Summarize Long Text Using ChatGPT

Ever in ChatGPT and get an error message that you’ve reached the model’s maximum length? We’ve been there! In this article, you’ll discover how to summarize long text using ChatGPT.

Let’s jump in!

The Error Message

Before tasking ChatGPT with a prompt, it’s helpful to provide background information on what you need it for. Usually, this is information about your company, industry, or products and services. Sometimes, this background information comes from your website, a blog post, or an e-book you wrote about your business. 

Twenty thousand characters is the longest text you can ask ChatGPT to condense. So, let’s say you run into this issue because you pasted too much text and reached ChatGPT’s maximum length.

Screemshot of ChatGPT error message

How do you work around this? Let’s discuss the process of summarizing long text using ChatGPT.

Summarize Long Text Using ChatGPT

Getting Started

You’ll want a couple of tools on hand to summarize long text using ChatGPT: a content optimization solution (like Thruuu) and a word processing tool (like Google Docs or Microsoft Word). 

Below, we’ll explore a solution using Thruuu’s website text extractor and then Google Docs to copy text into ChatGPT in blocks (to avoid the maximum length error message!). 

screenshot of Thruuu website text extractor
  1. Enter the URL of the website you’re extracting text from into Thruuu’s free Website Text Extractor.
  2. Copy the long text into a Google Doc or other word processor (we’ll use Google Docs).
  3. Turn on “word count display while typing” by clicking Tools > Word Count > Checkmark Display word count while typing. 
screenshot of wordcount window in Google Docs
  1. Look at the total character count to establish how many blocks of text you’ll need to use to summarize the full text. For example, “70,000 total characters divided by 20,000 character limit in ChatGPT = 3.5 blocks of text.”
  2. Click the dropdown for the Display Word Count and click for “characters.”
screenshot of wordcount dropdown in Google Docs

Summarize Long Text and Run Original Prompt

  1. Copy and paste 20,000 characters into ChatGPT with the prompt:

“Summarize this text into [insert number] characters, including all key points but removing anything redundant or unnecessary to the primary points.”

Note: The number of characters is determined by dividing 10,000 characters by the number of blocks of text we are pasting into ChatGPT. For example, let’s say we’re copying and pasting 4 blocks of text. Divide 10,000 by 4 to get 2,500 (10,000/4=2500). We would ask ChatGPT to summarize the text into 2,500 characters.

  1. Repeat until ChatGPT summarizes all the text. 
  2. Open a new Google Doc (or other word processor) and paste summaries into the fresh document.
  3. Refresh ChatGPT or Open a new tab with ChatGPT. Paste your summarized text with your original prompt and adjust the settings accordingly. 
  4. Run the prompt, and voila! 

Wrap Up

When you receive the error message from ChatGPT that you’ve reached the maximum limit, summarize the text. First, use a Website Text Extractor like Thruuu to grab all the text on a website. Then, use ChatGPT to summarize 20,000 character blocks at a time. Lastly, use the summarized text to run your original ChatGPT prompt without receiving an error message.

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