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Easily Summarize A Word 2007 Document

This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

When you have a long Word document containing a lot of different information pertaining to the same thing, it can be difficult to create a summary of the document.  AutoSummarize is a feature in Word 2007 that scores the document by giving points to sentences that contain frequently used words.  You can then use the highest scoring sentences to create the summary or use the Auto function.  For this example I created a simple Word document using the =rand() trick.

First we will add the AutoSummary shortcuts to the quick access bar. Click the Office Button \ Customize \ Choose commands from \ All Commands then scroll down and highlight AutoSummary Tools click the Add button.

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Now click the quick access AutoSummarize icon shown below.

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Now that we have the AutoSummarize dialog box open we have different options to choose from.  The Highlight key points will allow you to go through the document and find most commonly used words and phrases so you can conclude your own summary. 

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Using the Executive Summary basically auto generates a summary of the document and places it at the top of the document.  Creating a new document will just take the below summary and place it in a new Word document.

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Finally hiding everything but the summary leaves just the summary in the Word document and omits the rest.  In this example I used only 25% of the document.  You can adjust the length for Word to summarize based upon the length of the document. 

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/1/08

Comments (16)

  1. Mark Schneider

    That was awesome thanks again for making life easier

  2. Miguel

    it dosent work for me i open one of my document and click on my icon and it dosent open andi window. please someone help me.
    does it need to be really long? help please…

  3. jambarama

    I haven’t gotten it to work in Office 2007 either. No matter, at least in Office 2003, it was miserable at what it did. I’m sure there was a lot of grammatical and syntactical logic in it, but it just never really found the key points – at least not with much greater accuracy than you’d expect. If you highlighted 25% of the document, it got maybe 35% or 45% of the important stuff. Better, but not worth using.

  4. pipo

    too bad i didn’t know about this back in college, could’ve saved me a lot of time, ahahaha ^_^

  5. Andrew Gray

    I just found this as I was killing time before writing the executive summary for a 50 page business analysis.

    I am sorry to say, but it does not really work. It did not even really help as a starting point.

    It did not even break the paper up by headings, which is the most logical way.

    I am kinda sad, that it could not knock this out for me,

  6. Matt Gibson

    Mac users can try a similar thing in any application by selecting a block of text, then choosing Services->Summarize from the main application menu (e.g. Safari->Services-Summarize in Safari.) Not quite as featureful, but it’s built right in to OS X and should work with any selectable text anywhere.

  7. docXtools

    I agree with Andrew. Seems the logical starting point would be with styled headings and then autosummarize for each heading. Even taking the first sentence of the following paragraph would be a good start.

  8. s

    thank you this will be great to create clip notes for reports too

  9. Hilaludin Wahid

    Howto use it on Windows 2010??? is there?

  10. Raj K.

    thankls, it was a great help

  11. Josh

    is there a way to do this on Word 2010. im devastated without out

  12. shelly octoganopus

    thanks that helped soooooo much!

  13. Philippe

    Is there a way to select the portions of the document you want to appear in the summary? In other words, is there a way to create a new document which would be a subset of the original one? Thanks for your help.

  14. Mary B

    best summmary and clearest steps to find this option! thank you for being so through and specific, you saved me so much time and frustration!!

  15. Hannah Lee

    how do i use it on 2003?

  16. ana

    how do i use in in word 2010..?? :/ im lost please help

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