At times, an attractive title leads one to a long article with little to spark one’s interest. It would be helpful if we could just read the salient points or highlights of the article, and then decide whether to read the rest or not. Skimzee is an online service that is designed exactly to do that for you. It lets you search, summarize and read articles off of Twitter, major news websites and Wikipedia. It provides a slider that can be used to define the length, or rather, the detail of a summarized article. If you read a summary and find it interesting, just move the slider to the extreme right to show the complete article.
So, let’s see how Skimzee works. Start with searching for the title you want to read an article about using the search bar on the top-right corner of the website. Search results will be shown in the result list, which is on the right side of the website. Search results are collected from Twitter, major news websites, YouTube and Wikipedia. Above these, you’ll find the current Twitter trends in your region, Twitter tag and user suggestions related to your search query, the option to view trending articles only and check boxes that allow you to view Tweets with photos, links or both.
Click any of the searched results, and it will show you a context menu containing the options to summarize the article, summarize and search (this summarizes the article and searches for related content) and go to page (takes you to original source of the article). On selecting summarize or summarize and search, it will open the article in the article reading panel on the left side of the website. You’ll find the aforementioned length-control slider above the summarized article. Move the slider to the left to decrease length and to the right to increase it. An alternative to the go to page option is to click the link below the summarized article’s title. As mentioned earlier, you may also move the slider to the extreme right to view the complete article, minus any images, of course.
Skimzee also has an extension for Google Chrome that lets you summarize articles from any website. Let’s say you are on a website, reading an article of more than 1000 words, and you want to summarize it for ease of reading, all you need to do is click the Skimzee icon in the omnibar. As soon as you click the extension’s icon, it will take you to Skimzee’s website, displaying the summarized version of the article in the article reading panel.
All in all, a simple but handy tool for avid readers. If you often find you have a lot to read about, but not much time to read it, you should take Skimzee for a spin.