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WELCOME TO THE ULTIMATE SCREENWRITING SOFTWARE GUIDE!

Like an artist choosing the right brush, selecting the right screenwriting software depends on a great many factors.  Cost, features, compatibility, mobile functionality, cloud options and more.  You’ll want to create your masterpiece in an environment that makes writing as simple as possible so your idea truly shines.  The large amount of apps available may be intimidating but remember, you can always write a screenplay with a pen.

What matters most is your story.

This page will help you sort through the options so you can select the right software for you.  You have an exciting decision to make because your story deserves the best!

After all, an original idea combined with creativity, passion, enthusiasm & the right brush is an awfully inspiring recipe for an entertaining screenplay.

DESKTOP DOMINATION?

To many in the industry, these first 3 applications need no introduction.  With Final Draft leading the way, they are arguably the most well known programs on the market. While they each bring different pros and cons to the table, it’s experience that sets them apart.  With refined features and polished interfaces, you’ll be writing in no time and enjoying an experience shared by millions of screenwriters worldwide.

However, with many new & more affordable programs popping up, (especially on mobile platforms) the big 3 will have to step up to stay ahead in the future.

READ: What To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Screenwriting Software

THE FUTURE?

Screenwriting software has come a long way since it’s inception long ago.  What began as specialized word processor templates were soon replaced by standalone desktop software which dominated for years.

Today, screenwriters use a variety of apps on different platforms including mobile devices.  This new era allows for cloud storage, online collaboration and connectivity like never before.  So what software is right for you?

READ: The Future Of Screenwriting Software

UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY

FINAL DRAFT

OverviewFinal Draft is widely considered to be the industry standard for screenwriting software.  While costly compared to other apps, Final Draft is overflowing with features that make screenwriting as easy and streamlined as possible.

Current Version:  9 | PC/MAC | Mobile: Yes (iOS)

Price: $249.99

Associated Screenwriting Contest: Big Break

Website: www.finaldraft.com

Pros: Final Draft features extensive development tools, and over 100 templates.  In addition, the clean interface complements many intuitive options to help you navigate your screenplay.  Reports & production tools generate useful breakdowns to help you track scenes, characters, locations & more.

Cons: High Cost.  The simplified iPad version (not available on iPhone) is a cheaper option at $19.99.

CELTX

Overview: Celtx features the most extensive set of mobile and web enabled apps available.  The platform also boasts a full set of production tools and a standalone free version.

Current Version: Desktop v.2.9.5 | PC/MAC | Mobile: Yes (iOS & Android)

Price: Celtx Desktop (Free) Celtx Plus ($14.99) You can also purchase a personal ($9.99/month $69.99/year) or team ($19.99/month per user) online workspace for advanced cloud features. ($4.99 on the App Store)

Associated Screenwriting Contest: ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship

Website: www.celtx.com

Pros:  The free version is a big plus while the full featured version has many useful production tools.  Celtx offers it’s own cloud service to allow you to import/export fully formatted scripts across all mobile platforms.

Cons: It’s hard to argue with free though you lose some key features and it can be difficult to find on their website.

MOVIE MAGIC

Overview: Movie Magic Screenwriter has long dueled with Final Draft to be known as the go-to software for screenwriting.  FInal Draft ultimately pulled away but Movie Magic definitely holds it’s own getting you from FADE IN to FADE OUT.

Current Version: 6 | PC/MAC | Mobile: No

Price: $169.99

Associated Screenwriting Contest: N/A

Website: www.screenplay.com

Pros: Many key features you would expect in desktop screenwriting software.

Cons: It may not be the most expensive full featured package but it is an aging app compared to many low cost options.  No mobile version.

SUPERSTAR SOFTWARE

FADE IN PRO

Overview: Fade In Pro is quickly gaining traction as a fantastic alternative to Final Draft. This full featured program certainly gets the job done.  With a low price tag and accompanying mobile apps, it’s definitely worth a look.

Price: $49.95

Website: www.fadeinpro.com

WRITER DUET

Overview: Write screenplays anywhere with this free web based offering.  Import popular formats like .FDX and .CELTX seamlessly and collaborate with other screenwriters using video and chat features.

