How to Summarize Long Documents on Your Mac

It is always a pain to go through long documents, particularly a boring one. If you are in a situation where you have to go through dozens of long documents just to find out what their main points are, you can use the Mac’s summary feature to get a gist of those documents without actually reading them entirely.

Here’s how to do that.

1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences…” to be taken to the Preferences panel for your Mac.


2. Find and click on the option that says “Keyboard” to open keyboard settings.


3. Click on the tab that says “Shortcuts.”


4. In the shortcuts tab, you will see two sections – one on the left and the second on the right. What you need to do here is select “Services” from the section in the left and scroll down in the right section. Select the box with the “Summarize” option.


What this does is enable the summarize service in the Services menu on your Mac. Now that the Summary option is visible in the Services menu, you can just use that to summarize your long documents.

5. Open the long document that you wish to get a summary of in any of the text editors on your Mac, such as Microsoft Word.

When the document opens in your chosen app, select all the text that you wish to get a summary of. To select the entire text, press “Command + A.”

When you have selected the text, click on the app name on the top and select “Services” followed by “Summarize.”


6. The summarization dialog box should launch, and you should see the summary of your lengthy text. You can now read through the summary and use it however you wish.


You do have the option to change the summary from “Sentences” to “Paragraphs” if you would like. Also, you can shorten the summary if you think it is a little too long by dragging the handle given.

7. If that text is what you were looking for, you can save it as a text file on your Mac by clicking on the “File” menu on the top and selecting “Save As…” Then, enter a name for the file and choose the destination folder and click on “Save.”docsummarize-saveas

There are many places where you can put in your summary. For example, if you have written an article for someone and would like for them to just get the gist of it, you can submit the saved summary to them.

If you have some really long documents on your Mac and would like to know what the main points are of those documents, the summarization feature on your Mac should help you get that.