The previous section described the operation of the protocol within a single area. For intra-area routing, no other routing information is pertinent. In order to be able to route to destinations outside of the area, the area border routers inject additional routing information into the area. This additional information is a distillation of the rest of the Autonomous System's topology.
This distillation is accomplished as follows: Each area border router is by definition connected to the backbone. Each area border router summarizes the topology of its attached areas for transmission on the backbone, and hence to all other area border routers. An area border router then has complete topological information concerning the backbone, and the area summaries from each of the other area border routers. From this information, the router calculates paths to all destinations not contained in its attached areas. The router then advertises these paths into its attached areas. This enables the area's internal routers to pick the best exit router when forwarding traffic to destinations in other areas.