Using Executive Summaries

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2016)

2

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, you first need to add it to your Quick Access toolbar. You can make the tool available by following these steps:

  1. Click the Office button and choose Word Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  2. Click Customize at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose Commands Not In the Ribbon. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Customize area of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. In the list of available commands, locate and select AutoSummary Tools.
  6. Click the Add button. The command is copied to the right side of the dialog box.
  7. Click OK to close the dialog box.

The AutoSummary tool now appears on the Quick Access toolbar. You can utilize this tool to provide a summary by following these steps:

  1. Load and display the document you want to summarize.
  2. Click the AutoSummary tool on the Quick Access toolbar. Word displays a submenu.
  3. Choose Auto Summarize from the submenu. Word performs an analysis of the document and displays the AutoSummarize dialog box.
  4. In the Type of Summary area, specify which of the four summary types you want to create.
  5. In the Length of Summary area, indicate by using the Percent of Original drop-down list exactly how long you want the summary to be.
  6. Click on the OK button. Word creates the summary, as you directed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5996) applies to Microsoft Word 2007.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Specifying Colors in a Chart

Microsoft Chart is a handy program that allows you to display numbers and charts without the need for Excel. If you need ...

Discover More

Changing the Shortcut Menu

If you want to change the Context menus used in Excel, on purpose, here's how to go about it. Just create a macro and ...

Discover More

Making Draft View the Default View

Word normally uses Print Layout view to display your documents. You may want, instead, to always use Draft view. Here's ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Creating a Master Document Using Existing Subdocuments

If you decide to create a master document, it is easy to do by just adding one or more subdocuments to an existing ...

Discover More

Looking Up Antonyms

Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. The grammar tools available in Word can suggest antonyms for some words. ...

Discover More

Displaying the Document Map

One of the viewing modes you can use for a document involves the use of the Document Map. This shows a quick outline of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 0 + 2?

2019-03-10 11:17:00

Allen

Thanks for the eagle eye, Gerald. I've updated that typo.

-Allen


2019-03-09 14:46:31

Gerald Feldman

In the fourth paragraph of your tip titled "Reducing Leading without Cutting Off Text " you said, "Obviously, there will be "whitespace" inside each character's box, as the stroke of each character doesn't fill the entire rectangular box. You can use software to adjust the horizontal spacing of the characters; this spacing is called kerning. You can also use software to adjust the inter-line spacing of the characters; this is called leading. (In Word, Microsoft chose to refer to this as line spacing instead of kerning.)"

Shouldn't the last word of this paragraph be "leading"?

Gerald Feldman


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.