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Tool of the Day: tldr.it

There are some online readers who enjoy lengthy, in-depth news stories and those who simply want the facts and move on. If eye-tracking studies are any suggestion, many web users fall in the latter category.

For those who want the gist of a story without all the verbiage, there’s tldr.it, an online service that turns big articles into bite-sized briefs.

To use the service, enter the URL of a website, page, PDF, or RSS feed, and tldr.it will summarize the article and provide just the most important points it contains. For example, take the web address for this New York Times article on encouraging playtime for children. Tldr.it transforms it from a lengthy 1,791 words to this 46-word summary.

“I’m sure there is a good reason why this is good for our kids — our school has good test scores.”

To try to reach more parents, a coalition called Play for Tomorrow this fall staged what amounted to a giant play date in Central Park.

Tldr.it also allows you to select between various lengths — short, medium, and long — if you find the shortened version to be too brief.

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