Look, we get it. We’re all busy people with a lot of things to do and web pages to read. Quite often, you’re reading to gather information rather than for the joy of reading (Though don’t forget to do that, too) and just want all the details summarized for you in several sentences. That’s why online summarizer tools exist.
Using these nifty online tools, you can copy-paste text or URLs into a box, set your parameters for just how heavily summarized you want it to be, then click a big button to get the low-down on a given article in just a few sentences. Here are our favorite tools for this purpose.
Unlike the other options in this list, when SkimCast generates its summaries it keeps the original text intact, and simply highlights the key information from the text that you need to read to get the gist of it. That way, you can always read between the highlights if you want to glean extra bits of info here and there.
SkimCast doesn’t let you copy-paste blocks of text like the other sites, and instead gets you to paste the URL of the page you want to summarize. If you want to summarize your own documents, you’ll need to upload a PDF.
You can choose a percentage of the original text to skim the summary down to, and specify which pages you want to summarize if it’s a multi-page PDF.
One of the more recent summarizer tools out there, IntelliPPT lets you upload PDFs and Word documents, as well as copy-and-paste text into a box, then summarizes it for you in seconds.
It’s pretty simple as summarizers go, with one of the standout features being the option to choose how long you want the summary to be by a percentage of the original text. It’s pretty smart as summarizers go, and will do the job if you’re not looking for fancy extra features.
The free version lets you input text of up to 3000 characters, and has a 1Mb file size limit, while for $3 a month you can have up to 10,000 characters summarized as well as 5MB file sizes.
With its fuscia tones, Smmry has the branding style of a naughty site from the late 90s, but don’t be fooled, as it’s actually a great text summarization tool. Smmry lets you paste URLs or enter text directly but has the extra edge of letting you upload files from your hard drive, too.
It comes with all manner of little extra settings, including a “Heat Map” which color-codes sentences by their importance, as well as options to skip over questions, exclamations and quotations.
Obviously, what it deems “important” won’t always be what you deem important, so bear that in mind.
If you want something a little more hands-on for your article summaries, then you can give Tools4noobs a try. You can input text directly or by pasting a URL, but it also has quite a few more intricate options that really let you specify the kind of summary you’re after.
You can pick a “threshold” from 1 to 100, for example, which trims the summary based on “relevant” words it finds (or you can adjust the number of lines it displays).
You can also get it to highlight sentences by their relevance and keywords, as well as enlarging the most common words in the article.
TextSummarization keeps things nice and simple for anyone to use. Unlike some of the other summarization tools, it actually lets you copy-paste the URL of an online article into it and will scan the page and convert the article into however many sentences you choose.
The URL tool doesn’t always grab the text successfully, but the very fact that it’s there and works well for the most part gives this tool the nod over others.
6. Free Summarizer
Free Summarizer has been around for years, and the fact that it hasn’t really evolved in that time suggests that it does the basics very well. You need to paste text into this one manually, then just set the number of sentences you want it condensed to and hit the button. From our testing, it delivers nice and informative summaries, which makes up for its lack of features.
As a bonus, the website also has a proofreading tool!
Want a screenshot of your summaries? Then see our guide on capturing a scrolling screenshot in Windows 10. Also check out our guide on downloading Twitter videos.