by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2013)
Word includes a special tool that creates automatic summaries of your documents for you. This tool is called AutoSummarize, appropriately enough. The summary can be any length you specify, and you can save it to a new document, add it to the beginning of your document, or simply highlighted it in place. This feature allows you to quickly create a starting point for an executive summary.
Notice that I said AutoSummarize creates a "starting point." This is because the summary is based on what Word can figure out about your document. This means that there are probably some finishing touches you need to manually put on the summary. As with most other computer-based tools, you should not rely completely on the AutoSummarize tool for your work.
To use the AutoSummarize feature, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The AutoSummarize dialog box.
If you chose to create a summary that simply highlights text in your document, then Word displays a small AutoSummarize dialog box on the screen. You can use this dialog box to adjust the percentage of the original document that Word should include in the highlighted summary. When you are done, you can click on the Close button.
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