Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, screenwriting software is an invaluable tool for telling your story. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best software of 2022 and how it can help you write your screenplay. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of each program so that you can decide which one is right for you. So without further ado, let’s get started!
- Arc Studio Pro.
- Final Draft.
- Fade In.
- KIT Scenarist.
- Movie Magic Screenwriter.
- Highland 2.
What is Screenwriting Software?
Screenwriting software is the best way to write a screenplay. It’s designed specifically for screenwriters, so it’s easy to use and has all the features you need to create a great script.
Plus, it’s affordable and compatible with all the major screenwriting programs. So if you’re looking for the best way to write a screenplay, look no further than screenwriting software.
There’s no need to look any further than screenwriting software. Screenwriting software is the best way to write a screenplay because it’s specifically designed for that purpose.
It’s easy to use and it’ll make your screenplay look professional. Plus, it’ll help you format your screenplay correctly so that it can be submitted to competitions and studios. So if you’re serious about writing a screenplay, then screenwriting software is the best way to go.
What is the Best Screenwriting Software?
There are a lot of different screenwriting software programs out there, and it can be tough to decide which one is best for you.
Some programs are more expensive than others, and some have more features than others. Ultimately, the best screenwriting software is the one that best suits your needs.
If you’re just starting out, you might want to go with a less expensive program that has fewer features. Once you get more experience, you can upgrade to a more comprehensive program.
There are also programs specifically designed for different types of screenplays, so you might want to choose one that’s geared towards the type of script you’re writing.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you’re comfortable with and that will help you create the best possible screenplay.
Let’s get into the list!
1. Arc Studio Pro.
If you’re looking for powerful yet easy-to-use video editing software, Arc Studio Pro is the best choice for you.
It comes with all the features you need to create professional-quality videos, including multiple tracks, an intuitive user interface, and support for 4K resolutions.
Plus, it’s packed with powerful yet easy-to-use features that make video editing a breeze. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, Arc Studio Pro is the perfect tool for you.
The most well-designed screenwriting software and quickly becoming the new industry standard.
The program is used by professionals, such as the writers’ room for Arcane (Netflix). But it also has an intuitive design which makes this software beginner-friendly.
When you’re just starting out, the free plan is perfect.
The power of Arc Studio Pro will take your writing further than you ever thought possible.
The distraction-free writing allows you to focus on your ideas and words.
They provide a variety of creative story-building tools that will allow you to visualize your stories and brainstorm ideas before committing them in script format.
Group collaboration has never been this easy. View each others’ edits as they happen and enjoy stress-free work with the ability to quickly catch up on what you missed without having any confusion about who changed which line or paragraph in a document!
The writers of “Arcane” were so happy with Arc Studio that they used it to create their show.
- The distraction-free design allows you to focus on the words and nothing else.
- As you write, quickly glance at your story outline to verify that it’s accurate; this is possible with industry-standard formatting which includes perfect script specifications for all of its readers who want their content read as if they were reading an extract from a book or screenplay instead!
The user can divide their content into various acts and have an expansive library of eBooks to use. This makes the program perfect for creating professional-looking books with great formatting, and layout design elements like tablets or graphics – all while being able to take advantage of unique features such as adding audio clips alongside text!
The Add Key Beats function of the program allows you to focus on a specific moment in your story while using Content Cards as inspiration for other writers or keeping track own ideas.
- Built-in Beat Outlines help keep your story focused and on track.
- I also really appreciate the simple, organized user interface.
- The feedback features are fantastic and help you improve your writing.
- The free version of the service is browser only
- Outlining tools make it easy to plan and structure your writing
- Revision management ensures that you can keep track of changes and easily revert back to previous versions if needed.
Get started with Arc Studio.
2. Final Draft.
Used by 95% of Film and Television Productions.
Final Draft is a multi-award-winning screenwriting software, initially released in 1990. In 2013, it was awarded a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award and is famously used by Netflix, NBCUniversal, Paramount, ABC, Pixar, and more.
With its wide range of features, Final Draft 11 is best suited for those looking to use the same industry-standard screenwriting software that major television shows and motion pictures use.
- Advanced brainstorming and visualization tools to collaborate in the writing process with various writing partners.
- Automatically paginates and formats scripts to industry standards.
- It allows you to organize and customize “beats”, including character arcs, plot points, location ideas, research, and more.
- Story maps connect your visualizations and beat boards into your script.
- You can visually plan key milestones and plot points.
- Alternate dialogue lets you store as many versions of lines as you want.
- Keyboard shortcuts like Tab and Enter allow you to switch between dialogue and action quickly.
- It provides automatic file back-ups so you never lose your data.
- Revision mode provides a history of all changes when taking a script through production.
- Its fonts support over 97 languages.
- Text-to-speech support.