Price: Free

Website: www.writerduet.com

STORYIST

Overview: Storyist is a full featured screenwriting application complete with extensive development tools and a low price tag.  Storyist also features ePub & Kindle export tools and a mobile app.

Price: $59.00

Website: www.storyist.com

ADOBE STORY

Overview: Adobe Story is an app bundled with Adobe’s Creative Cloud service.  The software features script editing, development tools & integration with other apps like  Premiere Pro.

Price: Basic Free / Plus $9.99 per month

Website: www.adobe.com

MOVIE OUTLINE

Overview: Fade In Pro is quickly gaining traction as a fantastic alternative to Final Draft. This full featured program certainly gets the job done.  With a low price tag and accompanying mobile apps, it’s definitely worth a look.

Price: $49.95

THOUGHTS?

What screenwriting software do you think belongs here? Tweet, email or comment on posts here with your thoughts on the software you use that others should know about!

MOBILE SOFTWARE

The arrival of mobile screenwriting apps has truly changed the game.  Not only did they provide a new sense of creative freedom and mobility, they reinvigorated the entire screenwriting software industry.  No longer were writer’s tied to their desktops and laptops.  Screenwriter’s began writing scenes while standing on crowded subways, in line at the grocery store or wherever inspiration struck.

The onset of mobile screenwriting software also ushered in a new era of collaboration and connectivity using new concepts like the cloud and new methods of communication.  And it’s not just limited to screenwriting.  There are many apps out there custom built to help you develop your screenplays.  Indeed, it’s a remarkable time to be a screenwriter.  Now we develop, write, rewrite, collaborate, network & more from every device.

MOBILE MAGIC!

CELTX

Overview: What sets Celtx apart from other leading applications is the number of platforms it’s available for.  In addition to desktop software there are apps on iPhone, iPad & Android devices tied together by a central cloud service.

Price: $4.99

Website: www.celtx.com

FINAL DRAFT

Overview: Final Draft premiered it’s mobile offering with all the bells and whistles you’d expect including Dropbox support.  The app is built on the fundamentals that make it’s desktop cousin the market leader.  (iPad only)

Price: $19.99

 

Website: www.finaldraft.com

FADE IN PRO

Overview: Fade In Pro has been making waves in the screenwriting software industry lately.  It’s mobile offerings perfectly compliment it’s robust desktop software.

Price: $4.99

Website: www.fadeinpro.com

SCREENPLAY

Overview: Screenplay was one of the first iPhone screenwriting apps and has since released an equally impressive version on iPad.

Price: $4.99

Website: www.blackmana.com

SCRIPTS PRO

Overview: Scripts Pro’s claim to fame is it’s easy to use interface and iCloud support.  Not interested in iCloud?  Email & Dropbox functionality are built in as well.

Price: $12.99

Website: www.scriptsapp.com

SCRIPTWRITE

Overview: ScriptWrite has everything you’d expect to find in a universal iPhone/iPad app including Dropbox support.

Price: $4.99

Website: www.filterapps.wordpress.com

THE COMPLETE LIST

DEVELOP. WRITE. REWRITE. REPEAT

At last, a complete list of screenwriting software on all of the major platforms.

This section is organized in two categories.  On the left, you’ll find any and all traditional desktop/laptop software including development tools and utilities.  The right side is dedicated to the world of mobile and web based screenwriting apps.  Main links will take you to the company’s website and there are also links provided to purchase the software quickly and easily.

Have you developed screenwriting software that’s missing from this list? Email here.

Note: The majority of these mobile apps are available on iOS.  More on Android & Windows devices to come.  Prices may change.

DESKTOP SOFTWARE

ADOBE STORY | PC/Mac/Web (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Fully integrated with Adobe CC’s applications.

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideCELTX | PC/Mac/iOS/Android/Web (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Leads the league in multiplatform availability.

DRAMA QUEEN | PC/Mac (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Developed by filmmakers

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideFADE IN PRO | PC/Mac/iOS/Android ($49.95)
BIG PLUS: All the big features with a lower price tag.

