Although many film and television producers still accept scripts written in Word and other word processors, this does not mean that it is the ideal medium for this type of project. So, Let’s review the best scriptwriting programs here.
With the right Word template, this word processor can be used, especially since it is the one you are most used to. However, correcting, taking notes, moving sequences and many more actions will waste your time.
To make the screenwriter’s task much simpler, it is recommended to use dedicated software. The great advantage of these is that they are widely known and spread among professional circles.
Therefore, a script project can be easily shared, corrected and analyzed by producers, directors and other personnel from the audiovisual world.
The price range varies a lot, from really expensive to totally free, as well as the possibilities they offer.
What is Screenwriting Software?
Screenwriting software is an extension of the advanced word processor and this software ensures that your screenplays will be according to your industry standards.
Basically screenwriting software helps you to perform different things including editing, composition, the printing of scripts, formatting and many more.
Screenwriting software helps you to fulfil the difficult formatting guidelines of your industry other than this it is used for study, keep back up of important documents, correct grammar and language mistakes.
However, screenwriting software ends the need for manual formatting of scripts for the high-level industries. Just with the keyboard shortcuts, you have the opportunity to add scene heading, dialogue, sluglines, characters names and many more actions.
List Of Best screenwriting software
1. Final Draft
This script software, Final Draft, was created by Ben Cahan and Marc Madnick in 1991 for would-be screenwriters who were making a mess of the format, especially when Hollywood got too strict on this issue.
And they have managed to ensure that many screenwriting contests and producers, especially in the United States, now do not accept scripts that have not been written with Final Draft script writing software.
Aaron Sorkin, James Cameron, Sofia Coppola and JJ Abrams are just some of the brilliant writers who use Final Draft to write. It is the application most used by the largest film and television studios.
- Using Final Draft you don’t have to repeat the characters or the headings a thousand times, it will automatically layout the script for you
- A character on one page and a dialogue on another will not be lost
- It can also be used to write documents such as stageplays, outlines, treatments, novels, graphic novels, manuscripts, and query letters.
- Amazing tool for both crafting the story and writing scenes
- Too many view options are present
- For screenwriters, it is well-tailored
- Provides too many templates
- The collaborative is restricted to only one person
Nowadays final draft screenwriting software is on sale and you have to pay $199.99 as a digital download. Other than the final draft free trial for 30 days is present to check this software. If you are going to buy this for educational purpose then you can get it for just $99.99
Trelby is a free script writing software, Celtx-style. It is quite effective although it is not as complete as Final Draft, of course. For example, it has no keyboard shortcuts and is a simple, yet powerful, and comprehensive program for writing movie scripts.
The good thing is it is free so if you do not want to invest at the moment, it is one of the best options.
- Script editor: Apply standard script format, number the page and correct spelling
- Trelby script writing software is compatible with Multi-platform
- Import and export script in every format.
- System requirements to run this software is minimal
- Built-in screenplay editor
- It doesn’t provide the bold, italic and underline option
Finally, The good news for you is the Trelby screenwriting software free totally because it is an open-source software tool and its code is available on GitHub.
If you want to write scripts, this application can help you, but it is not the most professional option. However, it has the advantage of being free.
Celtx allows design plays, comic books, script breakdowns and production calendars, in addition to creating storyboards.
However, not many serious screenwriters write a masterpiece directly on a mobile device, and many more prefer to sit in front of the computer.
- Script breaks and production schedules can be made.
- A storyboard can also be created.
- You have the possibility to include photos, videos or audios in your scripts.
- It is available in 19 languages.
- Comes with too many features
- The pricing packages of this software is affordable
- Some basic options are free
- Best software for big organizations
- The layout of the working page is basic
- Lack of page breaks
It comes in three pricing plans all are given below.
First one is a scriptwriting plan for this; you have to pay $20 per month. The second one is video production plan and the price of this plan is $30 per month. The last plan is a game production and the price of this plan is $30per month. You have the opportunity to buy annually.
4. Writer Duet
With basic functionalities to write a script with the required format, this program is committed to collaborative writing, although it can be used alone to write your work.
Thus, its advantage is the possibility of working in the cloud, so that other writers can jointly write the script. It is also the best script writing software online.
Writer Duet supports many formats, including Final Draft, Celtx and also pdf. It has change tracking and revision comparison, each saved with the author of the same.
- Professional format
- You can work and save everything in the cloud.
