How to add a document summary in Google Docs

Summarizing your document can be helpful to your readers. You can give a brief overview and call out important points. You don’t have to include it in your content because you can add a document summary in Google Docs.

The document summary feature was introduced in early 2022 for Google Docs on the web. It is associated with the outline that you can create using headings in your document. But the good thing is that you can use the summary alone if you prefer.

Insert document summary in Google Docs

Go to Google Docs, sign in and open your document. You should have the document outline icon at the top left, outside the margin of your document.

If you don’t see it, select View > Show Document Outline to show it.

Show document outline in menu

Click on the document outline icon and you have a place at the top for the summary. On the right, click the plus sign. A text box appears for you to enter your summary.

Open summary with plus sign

When you’ve finished typing your summary, press Enter or Return to save it. You will see a brief message at the bottom of the screen indicating that your summary has been saved.

Summary of recorded message

Although you cannot format the text inside the summary box, you can add line space if you wish. At the end of the line, hold down the Shift key and press Enter or Return.

Line breaks in the summary

To edit the summary at any time, hover your cursor over it and click the Edit Summary (pencil) icon. In edit mode, the summary area is bounded in blue.

To delete the summary, click the Edit Summary icon, delete all text from the box, and press Enter or Return to save it.

You can save space in your Google Doc by including its summary in this handy place. If you also use the outline, this is a good introduction to your document.

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