Using screenwriting software to format your script could put you miles ahead of those who don't.
Besides enhancing greatly the ease and speed of writing your screenplay, it will give it a look
that Hollywood readers like, without forcing you to futz endlessly with format details. And,
spell-checking will be performed automatically as you go along. All this leaves you to focus on
what matters: creating a great movie experience.
Software Available at Every Price Level
Nowadays, as we benefit from second and third generations of screenwriting software, you will
computer-based tools that not only help you with formatting, but also with the actual designing
and crafting of the story. And software pricing comes at three levels: free, moderately
inexpensive, and moderately expensive.
At the first pricing level, you might consider creating pull-down stylesheets to use with your
existing word processing program, or downloading free packages of such from the internet. These
can greatly ease formatting and enhance the overall look for little or no money, and expand the
options for use on different types of computers (perhaps adding hand-held portability to your
- Dependent Films offers some free formatting templates you might find helpful, along with a passel of
other useful tools and utilities to use when putting a film project together.
- if you use Microsoft Word to write your screenplays, take a look at ScreenPro,
the "Shareware Screenplay Template for Microsoft Word 97/Word 2000/Word 2002/XP for Windows".
- if you write screenplays on Word Perfect, consider Screenwright(R), a 'shareware' package that "automates the
screenwriting process to a degree approached before now only by the costly standalone screenplay
- Celtx offers free screenwriting and
playwriting software (until such time as you share scripts).
- Mac users might use the new app MovieDraft.
- Scripped allows you to write and
collaborate entirely online, or "in the cloud", with no need to download (or purchase) any software.
If you'd like to spend a little more money, and enhance the features you'll be getting, you have
some decisions to make between some excellent screenwriting software options. Most packages focus
mainly on helping you get your words down on the page in the most readable format without
troubling you with niggling format minutiae. Others take it to a new level, helping you conceive
and structure your story.
Screenwriting Software Reviews
Some excellent reviews of the best screenwriting software available on the market today . .
. . seem to suggest that the battle for top dog in the screenwriting software field has come down
to two main contenders, with a third for the budget-minded: