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Bringing more search and more intelligence to Sway

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From the beginning, Sway has aimed to help people easily create and share fantastic content that looks great on any device. Today, we’re thrilled to start bringing the intelligence of Bing Image Search into Sway Preview. These features allow you to search for content, review any applicable license terms, as well as expand Sway’s intelligent assistance to help you with content searches. It’s now easier than ever for you to use Sway to express your ideas using a variety of multimedia.

More search

Currently in Sway Preview it is easy to collect your content from a variety of cloud-connected sources already built right into Sway. Simply navigate to a source, tap or click your content, and then drag and drop it into your Sway. It’s what being part of the ‘cloud’ really means. We’ve already seen a great response to the built-in sources we started with, which include OneDrive, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and your device’s local storage.

We also promised to expand that list of built-in sources over time. We’ve been listening to your feedback from UserVoice and directly through Sway via the “+Add Source” survey option in the content sources drop down.  In response to requests from users (particularly in the education space) about wanting to be able to search for Creative Commons licensed images directly from the Internet, we’ve integrated Bing Image Search functionality into Sway! Now you can search for images tagged with Creative Commons licenses within Sway.

Bing 1

 The list of sources from which you can add content directly into Sway is growing with the rollout of Bing Image Search built directly into Sway and Suggested searches. It also includes a “+Add Source” option where you can give feedback on other services you’d like to see us add.

Simply click the source dropdown and select Bing.  Type anything into the search bar, press Enter and get back the results for a Bing Image Search. A URL to the source of the image is provided, which allows you to navigate to the original image and review the license terms to make sure your use is permitted. You are responsible for respecting others’ rights, including copyright. Learn more here.

Just like with Sway’s other sources, you can simply drag and drop any image from the Bing Image Search results right into your Sway. No need to first download an image to your hard drive and then upload it to Sway.

You can expand your search by clicking the “Show all results” button, but you are still responsible for respecting the rights of others.

Bing - CROP bing search baking buttercream

It’s easy to drag and drop images from Bing Image Search results directly into your Sway.

Once you’ve included an image from Bing Image Search, any viewer with whom you’ve shared your Sway can see the source of that image and applicable license terms. They can simply click or tap the image to view it in full-screen mode, and the attribution will appear as a URL in the lower right corner. As an author, while editing your Sway, you can still see what this viewing experience will look like when you enter Preview mode (click “…” and then “Preview”).

Integrating Bing Image Search is just the first step in our continuous journey to expand the value that Microsoft’s search platform can add to Sway. We’ll also bring more of Microsoft’s connected consumer and business services into Sway, along with other sources of content you are authorized to use (please continue to provide feedback on additional sources through UserVoice, or in the “+Add Source” option in the content sources dropdown in Sway). This way, Sway will continue to make it easier than ever for you to incorporate your content to bring your ideas to life.

More intelligence

With Bing integration, we are also expanding Sway’s ability to assist you in the creation process by anticipating what content you might want to incorporate. Sway continuously analyzes what you’ve written and suggests terms for related Bing image searches, which you can initiate with just a tap or click. After initiating a search, you’ll see results for images tagged with Creative Commons licenses that you may be able to use.

When you first open the Add Content pane, Sway defaults to the “Suggested” option. From the first word you add to your Sway, Suggested searches uses natural language processing to begin showing tags for related words and phrases you might be interested in, based on what you’ve already written. When you see a tag you like, tap or click it to perform the Bing Image Search based on these words or phrases. After you confirm your use is permitted, you can just drag and drop any desired image result right into your Sway! Your viewers are able to click the image to see its attribution (described earlier in this blog).

Bing - CROP search terms

By continuously analyzing the content you’ve already included, Sway can now suggest related Bing image searches you can choose to perform even if you never use those specific terms in your text. 

Bing - CROP Suggested search images Herodotus

Just tap or click a word or phrase tag from Suggested to perform a Bing Image Search!
Then, just drag and drop any image result right onto Sway.

As you add or change your content, Sway continues to re-evaluate which search terms and topics you might find relevant. You’ll notice that in addition to picking out relevant topics from your text, Suggested is also using the power of Bing to find related concepts you may not have thought to search for. Additionally, Sway weights its suggested search terms towards the specific content in the card you’re currently working with in the Storyline. That way, you get suggested search terms that are particularly relevant to you in real time. For example, if you’re writing about Italy, but you’re working in a section about history and philosophy, Sway will tailor its suggested searches to related topics such as Venice, Thucydides, Baths of Caracalla, Giorgio Napolitano—even if you didn’t specifically mention them by name.

At any point, while Suggested is open, you can initiate a manual Bing search of Creative Commons images in the “Search Bing” box at the top of the Add Content pane. This saves you the extra clicks of selecting Bing from the dropdown menu and ensures that you’re only one step away from the great content you want.

When we unveiled Sway Preview, the built-in design and layout engine was the first example of the powerful machine learning and intelligence platform we’re building to make it easier than ever for you to bring your ideas to life. The addition of Suggested searches expands that platform, so Sway can now function not only as your digital design assistant, but your content gathering assistant as well. We’ll continue adding more intelligence capabilities that help you quickly and easily create awesome Sways. Using our machine learning platform, Sway will become an even more personalized content creation assistant: learning your preferences, anticipating your needs, and working for you to help you get more done, more quickly.

We hope you find these features to be a great new addition to Sway!

Sway Team, @Sway

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2 comments
  1. I think I was one of the first to suggest this to MS on the forums and they listened. Thank you Microsoft for this. Great company, great team.

  2. I,m going to try it but i need more technical information to use it

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