- Over 100 different templates to choose from.
- Available on and compatible with Windows, OSX, and iOS.
With the ability to build your own toolbar to reflect what you use most in the software, you can make your user experience more efficient and streamlined.
The new interface is designed to be more intuitive and easier to use, with fewer clicks required to get things done.
When you buy Final Draft, not only are your wordsmithing skills boosted by an incredible writing program but also two activations of this awesome tool will be included in the purchase! You can try out their services for free too so what have ya got to lose?
Overall, it’s a great price to learn the most important piece of screenwriting software on the market.
- Has all the fundamentals are needed when starting to use the software?
- It is easy to get started and has a low learning curve.
- Collaborative writing features are subpar when compared to other software in the market.
- Writing / Editing Features make it easy to format your script the way you want it, with plenty of options for customizing margins, pagination, and more.
- Story Development Tools help you track your characters, locations, and plot points, so you can stay organized and on track as you write.
Purchase Final Draft 11 today to start writing.
One of the best apps for screenwriters, with a cloud-based interface and an extensive set of features that make it a powerful tool in any writer’s arsenal. It has millions of worldwide users who love its ease as well as power when working on projects together from different locations around the globe!
Celtx is a cross-platform, cloud-based screenwriting and media pre-production software. With 6 million global users, it is one of the best screenwriting apps in the market.
From script to shoot, this software provides you with tools that help you create better content quickly. The fact that it is a cloud-based software makes it easy for you to access your accounts from anywhere you want. Moreover, you can take advantage of Celtx’s powerful reports to gain actionable, production insight.
Celtx is best for screenwriters. It helps to turn simple, scattered ideas into full-fledged plans quite easily. It is also quite useful for playwrights and novelists.
- Has a simple, easy-to-learn, and intuitive user interface
- You can work online or offline with mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android
- A single master file (for better organization, you can work off a single master file)
- Uses a rich text editor module for novel writing
- It can support the creation of production calendars and strip-boards
- Allows directors and writers to tag elements within each script
- Fully cloud-based solutions
- Designed for real-time collaboration
- All-in-one pre-production management
- Team tailored production workflow
With a production workflow comprised of just four simple steps, Celtx is perfect for those who are new to the world of screenwriting and film production.
In addition, the software’s intuitive interface makes it easy to find the features and tools you need, when you need them.
Celtx comes with three pricing plans.
- Format scripts intuitively by understanding common screenplay formatting rules so you can focus on writing rather than worrying about margins and spacing.
- The online cloud format enables you to access your project from anywhere and share it with collaborators.
- No longer available for free
- Focus is more on the whole pre-production process (in-depth screenwriting features aborted)
- The Copy paste option needs improvement
- PDF scanned scripts are not exported without OCR software
- A new dedicated space for our users who work collaboratively means more opportunities to connect with other writers.
Collaborating with a co-writer on the same project is an excellent way to get feedback and make changes. The best part about it?
You can see what your partner has done in real-time as they work! With WriterDuet, there are no boundaries between writer’s rooms; everyone shares their own screens so every little change makes its way into both versions of the script simultaneously (and quickly).
WriterDuet is a dedicated screenwriting software for writing and editing screenplays and other forms of mass media. It caters to a wide range of requirements and, apart from screenwriting, can be used in the case of video editing and gaming as well.
The USP of the software is that it allows real-time collaboration of writers from remote locations and writing from different devices. Although it is not a free software screenwriting tool, it allows three free scripts upon signing up.
This is more than other screenwriting software currently offers.
WriterDuet is best for screenwriters and professional writers who require real-time collaboration to write down their ideas. It is also useful for educational tutorials.
- Allows you to install various plugins for better customization (for example an offline, traditional, file-based desktop software experience)
- Supports mobile devices and multiple browsers
- Signing up is free
- Supports a wide range of screenplay formats (offers high customizability here as well by enabling changes in script template)
- Fully integrated with SSL certification (scripts aren’t shared except through user request and authorized guest codes)
- Allows backup copies to cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, and your system
- Offers seamless services both online and offline
- Allows you to track all your edits
- Intuitive and user-friendly software
- Provides free, in-built tutorial upon sign up
The user interface is very clean and distraction-free, which is great for helping you focus on your writing.
The real-time collaboration feature is also very handy for getting feedback from other writers or working on a project together.
There is also a helpful menu at the top of your screen, so you can easily access all the features and tools you need.
With WriterDuet, you get three free scripts. After that, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. The first plan is Plus, which is available for $9.99 per month, payable annually.
Then, there’s Pro at $11.99/per month and finally Premium at $13.99 per month.
- It’s lightweight: you can access it from anywhere and it doesn’t take up a lot of space on your computer.
- Cloud-based writing: you can access your work from anywhere and share it with others easily.
- Only three free scripts (further scripting requires a subscription)
- While offline working is possible, collaboration is not (you must be online to collaborate in real time)
- The primary focus is on the ‘Pro’ accounts
- Offline editing is possible so you can continue working on your projects even if you’re not connected to the internet.
I recommend Trelby when it comes to free and open-source screenwriting software. Being able to work on both Windows and Linux platforms is also a big advantage. In addition, it’s a great solution to test out before committing to more expensive software. I also like that it’s available on GitHub so anyone can contribute to its development.
Trelby, previously known as ‘Blythe,’ is free screenwriting software that is also open-source. As of now, it operates on both Windows and Linux platforms and is currently available on GitHub.
Licensed under GPL, Trelby welcomes developers and screenwriters to collaborate and make the platform even better. Moreover, it comes with a built-in, highly configurable PDF generator.
Trelby is perfect for screenwriters and individual writers who are on a budget since the software is entirely free of cost. It is also suitable for educational purposes, demonstrations, and tutorials.
- Extremely user-friendly and intuitive user interface (infinitely configurable)
- Comes with an in-built screenplay editor (enforces correct script format, pagination, and spell checking)
- Compatible with multiple platforms
- Multiple choices of views to choose from
- Reporting options (scene/location/character/dialogue options)
- In-built ability to compare scripts (to identify changes, if any)
- Allows you to choose from a multitude of options while importing (Screenplay formatted text, Final Draft XML (.fdx), Celtx (.celtx), Fountain (.fountain), Adobe Story (.astx), and Fade In Pro (.fadein))
- Can generate PDF with custom watermarks adding to increased flexibility
- Has a rich, fully in-built character name database
- System requirements for the software to work are minimal, making it easy to run even on old systems
If you’re looking for a user experience where you’re able to focus on your writing, Trelby is the software for you.
There are no distractions since it’s a white writing area and a very discreet-looking left-hand side menu that houses all your options for the screenplay.
You can easily change between writing in pages or scenes mode, which is very helpful.
And you don’t have to worry about formatting (if you don’t want to) because Trelby takes care of that for you as you type.
It is an open-source software tool and comes entirely free of cost.
- Reliable, no problems with all the necessary features for a screenplay
- A vintage (old) MS Word-like interface takes you back to the good old days
- The revision tracking feature needs some improvement
- Available only on Windows and Linux (not compatible with OSX)
- No bold, italics, or underlining option
- The online collaboration option is not available
- Undo/redo features means you can move back/forward when you’re editing your work. This is really helpful if you make a mistake or want to change something.
- Fountain import/export support means you can transfer your screenplay to other software that uses the Fountain format.
- Adobe Story import support means you can bring screenplays from Adobe Story (another popular screenwriting software) into Trelby.
Initially released in 2007, Scrivener is one of the best screenwriting software tools for authors and novelists. One of the best screenwriting software in the market right now, it offers a wide range of activities, including organizing notes, drag-and-drop features, and editing multiple documents at one go.
It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Linux. The best part is that you can use it as a project management tool as well. On top of that, it can mimic a typewriter, ring binder, and scrapbook.
Scrivener comes with features like footnote support, MathType integration, and the ability to refer to a research library. Thus, it is an excellent screenwriting software for historical, fictional, and non-fictional authors. Templates for writing general and academic non-fiction are also available.
- You can switch instantly from editing a section of your document to editing the entire document
- Has a user-friendly and intuitive interface
- Familiar text editing (allows you to use bolds, italics, and other formatting options)
- You can import your files from numerous Word processors and extensions, including Microsoft Word docs, text files, PDFs, and more
- Includes an in-built ‘Corkboard’ that allows you to rearrange files using a simple drag-and-drop option
- Pools all features onto a single platform for easy reference
- Easy compilation of documents into one chapter
- 30-day free trial period
- You can choose your own font
- Video tutorials available for easy understanding
The price varies depending on the platform you will use it on. The Mac and Windows versions will cost you $45, while the iOS version is $19.99.
7. Fade In.
First released in 2011, Fade In is one of the best screenwriting software tools available in the market currently. It is widely used in the film industry and is compatible with multiple platforms like Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS. It is also one of the most affordable software tools on the market, offering great features.
Boasting attributes like support for multiple languages, an action-to-dialogue calculator, and well-rounded functionality for rewrites and revisions, it is becoming very popular as the new industry standard. In fact, it has been pitted as a direct rival of the software Final Draft.’
Best for screenwriters who want seamless integration between their thoughts and the software they use. Fade In is primarily used by screenwriters working on major motion pictures in the film industry.
