Today, if you are a professional writer or a filmmaker at any level you know there are many best screenwriting software options available.
So why use screenplay software? The simple answer is that the best screenwriting program takes care of formatting so you can concentrate on characters, words, and stories. To get your script from page to screen, you need the best screenwriting tool at your disposal.
So based on reviews and functionalities offered by various online screenwriting programs, I have listed the best options available.
So let’s get started.
What is the Best Screenwriting Software?
Here are my picks for the best play script writing software to use:
1. Final Draft
Final Draft was released in 1990 and is a multi-award-winning screenwriting software. n 2013, it was awarded a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award and is used by popular brands like Paramount, Pixar, ABC, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and more.
It is one of the top screenwriting software for Chromebook thanks to its seamless performance and superb functionalities.
Key Features of Final Draft:
- Automatically formats and paginates scripts to industry standards.
- You can visually plan plot points and key milestones.
- It provides automatic file back-ups so you never lose your data.
- Text-to-speech support.
- Over 100 different templates to choose from.
- Helps you store as many versions of lines as you want using the alternate dialogue feature.
- Story maps connect your beat boards and visualizations into your script.
- Keyboard shortcuts like entering and Tab allow you to switch between action and dialogue quickly.
- Available on and compatible with OSX, iOS, and Windows
- Advanced brainstorming and visualization tools to collaborate with writing teams.
- It allows you to customize and organize “beats”, including location ideas, character arc, research, plot points, and more
With its wide range of features, Final Draft 11 is best suited for those searching for collaborative screenwriting software for pc used in motion pictures and major television shows
A final Draft full license costs you $199.99 as a digital download and allows two activations per purchase. They also offer a 30-day free trial to test it out.
Overall, it’s a great value for money considering the importance of collaborative script writing software on the market.
Celtx is a cross-platform, media pre-production, and cloud-based screenwriting software. It boasts over 6 million users worldwide and is one of the best online script-writing websites in the industry.
From script to shoot, it helps you create better content quickly with the tools in the software. Moreover, you can take advantage of Celtx’s powerful reports to gain production and actionable insight.
Key Features of Celtx:
- Allows writers and directors to tag elements within each script
- Fully cloud-based solutions
- Has an easy-to-learn, simple, and intuitive user interface
- Designed for real-time collaboration
- All-in-one pre-production management
- Uses a rich text editor module for novel writing
- Team tailored production workflow
- It can support the creation of strip-boards and production calendars
- You can work offline or online with mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android
- You can work on a single master file for better organization
Cons of Celtx:
- No longer available for free
- The Copy paste option needs improvement
- PDF scanned scripts are not exported without OCR software
- Focus is more on the whole pre-production process
Celtx is best for screenwriters looking for screenplay writing software online. It helps to turn scattered, simple ideas into full-fledged plans quite easily. It is also quite useful for novelists and playwrights.
Celtx comes with three pricing plans.
- Scriptwriting plan – $15 per month, payable annually.
- Video production plan – $27 per month, payable annually.
- Game production plan – $27 per month, billed annually.
WriterDuet is an excellent screenplay writing tool for editing and writing screenplays and other forms of mass media. It caters to a wide range of applications that includes gaming and video editing as well.
The main USP of WriterDuet is that it allows real-time collaboration of writers from various regions and writing from different devices. Although it is not a free software tool, it allows three free scripts upon signing up.
Key Features of WriterDuet:
- Signing up is free
- Supports multiple browsers and mobile devices
- Offers seamless services both offline and online
- Allows you to track all your edits
- user-friendly and Intuitive software
- Provides free, in-built tutorial upon sign up
- Allows backup copies to cloud storage services like Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, and more in your system
- Fully integrated with SSL certification. Plus, you cannot share scripts without authorized guest codes or user requests.
- Supports a wide range of formats. Provide high customization by enabling changes in the script template.
- Allows you to install various plugins for better customization.
Cons of WriterDuet:
- The primary focus is on the ‘Pro’ accounts
- While offline working is possible, real-time collaboration is only possible online.
WriterDuet online screenplay writer is best for professional writers and screenwriters who require real-time collaboration to write down their ideas. Can be used to create educational tutorials for platforms like teachable.
It offers three paid plans for the subscription.
- Plus Plan – $7.99 per month, payable annually
- Pro Plan – $11.99 per month, payable annually
- Premium Plan – $15.99 per month, payable annually
Now let’s cover the basics.
What is Screenwriting Software?
Essentially, screenwriting format software helps you perform editing, formatting, composition, and printing of scripts used in television, video games, or films.
It helps scriptwriters to use correct language and grammar, keep back-ups of their documents, and meet stringent formatting guidelines of the industry. The software eliminates your manual formatting and makes your scripts of industry standards.
With simple keyboard shortcuts, screenwriters can add dialogue, scene headings, sluglines, action, parentheticals, character names, transitions, and more.
Best Screenwriting Tools – Final Conclusion
One software option won’t make you the next Aaron Sorkin, John August, or Quentin Tarantino overnight. However, professional screenwriting software can make things easier by producing a clean, error-free, formatted, pitch-ready script.
Is there any scriptwriting software I didn’t mention on the list? Let me know in the comments.