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideFINAL DRAFT | PC/Mac/iPad Only ($249.99)
BIG PLUS: Highly recommended by the pros.
BUY FINAL DRAFT

HIGHLAND | Mac ($29.99)
BIG PLUS: Converts leading formats quickly and easily.

MONTAGE | Mac ($49.95)
BIG PLUS: Built in FDX importer.
BUY MONTAGE

MOVIE DRAFT | PC/Mac ($37.99)
BIG PLUS: Single Scene mode allows you to write non-linearly.

MOVIE MAGIC SCREENWRITER | PC/Mac ($169)
BIG PLUS: While aging, it remains popular and well known.
BUY MOVIE MAGIC SCREENWRITER

MOVIE OUTLINE | PC/Mac ($199.95)
BIG PLUS: Enhanced outline & development features.
BUY MOVIE OUTLINE

PAGE 2 STAGE | PC (Free)
BIG PLUS: Open Source.

PRACTICAL SCREENWRITER | PC ($54.00)
BIG PLUS: Supports UK & US formats & sizes.

SCRIPT IT! | PC/Mac ($79.95)
BIG PLUS:  The lite version of Movie Outline for beginners.
BUY SCRIPT IT

SCRIVENER | PC/Mac ($40)
BIG PLUS: See drafts, research, notes & more in one program.
BUY SCRIVENER

SLUGLINE | Mac ($39.99)
BIG PLUS: Simplifies screenwriting using the Fountain format.

STORYIST | PC/Mac/iOS ($59)
BIG PLUS: Development & writing tools.
BUY STORYIST

STORY TOUCH | PC/Mac (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Timeline view & structural tools.

TRELBY | PC/Mac (Free)
BIG PLUS: Extensive configuration options

DEVELOPMENT

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideAMAZON STORYBUILDER | PC/Mac/Mobile
BIG PLUS: Complete development tools.  Wherever you are.

CONTOUR | PC/Mac/iOS ($49.99)
BIG PLUS: Step by step story development techniques.
BUY CONTOUR

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideDRAMATICA PRO | PC/Mac ($129)
BIG PLUS: Extensive story development tools.
BUY DRAMATICA PRO

MOVIE OUTLINE | PC/Mac ($199.95)
BIG PLUS: Enhanced development & outline features.
BUY MOVIE OUTLINE

OUTLINE 4D | PC ($99.95)
BIG PLUS: Vertical & horizontal timeline format.
BUY OUTLINE 4D

PERSONA | Mac ($49.95)
BIG PLUS: Extensive character development tools.
BUY PERONA

PLOT BUILDER | PC ($19.00)
BIG PLUS: Visual story organization & editor.

PLOT CONTROL | PC/Mac ($139.00)
BIG PLUS: Visual story planner.

POWER STRUCTURE | PC ($99.95)
BIG PLUS: Complete development tools with export capabilities.
BUY POWER STRUCTURE

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideSAVE THE CAT| PC/Mac/iOS ($89.00)
BIG PLUS: Step by step story development tools.
BUY SAVE THE CAT

SCRIVENER | PC/Mac ($40)
BIG PLUS: See drafts, research, notes & more in one program.
BUY SCRIVENER

TRUBY BLOCKBUSTER | PC/MAC ($199)
BIG PLUS: Step by step blockbuster development in multiple genres.
BUY TRUBY BLOCKBUSTER

WRITER’S BLOCKS 4 | PC ($149)
BIG PLUS: Easily organize ideas visually into blocks.
BUY WRITER’S BLOCKS 4

UTILITIES

FOUNTAIN | Complete markup language for screenwriting.
BIG PLUS: Write anywhere on any platform/word processor.

WORD MENU | PC/Mac ($34.95)
BIG PLUS: Reverse Dictionary
BUY WORD MENU

APPLE PAGES TEMPLATE | PC/Mac/Mobile (Free)
BIG PLUS: Add functionality to the popular Pages app.

TABLEREAD PRO | Mobile (Free)
BIG PLUS: Listen to your script with 45 built in voices.

