How to automatically summarize a document using MS Word?

text summarization

As a manager, employee, researcher or student, you most probabely need to summarize some documents. For short text-documents it would be an easy tast but what if you have a document of at least 100 pages in hand and very restrict deadline? One of your choice could be AutoSummarize function of MS word.

AutoSummarize identifies the key points in a document. AutoSummarize works best on well-structured documents, such as reports, articles, and scientific papers.

Notice: Before you can use AutoSummarize in Microsoft Office Word 2007, you need to add AutoSummary Tools to the Quick Access Toolbar.

How AutoSummarize works

AutoSummarize determines key points by analyzing the document and assigning a score to each sentence. Sentences that contain words used frequently in the document are given a higher score. You then choose a percentage of the highest-scoring sentences to display in the summary.

You can select whether to highlight key points in a document, insert an executive summary or abstract at the top of a document, create a new document and put the summary there, or hide everything but the summary.

If you choose to highlight key points or hide everything but the summary, you can switch between displaying only the key points in a document (the rest of the document is hidden) and highlighting them in the document. As you read, you can also change the level of detail at any time.

Add AutoSummary Tools to the Quick Access Toolbar

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Customize.
  3. In the list under Choose commands from, click All Commands.
  4. Scroll through the list of commands until you see AutoSummary Tools.
  5. Click AutoSummary Tools, and then click Add.
  6. The AutoSummary Tools button now appears in the Quick Access Toolbar.

Watch a Video

Automatically summarize a document

  1. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click AutoSummary Tools, and then click AutoSummarize.
  2. Select the type of summary that you want.
  3. In the Percent of original box, type or select the level of detail to include in the summary. Select a higher percentage of the original document to include more detail.
  4. If you don’t want AutoSummarize to replace your existing keywords and comments in the document properties, clear the Update document statistics check box.


To cancel a summary in progress, press ESC.

After you create your summary, review it to make sure it covers your document’s key points. Keep in mind that the summary text is a rough draft, and you will probably need to fine-tune it.


Ps: Complying with all applicable copyright laws is your responsibility. You should review the accuracy of any summary because it is, by its nature, not the entirety of the work.

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