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Automatically Summarize Documents in Word

MS Word provides an AutoSummarize feature that helps you identify the key points in documents, such as reports, articles, and scientific papers.

AutoSummarize is intended for writers who focus on creating well-structured business documents as opposed to more informal writings.

It determines the key points by analyzing the document and then assigns a score to each sentence.

Sentences that contain words used frequently in the document are given a higher score, while those that are rarely used receive a lower score..

How to auto-summarize documents

You choose a percentage of the highest-scoring sentences to display in the summary.

You select the type of summary you want, i.e. highlight key points in a document, insert an executive summary, create a new document with the summary, or hide everything but the summary.

If you choose to highlight key points or hide everything except the summary, you can switch between displaying only the document s key points and highlighting them in the document.

How to auto-summarize your document

  • From the Tools menu, click AutoSummarize.
  • Select the type of summary you want to create.
  • Highlight key points.
  • Insert an executive summary or abstract at the top of the document.
  • Create a new document and put the summary there
  • Highlight everything but the summary without leaving the original document.
  • In the Percent of original box, select the level of detail to include in the summary.
  • Click OK.

This displays an AutoSummarize bar that floats over the page, and which you can adjust as the document is being summarized.

For example, if you increase the percentage of the original document, you will get more detail in the summary.

Alternately, if you want AutoSummarize to replace the current keywords and comments on the Summary tab in the Properties dialog box, select the Update document statistics check box.

The AutoSummarize function is a useful tool for creating document summaries. Needless to say, this is only one step in the editing process and should be used with consideration to its limitations and inherent restrictions.

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