MOBILE SOFTWARE

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideCELTX | PC/Mac/iOS/Android/Web ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: Leads the league in multiplatform availability.
BUY CELTX

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideFADE IN PRO | PC/Mac/iOS/Android ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: All the big features with a lower price tag.
BUY FADE IN PRO | Free Version Here

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideFINAL DRAFT | PC/Mac/iOS ($19.99)
BIG PLUS: The industry leader.
BUY FINAL DRAFT

MOVIE WRITING | iOS ($2.99)
BIG PLUS: Script formatting and outline tools.
BUY MOVIE WRITING

SCREENPLAY | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: One of the first screenwriting apps available on iOS.
BUY SCREENPLAY

SCRIPTLY | iOS ($9.99)
BIG PLUS: Designed exclusively for iPad.
BUY SCRIPTLY

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideSCRIPTS PRO | iOS ($12.99)
BIG PLUS: Compatible with iCloud, FDX & CELTX formats.
BUY SCRIPTS PRO

SCRIPTWRITE | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: Full featured app with Dropbox integration.
BUY SCRIPTWRITE

DEVELOPMENT

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideCHARACTER | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: Complete mobile character development.
BUY CHARACTER

CONTOUR | PC/Mac/iOS ($6.99)
BIG PLUS: Step by step story development techniques.
BUY CONTOUR

INDEX CARD | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: A full featured index card app for iPad.
BUY INDEX CARD

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideINDEX CARD FOR IPAD | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: Create index cards with images.
BUY INDEX CARD FOR IPAD

PLOTLINE | iOS ($2.99)
BIG PLUS: Story mapping tools.
BUY PLOTLINE

SAVE THE CAT! | iOS ($19.99)
BIG PLUS: Step by step story development tools.
BUY SAVE THE CAT

SCRIPT MUSE | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: Outline your screenplay based on 3 act structure.
BUY SCRIPT MUSE

STICKYBOARD 2 | iOS ($4.99)
BIG PLUS: Post it note approach to index cards.
BUY STICKYBOARD 2

STORY SKELETON | iOS ($8.99)
BIG PLUS: Story mapping tools for iPhone & iPad.
BUY STORY SKELETON

SYD FIELD SCRIPTOR | iOS ($7.99)
BIG PLUS: Famed teacher Syd Field offers development tips.
BUY SYD FIELD SCRIPTOR

WRITER AID | iOS ($1.99)
BIG PLUS: Character development library.
BUY WRITER AID

UTILITIES

FDX READER | iOS ($7.99)
BIG PLUS: One of the first screenplay readers on iOS.
BUY FDX READER

FINAL DRAFT READER | iOS (Free)
BIG PLUS: The official Final Draft Reader.
GET IT HERE

POWER PITCH PRO | iOS/Android (Free)
BIG PLUS: Create a one line pitch step by step.
GET IT HERE

SCRIPTED | iOS (Free)
BIG PLUS: Read 100s of screenplays.
GET IT HERE

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideSCRIPTNOTES | iOS (Free)
BIG PLUS: Listen to the popular Scriptnotes podcast anywhere.
GET IT HERE

TEMPLATES FOR PAGES | iOS ($1.99)
BIG PLUS: Adds 186 templates including screenplays to pages.
BUY TEMPLATES FOR PAGES

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideWEEKEND READ | iOS (Free)
BIG PLUS: Advanced reading features created by John August.
GET IT HERE

WEB BASED SOFTWARE

ADOBE STORY | PC/Mac/Web (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Fully integrated with Adobe CC’s applications.

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideCELTX | PC/Mac/iOS/Android/Web (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Leads the league in multiplatform availability.

PLOTBOT | Web (Free)
BIG PLUS: Nothing to install.

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideSCRIPPED | Web (See Site For $)
BIG PLUS: Access your scripts from anywhere on any platform.

SCRIPT BUDDY | Web (Free + Pro Version)
BIG PLUS: Free software plus online community features.

The Ultimate Screenwriting Software GuideWRITER DUET | Web (Free)
BIG PLUS: Easily collaborate through video/text chat.