Microsoft Adds YouTube, Twitter to Office Sway Suggested Searches

The software maker adds new ways to spruce up Sway presentations, including built-in suggestions for YouTube videos and tweets.


Office Sway, Microsoft's interactive, mobile-friendly presentation technology, is on the lookout for videos and Twitter posts.

As part of a new round of updates, the company announced that Sway's suggested search functionality has been expanded to include some of the Web's most popular and social destinations. The feature, which was released in December along with Bing Image Search support, runs continually in the background, analyzing keywords and phrases, and serves up relevant content from the Web as users' creations take shape.

Now, Sway authors can incorporate content from YouTube and Twitter, the company announced. In a March 3 blog post, the Office Sway Team revealed that it expanded "the results of Suggested searches to include YouTube videos and tweets, in addition to images from Bing Image Search." Results will show videos, tweets and images with Creative Commons licenses attached or public domain material, but users can expand their searches with the Show All button. Users can then simply drag and drop the content into their Sways.

Naturally, Microsoft is advocating a cautious approach to obtaining content that appears on the Web. "Please remember you are responsible for respecting the rights of others, including copyright," cautioned the company.

Also new is OneNote integration, allowing users of the note-taking and content-capture app to mine their virtual notebooks for inspiration.

"Now, with the recent integration of OneNote, you can easily add images to your Sways from your OneNote notebooks saved on OneDrive," wrote the Sway Team. "Whether you capture documents, whiteboards, or business cards using Office Lens; or send your web and screen clips to OneNote using the OneNote Clipper—now you can easily add those images to your Sway to help bring your ideas to life." To help users quickly access images stored in OneNote, Microsoft has added "Recently added images" and "Notebooks" buttons.

More OneNote-inspired functionality is on the way, but first the company is gathering feedback. The Sway update includes a two-question survey to help determine what form it will take.

In addition, Microsoft added support for more third-party content sources, including "Office Mix,, Mixcloud, and even Sway itself. You heard correctly—now you can even embed a Sway in a Sway," said the Sway staffers.

A new image comparison slider overlays images and allows authors to compare images by dragging the slider in either direction. New slide show (carousel, slider or plain slide show) options gather up images into themed galleries with thumbnail support.

Finally, Microsoft is offering new sharing options. When selected, the public option "makes your Sway discoverable on the Internet. This means anyone can potentially use Bing, Google or other search engines to find, view and even share your Sway." Users can choose to limit their Sways to people with whom they shared the related URL or they can keep them completely private by picking the "Just me" option.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...