- You can co-write with other or other writers,
- Writerduet screenwriting software is compatible with many other formats, you can even import a pdf and work on it.
- It supports real-time collaboration
- The balanced interface is present
- It comes with the screenplay auto formation
- The subscription fee is high
- Absence of support team
- Not many templates are included
First, you get the free three scripts but after this, you have to upgrade the subscription. The first one is the pro plan for this you have to pay $11.99 per month.
If you are going to buy this plan annually then you get a discount and the final price is $79 per month. Moreover, If you are going to buy the second plan then you have to make a one-time payment of $199.
5. Kit Scenarist
KIT Scenarist is open source software created by Russian Dimka Novikov that has all the basics for writing a literary script. You will write it in a professional format and you can export to PDF. And besides, you can also import files from Final Draft.
The good thing is that it has a download version in different languages. Basically it started as a crowdfunding campaign and is going from strength to strength if it has its little things to improve, after all, for now, it is free.
- The user interface is very simple
- Dark and light theme is present
- Smart switch is present between the blocks
- It works offline
- It is free
- Provide different tools for writing
- This software is present in different languages
- Online collaboration needs a subscription
Kit Scenarist is the other free screenwriting software present on the internet. But the main thing is that if you want to use cloud service then you have to buy a subscription after a 30 days script writing software free trial.
This software is made for writers but it is not exactly a specialized scriptwriting program, it does have a template that allows us to format them. But you don’t have the script management tools.
The advantages it has are the same as if you use it to write novels, in which this software takes the win.
However, it is a valid option if you decide to create a literary version of the script to find out who will accept your project, and you don’t have to worry about the production version yet.
- Very to see the structure
- You have the opportunity to color code your document
- Autosave option is available to protect your hard work
- This software keeps everything in one place
- With the help of virtual corkboard visualize your outlines
- Very easy to use different templates
- Manually enable the grammar and spelling checks
- Sometimes it freezes
The pricing of this screenwriting software depends on the platform. If you are using the Mac and Windows version then you will have to pay $45 and if you are using iOS version then the price is $19.99. Other than this you have an opportunity to get some student discount.
7. FADE IN
With a few years on the market, this software is a smart and cheap answer to Final Draft. FadeIn is very complete and with it, you can insert images in the script or get breakdowns and reports of the elements of the script. It works for Mac, Windows and Linux.
Fade In generates reports and production breakdowns that include scenes, cast, locations and more. The functionalities with respect to the Final Draft are similar, with a simple and intuitive interface, and although it does not have them incorporated.
- The interface is fully featured
- It provides you with the autocomplete typing suggestions
- Comes with the image support
- Fade In software supports multiple formats
- Affordable screenwriting software
- The free version is also present
- For the cloud support, you have to use the drop box
The best thing is you can use this software free for a limited time. But after this time you have to buy it and pay a one-time fee of $79.95 and we all know that it is a reasonable price for everyone.
8. Movie Magic Screenwriter
Movie Magic Screenwriter has the distinction of being very easy to understand the software and has practically the same characteristics as the first one. Its main feature is its free technical support.
It has more than 100 templates for writing scripts, brainstorming system, production reports for (cinema, television and animation), creator of sequences and acts, and also export reports for the other Movie Magic software.
An option also highly recommended at an affordable price, compared to the previous one.
- It is very powerful and at the same time very easy to use.
- It is very intuitive
- Has a shortcut for Characters, Dialogue, Action
- And you have plenty of inspiring options for brainstorming and post
- Production documents, for animation, cinema, series…
- Exports for other brand products also widely used such as Budgeting
- It has very similar characteristics to Final Draft
- It has free technical support
- Offers too many templates
- Comes with the built-in collaboration
- It is the most expensive screenwriting software
It has multiple pricing plans its 6th version price is $169 and if you are going to buy the upgraded especially for the Windows and Mac then you have to pay $89.95.
But if you are only a Mac user then the price for 6.5 upgraded version is $69.95, all these plans have three activation options for every purchase.
Other than this the academic version of this screenwriting software has two activation per purchase and for this you have to pay $99.95.
9. Highland 2
Created by screenwriter and novelist John August, Highland 2 is built by screenwriters, for screenwriters. It is a free desktop application for Mac but it has many “in-app” purchases for special tools and formats.
In the browser, you can see an overview of what you have written and what remains to write. It has 10 PDF templates that include script, multiple camera, and manuscript. And a review mode to see the changes in different colors, with stars in the margin.
