A Comprehensive Review on How to Summarize PDF with ChatGPT Models

Gone are the days when people read lengthy books to comprehend their main themes and present them wherever needed. Now, it is an era of AI-powered tools, which quickly analyze and summarize lengthy PDF documents to save manual efforts. Among such AI capabilities are different GPT models that can summarize PDF using GPT-3.5, GPT-4, and GPT-4o.

They are all trained with a wide variety of datasets and capable of generating human-like text summaries. If you wish to explore anything related to PDF summarization, you are in the right place. This guide will help you find how to summarize PDF with ChatGPT, some of their limitations, and alternatives to expand your knowledge.


Part 1. Using GPT-3.5 for Summarizing PDF

GPT-3.5 is a language model developed by OpenAI that is designed to understand and generate human-like text-based responses. It can summarize lengthy texts and extract key points, but it comes with certain limitations, such as not letting you upload PDFs and forcing you to paste text for summaries. Yet, one can utilize the given steps and summarize PDF using GPT-3.5 to automate their learning experiences:

Instructions. Open your PDF document, copy all its text, and move toward GPT-3.5 in your system. Browse and access GPT-3.5 on your web browser to paste the text and give a command in the text box. Upon writing the prompt “Summarize the Text/article,” hit the “Enter” key from your keyboard and witness AI generating results.



using gpt 3.5 for summarization

Part 2. Using GPT-4 for Summarizing PDFs

After the launch and success of GPT-3.5, OpenAI didn’t stop paying attention to it and updated the model with the introduction of GPT-4. In that model, significant improvements in language understanding of your provided text can be seen in your ability to effectively handle your technical and complex documents.

However, this model is limited to paid users, and you must buy a monthly subscription to access its features. To uncover its operation, you must delve into the following instructions to summarize PDFs using GPT-4.

Step 1. To begin, head to your paid version of GPT-4 on your system’s web browser. There, tap the “Plus/Attach” icon on the left of the text bar for further processing.

Step 2. Search and upload the file you want to summarize with the help of the “Open” button. Finally, write the text prompt asking for a summarization of the file and hit the “Enter” key to achieve results.

Part 3. Using GPT-4o for Summarizing PDFs 

With further improvements in GPT-4, the updated GPT-4o model is available, optimized for faster processing of lengthy texts. It is more reliable than previous models because it can better understand context, idiomatic expressions, and nuances in the text, leading to precise summaries.

If you are using ChatGPT for free, you can access restricted features of GPT-4o, as it requires you to pay for unlimited ones. Anyhow, let us show you how to summarize PDF with ChatGPT through the below-demonstrated steps:

Step 1. Access GPT-4o on your system and click the “Attach” icon on the left side of the text bar. Following that, a list will appear for you to choose from the “Upload from computer” option and search for the document you wish to summarize.


upload file to gpt 4o

Step 2. After finding the file, hit the “Open” button to upload it and type your prompt in the text bar. Once you have asked for PDF summarization, you can press the “Upward Arrow” icon on the text bar to get a spontaneous and better response than previous models.


summarize pdf on gpt 4o

Part 4. Limitations of GPT Models in PDF Summarization

As AI-powered tools and GPT models are new concepts, they continue advancements and might have certain limitations that are essential to understand. Knowing those limitations will help you set realistic expectations regarding performance and identify appropriate use cases. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with the GPT models’ limitations prior to summarizing PDF using GPT-4o or any other version:

Limitations of GPT-3.5

  1. Unlike other search engines, GPT-3.5 can’t access the latest information after September 2021, which might lead to false or outdated results.
  2. In the GPT-3.5 model, users cannot upload their PDF documents to obtain their summaries like they can in the latest models.
  3. It cannot handle technical jargon, metaphors, and cultural nuances in the text, which can lead to inaccurate interpretations of document summaries.

Limitations of GPT-4

  1. GPT-4 has a maximum token limit, which means it can’t process information beyond the number of tokens and requires you to shift to the ChatGPT Plus version.
  2. While it is better at handling logical tasks than its predecessors, it has certain limitations in complex reasoning.
  3. If your prompts are unclear, this model will struggle to respond or may show undesired responses due to the unavailability of deep contextual understanding.  

Limitations of GPT-4o  

  1. In GPT-4o, audio modalities present a variety of novel tasks but show several limitations that are still under examination.
  2. Notably, GPT-4 Turbo seems to outperform GPT-4o in various terms, creating a surge to significantly improve the model.  
  3. The free version of ChatGPT limits users to using the GPT-4o model, allowing users to attain a restricted number of responses.

Part 5. How to Use Afirstsoft PDF for PDF Summarization

Due to the limitations of GPT models, you cannot deduce that AI capabilities always have drawbacks as there is no reliable forum. Notably, the Afirstsoft PDF has an AI PDF summarization tool that can generate accurate, reliable, and contextually aware summaries without limitations. All you need to do is upload your document in the Afirstsoft PDF summarization, and the rest will be performed automatically through an intelligent AI model.

What’s more, this software doesn’t just offer AI summarization; users can try its Q&A or AI chat feature, which will help them learn complex concepts from a summary. Overall, it’s a complete suite of PDF tools that are designed to elevate your PDF handling experiences and productivity. If it seems interesting to you, look into the features and benefits listed below of this exclusive PDF editor powered by AI.

