Screenwriting software is the word processors specialized in the task of writing screenplays. As a screenwriter, you wish to concentrate more time on writing rather than worrying about the interface and line spacing. Although you can also use Microsoft Word to write screenplays using its add-ons and word processors but doesn’t the job like a dedicated screenplay tool.
A screenwriter says “It gets simpler to write dialogue when typing get easy and quick. You also get used to the flow of conversations going with the characters.” i.e., If you are not used to the flow of the software, it ruins the flow. As most of the Screen Writers exclusively use Final Draft and Fade In, but you will get used to and start liking whatever program you use.
However, with numerous screenwriting software available in the market, you can spend your whole life searching for the best one for you for your screenwriting projects. So to ease up things, we came up with the roundup of best screenwriting softwares available in the market. Our list includes tools for every budget to help you the write your next big project.
Before we start with the list, you must be clear about the things why you dedicatedly need screenplay software and how different it is from other doc softwares.
Why ScreenWriting Software?
Need of a dedicated screenwriter arrises from the presence of particular distinctiveness in standard screenplay format which are not found or can be handled by a Word Add-on like page-break constraints required by standard screenplay format. Standard Screenplay softwares provide specialized and professional shortcuts for quickly defining character names or slug lines.
Screenwriting Software also offers multiple features like collaborating with other writers, adding production notes, character notes, scene reordering and other creative tools. Other features which only a dedicated screenwriting software has are page-locking, scene numbering, revision-tracking and generating some production-related reports. Moreover, most of the screenplay tools are available over multiple platforms offering flexibility to its users.
7 Best Paid/Free Screenwriting Softwares
|Paid Screenwriting Software
|Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS
|Windows, macOS, iOS
|Windows, macOS, iOS
|Free Screenwriting Software
|Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
|Web. Chrome App
Best Paid Screenwriting Softwares
1. FADE IN
Best Full-Featured Screenwriting Software
Supported OS: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS
Cost: $79.95; $49.95 for Students
Fade IN termed as “More than just your Final Draft,” this screenwriting software packs powerful tools what writers want the softwares to be. All of the features work seamlessly smooth without feeling buggy like Final Draft slow to use.
Fade In’s UI is based on end credits of a movie with the primary use of Black and White, which goes easy on writer’s eyes. Also, it saves your drafts as plain test giving you the option to open and edit on different applications and import or export from other screenwriting softwares like Final Draft, Movie Magic and more. All of these features make it the most compatible and user-friendly from all.
It also offers robust organization, dialouge tuner and reports downloads to add more to its features making it the best screenwriting software out there with fast and user-freindly UI and more.
2. MOVIE MAGIC
Best Screenwriting Software for Writers
Supported OS: Windows, macOS
Movie Magic Screenwriter is one of the most popular and respected Screenplay tools. Moreover, it is the official screenwriting software of the public labor union, Writers Guild of America East.
With the inclusion of almost all professional tools, Movie Magic will automatically format your written scripts to the Industry level. Additionally, you can also change the layout of the interface quickly depending on the number of tools and features you need on the screen.
Movie Magic Screenwriter also provides you an option to collaborate with other online writers in real time using iPartner. This brings you an option to get suggestions and feedbacks or help from all the available writers online.
3. FINAL DRAFT
Best Screenwriting Software for Professional Screenwriters
Supported OS: Windows, macOS, iOS
Final Draft is the most popular screenwriter software matching the industry standard and used by top names James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, and Matthew Weiner. It is also the top-selling screenwriting software around the world, available on cross-platform Windows, macOS, and iOS.
Using this screenwriting tool, you can create screenplays, stage plays, teleplays and use any of their 100 templates to format your scripts. The software also provides the glimpse of few favorite TV shows like Mad Men and How I Met Your Mother was formatted. All in all, Final Draft has every feature you need in a screenwriting tool.
Apart from the being the most popular and feature packed, it is also the costliest screenwriting software available. However, in the latest version, Final Draft 10, we found users complaining it to be slow and buggy. Apart from that, it is still working hard to catch-up with the cloud storage and online collaboration. However, being the most popular tool doesn’t mean it will best for you too.
Most Versatile Screenwriting Software
Supported OS: Windows, macOS, iOS
Cost: $40 for macOS; $45 for Windows
If screenwriting is not only your job and you also work on everything from novels to articles to screenplays to fiction, Scrivener is the best one for you. Moreover, that is why it is the most versatile screenwriting tool out there.
It is also one of the most popular tools offering you multiple formatting options like all the above softwares but with a bonus. Scrivener also helps you visualize scenes which can be grouped. Moreover, its corkboard seems like storyboard making all your notes and scenes make sense.
However, the only thing that falls back for this amazing software is, you are planning to take your script through filming, it might make it sluggish as you will need to convert your screenplay into another format. This is because it is not compatible with the software producers and directors use to turn a script into a movie and thus Scrivener might not adequate for long-term use. Although it is great to use for character development, structure and research.
Best Free Screenwriting Software
Best Screenwriting Software for Beginners
Supported OS: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Cost: Free; comes with upgrades for a maximum of $19 per month
If you are not into professional screenwriting, Celtx is the best option for you without the hefty price tag. It is also among the most popular screenplay tools available in the market, and this is the best screenwriting software for beginners.
Celtx comes for free and has limited features but is packed with the essential features like formatting screenplays, storyboards and more. It also has a paid version which works great with its mobile applications giving you an option to work offline or on the go.
Moreover, its Celtx Edge can be as a colloboration platfrom for the whole production team or for screenwriting class on a project via your Internet browser. You can also change your formats using Cetlx, so if you are writing a short play and you suddenly realize it will be great as a stage play, you can easily convert it to switch between formats.
Best Cloud-Based Screenwriting Software
Supported OS: Web
Cost: Free; can be upgraded for $99 per year; Students Pricing Available
WriterDuet is another excellent screenwriting tool comes with a motto “You do not need to spend $200 just to fit in” and the features it offers proves its value over the formatting of script content.
Talking about its best feature, WriterDuet can help you shorten your script by automatically searching for places where you can quickly cut a few lines. It also has a tool for error checking which can find incorrect formatting, typing errors, similar names for characters and more.
Using WriterDuet, you can also analyze your script by reviewing stats on action in contrast with dialouges and how characters speak. Moreover, it also has a cloud storage with the ability to save your scripts to Dropbox, Drive and local storage with automatic backups.
7. AMAZON STORYWRITER
Runner-Up Best Free Screenwriting
Supported OS: Web, Chrome App
This tool from Amazon is not feature packed but comes for free and high for students, low budget artists or beginners. This application works on its site or Chrome App and does everything from formatting to exporting into PDF.
The unique part of this tool which can also be considered as its selling point is that you can submit your script directly to the Amazon Studios for production consideration. Although it includes a submission agreement and includes “similar content” clause which says, “We produce much stuff, it might be coincidentally similar to something you submitted, so if you see an Amazon show that sounds similar, too bad.”
So we suggest you to be careful, as it will give them great ideas and aspects from your script without giving you credits.
Which is the best Screenwriting Software in 2018?
Screenwriting softwares are great tools for more advanced production it comes with tools to tools to improve the process of bringing your words to life. They are used to highlight special instructions or any items to make others understand it easily. It also comes handy with in-depth reports which let crew members know about the set locations and scheduling.
All the mentioned tools in the roundup of best screenwriting software can be your next way to win Oscars. For us, we found Fade In to be the best tool for professional work. If you are a beginner or a student, Celtx will be an excellent option for you.
Also, if you are a screenwriter do tell us which tools do you find most useful and why?