We are in a constant state of information overload and trying to keep up with all the articles and blog posts you want to read online is impossible. If you’re a Mac user, you might want to speed through some reading using a hidden OS feature: Summarize.
How to Turn On Summarize
The feature isn’t turned on by default on Mac computers. To turn it on, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. Scroll down to Text. If it’s not expanded, click the arrow to expand the section and scroll down to Summarize and make sure the option is checked.
You can also add a keyboard shortcut by clicking on the selection and clicking Add shortcut.
How to Use Summarize
In your browser of choice, go to the page you want to summarize and select the text using your mouse. (If a page is particularly cluttered, you can either save it to Pocket for a clean version or use a Chrome extension that allows for clean printing , making it easier to select the text.)
You can then either use the keyboard shortcut you created or click on the name of the program you’re using in the menu and go to Services > Summarize.
A window will pop up with the text summarized. You can adjust how much text appears in the summary using the slider under the text from 1% to 100%. You can also choose to summarize text sentence-by-sentence or paragraph-by-paragraph:
You can only expect so much from automated summaries, and this option is no exception. Depending on the article, you might want to see if sentence or paragraph summaries give you better results. The feature is also best used with articles in narrative form rather than listicles or otherwise.
If you’re satisfied with your summary, you can save it as a text document or copy and paste it into another program. Mac’s summarize feature should work with any app where you can select text.
What tips or tricks do you have for summarizing text online? Let us know in the comments.