- It comes with the ability to turn your scripts into PDFs
- It provides you the drag and drop navigation
- Highlighting dialogues feature is also present
- It is very fast
- It provides you the dark mode
- Created by the screenwriters
- Very hard to create tittle page in Highland 2
The Highland 2 screenwriting software comes with the free version and in this free version, you will get some basic features. But if you want to use the advanced feature then you have to buy the paid version for $49.99.
10. Page 2 Stage
This software was released in 2014 and it is one of the best screenwriting software in this list. It covers the whole world audience and it comes in 30 different languages.
In beginning, it was a commercial product but now Page 2 Stage is free software. It is designed to cater to people writing plays, scripts and screenplays.
The notable thing is that it is an open-source software tool and the best option for individuals, small companies, and many more. Moreover, you can also use it for the purpose of education.
- Provides you the Four views
- Complete editing capabilities for each view
- Automated grammar check option is present
- The demo is present for checking this software
- Comes with the very user-friendly interface
- The advanced auto-check feature is included
- It is only compatible with the Windows only
Page 2 Stage is totally free software and it is open source software available everywhere to download.
Slugline screenwriting software is an affordable and simple app designed for the MAC. It comes with the user-friendly interface that’s why it is very easy to use this software.
It comes with the feature of full-screen mode, integrated outline and formatting foundation form fountain. You have the opportunity to change the fonts
But this screenwriting software won’t open the final drafts .FDR or FDX and this thing could be an issue for some writers, the solution to this is you can export to the .FDX format.
- This screenwriting software helps to develop all kinds of mass media
- The slugline comes in both mobile and desktop versions
- This software will format the script that you write
- User-friendly interface
- Very easy to use
- Web collaboration function is not present
- Too many features are disabled in free version
After all, its pricing depends on the platform that you are using, if you are a Mac user then you have to $29.99 per month and for the iOS, it is free of cost.
StudioBinder has a free script writing online function to use on the web. StudioBinder’s full production schedule lets you develop and write content, sync script, drill down the scene, shot list, and storyboard requirements, schedule shooting days, manage locations, add cast and crew, and send the shooting plan.
Studiobinder screenwriting software is the best option for large scale companies or television projects but it is not affordable for small companies. Moreover, this free version is also present and it is best for educational use.
- It comes with the call sheets ( you can create and send call sheets )
- Provides you the highly customizable storyboard builder and shortlists.
- Drag and drop interface is present for your ease
- You have the opportunity to collate and send messages to the clients, crew, and vendors at the same time
- Comes with the free version for long use
- For small companies, its price is not feasible
Studio Binder provides you with a free version with some basic features. But other than these two types of plans are available.
First one is an individual plan and the price is $29 per month and it goes up to $99 per month. If you buy an annual subscription then you will get 15% discount.
The second one is the business plan and you have to pay $249 and this price goes up to $1499 per month.
Montage screenwriting software is specially developed for Mac OS X. This software makes easy for you to create, edit and manage your screenplays.
Other than this it comes with the feature of import and export final draft documents with the help custom pre-formatted templates for TV, film, and theatres.
Montage screenwriting software always guides both beginner and professional writers from start to end.
You have the opportunity to submit your tracks, synopsis, query, and scripts to all your industry contacts with the help of Apple’s Address Book.
- View your complete script from every angle
- Import final draft formatted scripts
- It allows you pick up your script where you left
- User-friendly interface
- Full screen mode is present
- Comes with the amazing features
- Some formatting is little bit difficult to import from the final draft
The montage screenwriting software comes in two subscription plan. First one is the basic plan in this package you will get some basic features and you have to pay $14.99 per month.
The second one is an unlimited plan and in this package, you will get all advanced features and its pricing is $199 per month.
14. Script Studio
Script Studio is one of the best screenwriting software comes with the user-friendly interface, everyone can easily use this software it doesn’t matter you are a beginner or a professional.
This screenwriting software provides you with the two separate tools for the building stories and taking notes. The first tool is a scratch pad and it helps you to manage different tasks, take notes, write-down research and ideas.
The second tool is story tasks and this tool helps you to create a checklist of your story.
- Provides you with the character development tool
- Night mode is present
- Analysis charting and audience engagement
- Designed for professional industries
- Very easy to use this software
- It provides you with a wide range of export options
- Comes with excellent customer support
- Collaboration function is not present
For the subscription of script studio screenwriting software you have to buy a one time license and the price is $199.95.
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