Synopsis does not summarize, it copies

I tried the Document --> Auto-Generate Synopsis tool to see how it would deal with a text selection in a document. All it did was to copy the whole thing to the Index card. That is not a synopsis, that is a copy-paste. A synopsis is a summary of the contents of the document and that is not happening. Am I expecting too much?
I acknowledge that this is an exercise in laziness; I should make my own summaries, but one can hope.

Yeah, I think you’re wanting too much from a piece of writing software. It doesn’t have a built in artificial intelligence, able to discern any given writer’s main points in various types of writing (science journalism, epic poetry, buddy cop movie screenplay, erotic novel…). All it can do automatically is copy text that you have selected, or just the first part of each document when you use the feature on multiple selections in the binder. It’s up to you to distill the central idea/conflict down to a sentence or two.

There are a couple of programs that’ll do that, but it looks like they’re all Windows or linux. My quick search didn’t turn up any similar Mac apps.

Edit: oh cool, apparently it’s built into OS X - I"ll have to try that sometime. … t-for-you/ … summarize/

splutters Whaaaa? How? Who? Huh?

I tried the built-in tool on the original post. It appears to be picking out the most likely “topic” sentence. It must be using the grammar checker code to eliminate sentences based on some criteria, until you’re down to the most likely sentence/paragraph to represent the piece. Interesting.

Actually, as some users have pointed out, there are already some tools to auto-summarize, and they can do a pretty good job.

“Expecting too much”, IMHO, is to dream of a killer app that does exactly the opposite: give the tool a synopsis and get as output your perfectly written whole scene. :mrgreen:

Now, that is amazing. Here I was putting in a comment reflecting my own laziness, and someone has come along and reinforced my laziness by telling me how to get a summary without too much work. I tried it (using OS Services/Summarize) and it is not too bad at all.

Many thanks.

Auto-Generate Synopsis doesn’t copy all of the text across - it copies either the first few sentences or whatever is selected in the editor.

Actually, it seems more complicated than that (as reported here) :frowning:

On Mac, I’ve noticed that auto-generate with no text selected on the editor copies exactly the first 500 characters. On Windows, OTOH, it copies about 20 words or about 120 characters only. In neither case it seems to consider a sentence structure to stablish the cut-point.

Yes, it’s 500 characters on the Mac. That’s something the Windows team will need to bring into line at some point.

But why confine yourself to a scene? As well (and reasonable) to ask for a tool which will compose the entire work — play, novel, self-help manual, you name it.

And really, is it so much harder to elaborate on a well-crafted synopsis than it is to develop that synopsis from a well-crafted longer work? I envision a time — by which I hope to have left this vale — when all that will be needed to construct a popular novel will be half a dozen suggestive character names and a few choice verbs. Well, may a couple adjectives.

Though, now I consider some of the better-selling works currently out there, such a tool may already be available.


For that you’ll have to wait for Scrivener 4.0 :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: