Summarize Your Stories

When laying out a long story in a newsletter or magazine, it’s often helpful to summarize a story, or a section of a story in a pull-quote or abstract. But how to find the best quote when you’re on a deadline and need it fast? Fortunately, Mac OS X offers a great tool that almost no one knows about: Summary Service.

To find this utility, select some text in Adobe InDesign or some other program that supports this Mac OS X Service (such as TextEdit) and choose Summarize from Services under the Application menu. You can adjust how long you want your summary (in number of sentences or paragraphs) in the Summary dialog box. Drag the Summary Size slider to the left to get a more focused summary; for a pull-quote a one- or two-sentence summary is best.

You wouldn’t expect a computer to be able to analyze some text and provide a good summary but Summary Service is surprisingly good. Try it!