Key Features of the Afirstsoft PDF: Beyond Summarization

  1. It provides underline, highlight, strikethrough, stickers, logos, and textbox functions to annotate text, making your notes look appealing, clean, and engaging.  
  2. Afirstsoft PDF provides a proofread manuscript feature with AI support that automatically checks your files’ punctuation, grammar, and typesetting errors.
  3. Another AI ability it supports is document translation, which makes information accessible to all readers across the globe and eliminates language barriers.
  4. Last but not least, you can use AI of this software to rewrite the existing content so you can achieve an article written in your desired tone.   

Advantages of the Afirstsoft PDF Over Other Tools   

  1. Afirstsoft PDF is the bestAI tool for PDF summarization and facilitates a comprehensive set of editing tools for PDF editing.
  2. It has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, which makes it accessible to people with any skill level.
  3. Reviewing and collaborating on documents becomes easier with this software’s cloud collaboration ability.
  4. If you have a bulk of files requiring the same operations to be performed, you can try batch processing of this software and save time.
  5. Regardless of your devices, you can handle PDF-related tasks with Afirstsoft PDF, which is available on Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android.

How to Summarize Documents Through the Afirstsoft PDF Summarization

Although this software has the simplest operations and user-friendly interface for summarizing PDF documents, knowing stepwise instructions proves fruitful. Therefore, the following is a guide on Afirstsoft PDF summarization so you can precisely know how to get the maximum out of this feature:

Step 1. Access the User-Friendly Interface of Afirstsoft PDF and Open a PDF

Go to the official Afirstsoft PDF site and download the newest version of this software. Launch it, enter its user-friendly interface, and quickly navigate to the “Open” icon on the left. Press that icon and locate the PDF file in your system for summarization to import via the “Open” button.     


open pdf on afirstsoft pdf

Step 2. Use the Afirstsoft AI and Start Getting a Summary of the PDF

Next to importing the PDF, head to the “Afirstsoft AI” option at the right side of the top bar. Click on it to get a preview of the Afirstsoft AI panel on the right side, and hit the “Start” button to attain an instant summary.


lead to afirstsoft ai and summarize

Part 6. Other PDF Summarization Tools

If you haven’t decided and wish to know more about software supporting AI PDF summarization, you can review this section. Here, the best AI tools for PDF summarization are enlisted after deep research to provide reliable options over your web browser:

1. NoteGPT

Let’s begin with the NoteGPT online AI PDF summarizer, which converts PDFs into text and transforms them into concise summaries or mind maps. This software allows you to interact with AI and ask questions through AI chat. Users can even translate their documents on this platform and avail themselves of PDF summaries by pasting an online URL link.  


notegpt pdf ai summarization

2. Smallpdf

Another good AI PDF summarizer is Smallpdf, which is equipped with TLS encryption for secure file processing when you have a sensitive PDF to obtain a summary. After getting a summary of the PDF, users can ask questions from AI related to their document and further clarify their concepts. Apart from AI summary, it offers AI chat and translation features that let you copy the output and paste it wherever required.


smallpdf pdf ai summarization

3. IntelliPPT

If you are a researcher or any other professional who is deeply interested in reading lengthy articles regularly, this tool is designed for you. Through it, you can attain summaries of research reports, articles, technical papers, and professional emails by selecting your desired summary size. Furthermore, it provides a PDF highlighting feature that highlights key points in your uploaded PDF.  


intellippt pdf ai summarization

Which AI PDF Summarization Software is The Best One?

Human minds cannot digest technical data simultaneously, which leads to the need to create a comparison table. Tables are visuals that effectively display data and make it easy to comprehend even at one glance. So, let’s see the table below comparing the Afirstsoft PDF summarization with other online tools from various aspects.


Afirstsoft PDF






Pro: $12/month

Team: $10/month

Premium: $5/month

Basic: $6.99/month

Unlimited: $69.99/month

Pro: $19.99/month

Free Version Limitations


Limited AI responses

3000-character summarization, 10 AI summaries, file upload up to 1 MB

Limited AI responses

Other AI Features

PDF translation, proofreading, AI Chat, content writing

AI translation and chat

Chat with text

AI translation, PDF to Mind map

Quality of Responses










Ease of Use






FAQs on AI PDF Summarization

  1. What advancements can we expect in future AI PDF summarization technology?

In the future, you can expect several exciting advancements in AI PDF summarization technology, such as audio/voice and cross-language summarization. Moreover, there might be more customization options, such as focusing on themes, keywords, and particular sections. Probably, AI models might improve their images, tables, and multimedia content handling in summarization.

  1. Which is the most reliable and error-free AI PDF summarization software available today?

Afirstsoft PDF is the most reliable and error-free software for generating summaries with AI. Its speed and security are hidden factors that make it a demanding PDF summarization software. Besides, it is a preferred forum for handling PDFs by reading, organizing, annotating, and using AI features—everything in one place.

  1. How do GPT models work for crafting PDF summaries?

GPT, Generative Pre-trained Transformer models use deep learning and natural language processing to comprehend the content of PDF. It involves a pre-training phase, fine-tuning phase, PDF pre-processing, summarization process, and optimization techniques in the process.  


To sum up, this article highlights how to summarize PDF with ChatGPT models and their limitations to make you aware of the potential errors. Besides, you have found other online AI tools that are an alternative to those ChatGPT models. If you cannot decide which is the best one, you are advised to pick the Afirstsoft PDF, which has various AI tools beyond AI PDF summarization.

Emily Davis


Emily Davis is one of the staff editors of Afirstsoft PDF Editor team. She is a dedicated staff editor with a keen eye for detail and a passion for refining content.

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