Are you ready to take the leap and become the next great screenwriter? I’m sure your head is chock full of ideas for a new film, TV series, or video game.
Whether you are just starting out, building a screenplay portfolio, or a film industry veteran – handwriting scripts isn’t going to cut it anymore. Professional script writing software is essential in every aspect of the scriptwriting profession.
What is Scriptwriting Software?
Scriptwriting software, or screenwriting software, is a digital medium to create, organize and edit industry-standard screenplays. They can be used for modern media varieties such as television shows, films, video games – even novels, blogs, and plays.
It helps make sure all of your works look professional, amongst universally accepted guidelines. Time is of the essence, and quality is always in-demand within the industry. Screenwriting software helps facilitates all those traits and create some workable media magic.
How To Choose the Best Scriptwriting Software
While the way scripts should appear is relatively standardized, the approach is not always the same. There could be many factors involved when choosing scriptwriting software. Luckily, many people have unique ways of screenplay writing. Lots of adaptable applications are available to choose from as a result.
Time, writing style, user-friendliness, and budget are often the significant factors behind choosing a screenwriting software. Some may require a platform with features that generate projects quickly – while others need to craft epic, professional screenplays without spending any money.
The 10 Best Scriptwriting Software of 2021
There are hundreds of options for screenwriting software. Some of them are good, some great – some not so good. We’ve compiled a list that presents the cream of the crop. These few options are the universal go-to platforms to create your project and showcase it in the most professional standards.
Allow me to start this list by introducing what I and so many believe is the best scriptwriting software (“writing partner”) on the market. Final Draft was the first digital screenwriting platform introduced in 1990, so it’s had a couple of decades to refine and revel in its brilliance. As a staple of what most screenwriting software is based on – Final Draft has become industry-standard and used in most major production companies.
- 100s of templates that assist writers in getting quality screenplays done efficiently
- Visualization tool to help keep your script flowing
- Seamless collaboration capabilities with other screenwriter teams
There’s a reason why Final Draft is so popular – it is universally acclaimed as the best script writing software out there. Naturally, that does come with a price. You’ll be able to get the Final Draft tool for $199.99 with two downloads – a decent price point, though, considering all the functionality that comes with it. Final Draft is excellent for beginners and pros alike.
Sometimes having the core functionality of screenwriting software is not enough. Productions are getting bigger, and script writing teams are working from all over the world. WriterDuet capitalizes on that concept basing their platform on real time collaborations. The focus of this script writing program is seamless communication and easy simultaneous work when writing an enormous mass media picture.
- Very intuitive interface
- Excellent cloud functionality to share across script writing teams
- Edits, amendments, and drafts can be easily tracked
Screenwriting software that exploits the advantages of the cloud is never free – but if you are a team of writers spread across multiple locations – the monthly per person subscription of $11.99 per month is worth paying. The features don’t hit the revolutionary peaks of other competitors. But any screenwriter can easily collaborate with teams with the refreshing interface.
We simply have to feature a couple of free screenwriting software to touch on those just beginning in screenplay development. Drama Queen 2 is one of the many that is an excellent costless option to get your writing career moving. It’s not rife with features as one would expect – but does provide a helping hand in formatting your scripts, making them look pretty for professional review.
- Automatic formatting of your script template to help learn the pre production tools of the trade
- A very accessible ideas pad alongside to keep the creativity flowing
- Story stepping that breaks down the plot into sub-sections
By no means is Drama Queen 2 the latest and greatest for free screenwriting software – but it is a sublime starting point. Those who aren’t sure of careers in screenwriting can pick this free software up without any investment. You can move on to more acknowledged screenplay format software from this, or there is a paid option that has a bit more functionality if you have gotten used to this platform.
A screenwriting program that always features ‘award-winning’ on the label can’t help but catch the eye. Movie Magic Screenwriter is definitely proud of their accreditations of professionalism. The platform is hailed as one of the best screenwriting software in the industry. It’s easy to use and facilitated to making screenwriting a breeze. You’ll be able to churn out the manifest for a major motion picture with a flawless demeanor.
- Highly customizable and adaptable to every project idea
- Very easy-to-use with color coding and quick referencing
- Excellent real time collaboration feature
The scriptwriting program that brought you ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ wants you to know it is the best option for writing big money films. Movie Magic Screenwriter is tailored to do just that – and the price shows it. Small-budget writers or organizations may struggle with the price starting at $169.95 per license. If you do have complex projects ahead, Movie Magic Screenwriter may be worth the investment.
One of the core troubles that screenwriters have is translating their thoughts onto paper. Fade In was built around repelling the looming writer’s block and channel their ideas with uncluttered screenwriting software. It keeps frustrations under control with dedicated functionality like revisions and rewrites. As well as being available on multiple platforms to put thoughts to scripts on the go.
