation Approach

Microsoft PowerPoint is known to be a powerful tool for presenting the already calibrated content and materials in slideshows. These presentations can be used for lectures, seminars, and webinars. On the other hand, Microsoft Sway uses a new approach for delivering the content. This is because it considers the audience while designing the presentation and collects information from multiple online resources.

Not to forget, Microsoft Sway uses storytelling to create the presentation which grasps and catches the audience’s attention. That being said, it can be used for creating blog posts, portfolios, newsletters, training material, stories, and training reports. Also, Sway users have the capacity to format the videos, texts, and pictures but it can handle optimization for different designs and devices automatically.

  • Interface

The interface is one of the most common differentiating factors between Microsoft PowerPoint and Sway. To begin with, PowerPoint is known for the loaded and complicated interface since there are too many tools available for developing the reports. That being said, Microsoft PowerPoint isn’t the right choice if you want a clean and minimal interface.

On the other hand, Microsoft Sway is a perfect option for people who don’t want the extra functionality of PowerPoint. It has an extremely clean and simple interface which means you can create the presentations easily and without extra training.

  • Presentation Format 

When it comes down to the files and presentations created by Microsoft PowerPoint, they have one similar default format even if the content is different. This is because all the files are saved in .pptx format. The files can contain charts, images, audio, texts, videos, graphs, animations, and hyperlinks to design the fully integrated documents.

On the contrary, Microsoft Sway saves all the presentations with a unique web address and has a domain name. In addition, it has a code identifier, depending on the download link type. These presentations can be embedded into the user’s web resource, such as blog, website, forum, and other platforms where HTML codes can be added.

Similarities Between Microsoft Sway & Microsoft PowerPoint  

For the longest time, PowerPoint has been the ultimate standard for creating presentations. However, Microsoft Sway was launched as a powerful app for developing presentations. For the most part, both of them have different functionalities but there are various similar features. In the section below, we are sharing the similarities in these two software and apps, such as;

  • Both of these apps are designed by Microsoft Office
  • They are designed for creatives, so they can create appealing presentations, stories, and reports
  • These apps can be used for developing rich presentations
  • Both of these software options support multimedia, such as images, videos, and audios
  • The templates can be customized on both software for shaping ideas into reality
  • The layout is completely responsive on both apps which makes them suitable for every mobile device

Choosing Between Microsoft PowerPoint & Microsoft Sway 

Choosing between these two powerful presentation software largely depends on content type, audience, and delivery point. For instance, Microsoft PowerPoint is suitable for presenting graphs and charts. In addition, it must be used if a specific person has to present the content. On the contrary, if your audience prefers animated or video content, you can choose Sway. So, which one will be your choice?

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