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 summarised 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 summarised 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 favourite tools for this purpose.
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 colour-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.
4. 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!
While there are many more summarizing tools available than what we’ve shown above, no others we’ve found offer the simple but handy extra features which raise these above the rest.