- Well-thought-out interface putting the screenwriter first
- Refreshing functionality that does not overwhelm users
- Image support to help justify written ideas
Fade In has been lauded as the screenwriting tool that can provide some serious competition to Final Draft. It is probably one of the most user-friendly screenwriting applications on the market and very adaptable to all writing spectrums – small niche movies to blockbuster films. The only thing it lacks is that industry-standard approval.
Celtx may not be the essential screenplay software for those who require attention to detail. But this nifty platform can make sense of ideas very quickly. If you need to conceptualize a workable project in a limited time-frame – we have a winner. Celtx is a screenwriting software to help with just that notion. The application also looks outside the film confines – templating for game production, plays, and novels.
- Celtx produces production reports turning concepts into reality very quickly
- Online and offline working capabilities across all devices
- Workflow syncs as you write your scripts
If you’ve been tasked with writing heavy plotlines for a colossal production – bets are off on Celtx. There is, however, a significant market for people that need to get ahead of the pace of the industry. This screenwriting software smashes that idea on the head. For those working at the speed of light, Celtx is a must – and it’s very affordable too.
Trelby is open-source – and we all know what that means – it’s free screenwriting software! The basis behind a free version of a screenwriting app such as this one is that developers are consistently updating it for screenwriter trends at no additional cost. The downside, as you may understand, there isn’t much pleasant visual interface involved. Trelby is clunky, but it’s free screenwriting software – perfect for beginners or those on a tight budget.
- Even though lacking in design, Trelby is user-friendly and great to learn with
- Good screenplay text editor to minimize mistakes and ensure continuity
- High-level configuration feature to get the interface to your liking
A fair few basic things are missing from Trelby, such as script formatting and collaborating features. It’s consistently being worked on, however. And don’t forget, you won’t pay a penny for it. If you are adept at code yourself, you might be able to add a few features tailored for yourself. But all in all, Trelby is a great starting point where funds aren’t as readily available.
Highland takes the core premise of looking beautiful around its development. It’s safe to say it’s accomplished that – with one of the most gorgeous interfaces and flowing functionality out of any screenwriting software. It’s also welcoming to bloggers and journalists with easy incorporation of images – not only screenwriters.
- The automatic formatting tool keeps your work flowing
- Visual customizability to inspire creativity and motivate projects
- One of the best-supported script writing software
There’s always a catch with screenwriting software so beautiful – Highland 2 has only been developed for Mac. The OS is frequently used around the screenwriting industry, so this shouldn’t be an issue. The intuitive platform is fantastic if you are a Mac user and refreshingly costless to begin. The offer of a $49.99 pro version comes later, but definitely worth it considering the other high prices out there.
Adopting a traditional lease on screenwriting, Arc Studio Pro offers a free screenwriting software solution. It definitely does not take on a Swiss Army Knife approach of being multi-faceted – but does its job of churning out industry-standard scripts very well. It’s refined to be workable amongst teams and versatile enough to be used across all styles of media projects.
- Story organization that keeps all screenwriter ideas in check
- Real-time collaboration tool for multi-location working
- A night mode for those late evenings detailing your writing process
Arc Studio Pro was not developed around the idea of being the best, but being a very workable entity to anybody in the industry. Key features will work just as you expect them to, without going overboard and causing team confusion. The script writing software is free for a limited time, where it will eventually ask for an affordable subscription fee.
Casualty may seem like an odd name for screenwriting software – but it has a unique approach compared to the other text-based platforms. The application focuses on visual representation, allowing easy to read screenplays and screenwriter projects for anybody involved in the venture. Workflow is facilitated here by a much simpler medium.
- Visual story organization producing quick and proficient storyboards
- Script breakdown generator making each element of the project easy to read
- Plain text auto-formatting feature to quickly get your scriptwriter ideas down
Casualty certainly won’t be for everyone – as many require industry-standard scripts to present their projects. The platform is a great option to make sense of elaborate ventures in a visually appealing manner. At $7.99 a month – Casualty may be worth having at your side along with other script writing software as a sort of notepad for your screenplay adventures.
Whatever your needs in screenwriting software – my choices aim to touch on the most common screenwriter demands. The ever-expanding media industry is diving into new niches such as live streaming and online video content. I consider some of the above screenwriting software flexible enough to stand the test of time and adapt to media trends.
These professional screenwriter applications will do wonders for your writing career and set you on a journey to become a screenplay pro. Whichever one you choose to go forth with, I’m sure some great things are to come. Creativity is king, and I can’t wait to see your ideas!
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