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How to Use the Summarize Service for Articles and Web Pages on a Mac

Summary Service for Mac icon

These days there’s an ever-increasing amount of content you can read online. In fact, no one could read it all. One thing that could be useful is the Mac’s ability to summarize documents.

The macOS has a Summarize Service that provides you with the gist of an article or web page. And it’s customizable. You can pick paragraphs or sentences, and adjust the length of the summary. The length can range from a simple outline to a CliffsNotes-like version (you remember CliffsNotes from high school, right?) of selected text.

To use the Summarize Service, you have to enable it.

Here’s how:

  • Open the “System Preferences” from the  Apple menu and go to “Keyboard.”
  • Choose the “Shortcuts” tab.
  • Click “Services.”
  • Scroll down until you find “Summarize” and enable the checkbox.
enable summarize in keyboard shortcut services
Summarize is enabled and ready for use!

How to View the Summary

  • Choose the text you wish to summarize. If you want to summarize an entire document or web page, hit Command + A.
  • Right-click (control-click, that is) the text
  • Go to the Services menu.
  • Choose Summarize.

You’ll be given the option for Sentences or Paragraphs. Sentences sees individual statements selected and the rest of the paragraph is ignored. Paragraphs makes the Summarize feature eliminate text on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. I find the Paragraph version preferable.

A slider bar will enable you to choose the summary size you wish. Moving the slider to the left side of the scale will make the summary shorter, with it using fewer sections of text while moving to the right retains more of it.

Example summary service window

You can choose to save summaries or discard them when you’re done.

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Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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