How to Summarize & Analyze PDF Documents with ChatGPT on Mac

Jun 30, 2024 - 3 Comments

How to analyze a PDF document with ChatGPT

One of the most useful features of the ChatGPT app for Mac is the ability to upload files to ChatGPT to have them summarized and analyzed.

For example, you can upload a PDF file, and ask ChatGPT to give an analysis of the document, or to summarize it, and ask questions specifically related to the document itself. The great thing about this is that the contents of the document don’t matter, ChatGPT will figure that out and analyze it accordingly, whether the PDF is a resume, recipe, cookbook, music tablature or notation, book, guides, document, charts, presentations, or whatever else.

Note: be aware that you are uploading the PDF file to OpenAI for ChatGPT to analyze it, so you likely will not want to use this feature with sensitive documents, information, or any classified or top secret material to you or others.

How to Analyze & Summarize a PDF with ChatGPT

We’re assuming you’re using the native ChatGPT client for Mac, but you can do this through the web too:

  1. Open ChatGPT for Mac, and then click on the paperclip icon next to the text entry box
  2. Select the PDF you wish to upload and have ChatGPT summarize and analyze for you
  3. Type in a request associated with the PDF file, like “analyze this document for me”, or “summarize this document for me”, and then hit return
  4. Soon, ChatGPT will analyze the document, telling you what it appears to be, and what it includes, and offering to provide more specific information about aspects or sections of the document
  5. Continue your queries to ChatGPT to analyze the document further, with commands like the following examples:
    • How many pages is the document?
    • What are the main points in this document?
    • Rewrite the document in simpler terms

    • Summarize the document simply so that a 10 year old could understand it easily

You can ask ChatGPT a broad range of questions or to perform whatever analysis you’d like on the PDF file that you upload, making it a very useful tool to include in your workflow.

If you use the free version of ChatGPT, as many of us do, you’ll be a bit more limited in how many times you can interact with ChatGPT and the document with GPT 4o, but paid users can continue chats with attachments and documents for longer. Otherwise, you simply have to wait a day to be able to continue for free with GPT 4o analysis.

In the example provided, I uploaded a guitar tablature PDF, which it correctly identified, as well as the song and information about the notation, and upon request gave me additional information about the PDF. Pretty neat, right?

The next time someone sends you a lengthy PDF file that you don’t have the time to read, consider using ChatGPT to offer a summary, or to interact with the document through ChatGPT to save you time and effort.

We have many more articles on ChatGPT if you’re interested in the artificial intelligence tool, it is quite powerful and easy to use.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks


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  1. expobil says:

    Cool, i have personal love letters on my MBP ’12 from an old flame of mine named Taylor Swifters before she became the largest multinational corporation by revenue, i just wonder if that would be her soft cotton lipped voice?

  2. GymW says:

    Would have been nice if Apple was not so preditory by excluding older but MacOS and still covered by AppleCare machine that have Intel processors. My MacPro 7.1 Desktop that is still under AppleCare, now two and a half years old, that I paid $8000 for with GPU and drive upgrades, will not run it, and most of Sonora’s new features will not be compatible either. My only option so far is to buy a new machine.

    The same exact machine I have now, but having a motherboard with Apple Silicon processor without the additions I added, is now $8000 as a base price.

    • JSTC says:

      It is OpenAI’s decision to make ChatGPT for Apple Silicon only, not Apple’s. But Apple made the decision to only include Apple Silicon Mac’s to support the new AI features in MacOS Sequoia.

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