PowerPoint vs Sway

When you have to deliver a business presentation, what is your go to platform? If you’ve been a Microsoft Office user, chances are you use or have used PowerPoint in the past. We think it’s the gold standard for creating presentations and has developed over the last few years with greater functionality, enabling you to deliver slick and professional business presentations.

In 2015, Microsoft released a new application. It’s called Sway – and allows users to create presentations similar to PowerPoint. Microsoft has added useful features to Sway in the last few years, making it a powerful presentation tool.

But which is the right tool for you? Should you use PowerPoint or Sway for your presentations?

Differences between PowerPoint and Sway


With PowerPoint, there are thousands of available for your presentations. Whether you want a minimalistic look or something eye-catching, check out the available templates and see what suits you best. And what’s more, you can fully customise the fonts and colours to suit your brand – you don’t just have to use the default provided.

Sway doesn’t have as many templates as PowerPoint. You do have the option of saving each Sway as a template – so you don’t need to recreate every time. As you create a Sway, you can control the overall design.


PowerPoint presentations can be created in slideshow format. You can resize your slides, the default is 16:9 picture format, replacing the older 4:3 format. You can make them a custom size if you’d prefer. But as you present, they will need to fit on your screen – in most cases that will be landscape.

Sway is slightly different. As well as being able to present PowerPoint-style presentations, you can create vertical and horizontal presentations. You then scroll through, rather than moving from slide to slide. For vertical presentations, imaging you’re scrolling through a webpage – it’s the same sort of thing.

Adding content

In PowerPoint, you can manually add a wide variety of content to the presentation. You can add text, images, animations, tables, audio, video and much more – check out the Insert tab for all options. You can even insert entire Word documents or Excel spreadsheets into your presentations.

You can upload content (like a Word Document) directly to Sway and let it build the bones of your presentation for you. Sway supports OneDrive, so you can add content you’ve saved there. Or, you can add content from the internet. Search Bing and pull in content directly from different websites.


With a relevant Microsoft 365 subscription, you can PowerPoint with its desktop app, or through a web browser. Older versions of Microsoft Office won’t give you access to the browser version. You can also use mobile and tablet apps if you prefer. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can collaborate and co-author with other users.

Sway is available through your browser. As a Cloud-based app, you can access it from any device you are logged into – perfect if you change device frequently. And you don’t need any Microsoft 365 licensing to access – it is free to be used by anyone.

PowerPoint vs Sway

We think PowerPoint and Sway are both excellent apps for creating and delivering presentation. Both offer different functionality – if you’re already familiar with PowerPoint, why not give Sway a try, to see if it could be a good app for you.

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