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How to add a summary in Google Docs

This is extremely helpful for longer documents.

google docs logo and blurred backgroun
Image: KnowTechie

Sometimes reading GDocs can be a chore, and not everyone has the time or patience to read an endless tower of text when a summary would suffice. That’s why you need to know how to add a summary to a document in Google Docs.

Thankfully, Google makes summarizing your work simple.

If the app’s AI understands the content of a document, it automatically generates a one or two-sentence description. You can, of course, edit the auto-generated summary if needed or write your own from scratch.

Don’t make your readers suffer through every long-winded sentence you expelled onto the page. Let’s discuss how to add a summary to your Google documents.

How to add a summary in Google Docs

google docs logo purple background
Image: KnowTechie

If you need to summarize a long document, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to add a summary to a document in Google Docs:

  1. If the Show document outline button is missing from the left corner of the document, click View and select Show outline. If the Show document outline button is showing, give it a good clickgoogle doc page

  2. Click the Plus (+) or Edit button beside Summarygoogle doc outline screen

  3. Enter a description or edit the AI-generated summary if availablegoogle doc summary complete

Once you add a summary, the outline panel will display automatically when the document opens, so everyone will see the description and breathe a sigh of relief at not having to read the entire text.

Google Docs summaries have several uses

Adding a summary is a great way to present a document’s key point and show the reader what to expect in the main text.

Shorter summaries are ideal for providing a quick preview, and, in some cases, longer descriptions can remove the need to read the main text at all.

Interestingly, Google doesn’t put a character limit on summaries, so you can make them as lengthy as you’d like.

If you’re feeling diabolical, you could write a description longer than the main text and see how much of people’s time you can waste.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Prior to commencing his studies, he worked in tech support and gained valuable insights into technology and its users. His true passion is telling stories, and he hopes to one day write a novel worthy of publication.

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