- Universal, state-of-the-art application interface
- Automatic script formatting
- Comes with an in-built autocomplete typing feature (suggest words as you type)
- Offers real-time collaboration (you can work on projects with multiple collaborators from remote locations)
- Provides complete image support (allows you to insert images directly into the document)
- Page-only, distraction-free, full-screen mode available
- Support multiple file formats (text, HTML, and more)
- Offers cloud storage service (easy access from any location)
- Free software updates
You can use ‘Fade In’ for a limited time for free. After that, you need to purchase it by paying a one-time fee of $79.95, which is one of the most reasonable rates in the market as of now. A distinct advantage is that the software updates in the future will be free.
8. KIT Scenarist.
Most users claim that KIT Scenarist is one of the best screenwriting software tools currently available in the market. It offers one of the most exceptional full scriptwriting experiences.
The best part is that it is free and open-source software that provides a very high degree of customizability. Moreover, it is used by more than 3000 authors worldwide and keeps up with the latest technology by providing updates nearly every month (more than 70 updates to date).
Very useful for high-level scriptwriting work in feature films and television series. It is also useful for authors and novelists and perfect for writers with a requirement in multiple languages, and statistical analysis.
- Compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Has an all-in-one research module (collect necessary information, manage a list of characters, and store a variety of materials)
- Provides in-built card module (helps you build story development, providing you visualizations to work with)
- Comes with an in-built, rich formatting tool with a script editor so that you can concentrate only on writing
- Offers services in multiple languages
- Export scripts in multiple formats (PDF, FDX, Fountain, and Docx)
- Option to use multiple themes (dark or light)
- Provides in-built statistical tools
- Fully integrated with in-built character and set management
KIT Scenarist is a free software tool, available on the internet for use. However, if you want to use cloud services, you need to subscribe to a paid plan, after a 30-day free trial.
The price becomes more worthwhile the more you subscribe for.
9. Movie Magic Screenwriter.
Movie Magic Screenwriter is an award-winning software that is perfect for screenwriting, novels, comic books, stage plays, musicals, and a lot more.
It offers free online videos to improve ease of use, and also enables users to download a free demo version to try the software out. It has been used in many Hollywood movies, including the hit series ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’
Although Movie Magic Screenwriter is best for the film industry, it can also be used in the educational sector for assignment and research paper writing and submissions. However, despite new features, the high price makes it difficult for small organizations to use it.
- Very intuitive and flexible
- Automatically formats scripts to current industry standards (real-time, intelligent formatting)
- Allows you to tag characters and locations (when exporting to a scheduling program
- Has built-in collaboration tools (real-time)
- Colour-coded features for easy reference and organization
- Highly customizable (changes the layout and modifies interface)
- Includes a custom ‘NaviDock’ interface (this can contrast your script based on a variety of factors)
- Offers professionally compiled templates
- The option of real-time collaboration with multiple stakeholders from remote locations (iPartner feature)
- ‘Text-to-speech’ transformation feature
- Has a notes commander that allows you to quickly organize, access, view, and script your ideas
Movie Magic Screenwriter has multiple pricing plans. The Movie Magic 6 is $169. The upgrade is priced at $89.95 (for Windows and Mac), whereas the 6.5 upgrade costs $69.95 (only for Mac). All of these have 3 activation options per purchase.
The ‘academic’ version has 2 activation options per purchase and costs $99.95.
10. Highland 2.
Highland 2 is one of the best screenwriting software in the market currently. However, as of now, it is compatible only with Mac. It has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate so that you can focus solely on your writing.
Additionally, it offers high customizability and is excellent for individuals or teams that have diverse requirements. It has a free version with minimal features. To access better, more advanced features, you need to upgrade to a paid version.
Highland 2 is an excellent software for Mac users, individuals, and bloggers who have a constant need for images. The numerous shortcuts that the software provides are also handy for blog editors and screenwriters who are just starting out.
- In-built automatic formatting mode (so that you don’t have to format)
- Take advantage of the ‘Sprint’ feature that allows you to track time while you get your work done
- Offers an in-built gender analysis tool (first script writing software to introduce this)
- Regular updates so that you are always abreast of the latest technology
- Feature-laden free version (5 PDF templates, two built-in editor themes and much more)
- Get automatic plain-text backup at the frequency of your choice
- Provides excellent customer support
- ‘Scratchpad’ feature to take and leave notes about projects, much like using index cards or beat boards
- You can design your own themes with the ‘pro’ upgrade
- You get plenty of keyboard shortcuts
Highland 2 currently offers a free version with basic features. However, if you are looking for enhanced features, you can purchase the paid version for $49.99.
And that’s a wrap! I hope this blog post helped you understand the different types of screenwriting software available and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Of course, there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to screenwriting software – ultimately, it depends on what works best for YOU and YOUR process. So be sure to experiment with a few different options before making a final decision.
And if you’re still not sure which route to take, feel free to reach out to us for more guidance. We’re always happy to help!