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The Future Of Screenwriting Software

The Future Of Screenwriting Software

Creating The Ultimate Screenwriting Software Guide was a lot of fun to put together.  It was a journey that included analyzing over 50 applications spanning many platforms and devices.  Ultimately, it got me thinking about the future of screenwriting software.  For the longest time, desktop software ruled the screenwriting landscape.  It’s hard to even fathom typewriters now that we have mobile screenwriting software apps.

So what’s next?  Will screenwriting technology leap forward again or are we enjoying a time where software developers perfect the current generation of apps?  I think it’s a little of both but it all centers on one concept:


There exists a large gap in pricing when you consider current cheap/free offerings have many desirable features when compared to expensive alternatives.  I believe a middle ground is coming and the first company to launch will shine.

What am I talking about?  ONE App.  ONE price.

In an ideal world, you would pay one fee for desktop software available on PC and Mac operating systems.  That same fee membership would grant you access to mobile apps available on iOS & Android.  This mobile app would be available on smartphones AND tablets without the need to pay twice.

The most important component of this ONE App is a central cloud service.  Purchasing the family of applications would necessitate the need for a cloud service to store your screenplays.  This service would be secure and available wherever you are.  This would also give the software developers an opportunity to create a simple web based option.  (You could log in and show off your screenplay in a grocery store if you happen to meet an agent or actor and lost your phone…  And they didn’t have theirs…  Where was I?)

There are many applications out there with cloud services built in but I want a service that pushes updates to all devices automatically.  No second thoughts.  To quote Steve Jobs: It just works.

For example: I wake up in the morning and implement some changes before work.  When I hit save, the changes are automatically pushed to my phone, tablet and the cloud.  Wherever I am throughout the day, I’ll have access to the most up to date version of my screenplay.  Above all else, the system would remember version history allowing me to go back 10 saves and retrieve a page or two if need be.

The future of screenwriting software will depend on connectivity.  We know mobile software exists now.  We can’t un-know it. Call us spoiled if you want but we want to write wherever we are am I right!?  There are only so many bells and whistles you can attach to what amounts to a specialized word processor.  The screenwriting format isn’t going to change anytime soon but screenwriters have evolved.  Many have multiple devices.  Many collaborate with writers around the world.

A single environment that delivers one interface and a universal format readable on any platform.  All connected to a single, automatically updated, cloud system. That’s the world I one day want to live in.

NOTE: The current leader is undoubtedly Celtx.  It’s available on the most platforms and devices and features one centralized cloud system.


Okay, I’ve covered a pricing structure and the important cloud features.  Why not enhance the experience!  Create a second screen option.  If I’m writing on my desktop and changes are automatically pushed to my iPad, why not have the iPad open as well?  What’s possible?

How about an index card/outline view on the iPad screen that updates as you write?

You could implement an advanced notes system that pops up reminders when you reach that line of dialogue you didn’t want to forget.

You could introduce a research option where you can store brainstorming sessions web pages, videos, notes and more.

Imagine a smart dictionary that displays and all information on the iPad with a simple shortcut.

Collaborating through video chats would allow for unique second screen experiences as well.

Even displaying real time reports that continually update could prove useful especially when integrated with production features.

What if you’re in your car when inspiration strikes?  You could use your smart phone to dictate new scenes.  In a perfect world, these scenes would then be formatted perfectly and pushed to all your devices.

Imagine a world where all this is possible while still delivering a streamlined screenwriting experience with minimal distractions.  A quick shortcut hides all the bells and whistles leaving only the blank page and your thoughts.


How would you change the current generation of screenwriting software?  It tough to add to an experience that’s worked for decades.  But the emergence of mobile screenwriting apps is a reminder that the evolution of screenwriting software is far from complete.  This is true as long as one central idea remains: Screenwriting software should sell the experience of writing screenplays.  A perfect app should speak to you:

“You’re inspired.  We’re here to help.”

“Wherever you go, your screenplay will follow.”

“Focus on the page.  Leave everything else to us.”


Be sure to check out The Ultimate Screenwriting Software Guide by clicking the link or the banner below.

Editor’s note: I use Final Draft on my PC and my iPad.  I’ve also used Celtx in the past for many of it’s key features.  What screenwriting software do you use?

Click here for more Screenwriting Software.


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5 thoughts on “The Future Of Screenwriting Software

  1. The free web app http://www.WriterDuet.com (which I created) has fully synchronized real-time updates! Any number of writers (whom you invite) can work on the script and see edits instantly, plus you can “collaborate with yourself” on multiple devices, all instantly synced. It also has text and video chat. :-)

    • Jason McKinnon

      Hi Guy!

      I actually discovered writer duet while researching software for the ultimate guide. I’m anxious to explore everything it has to offer!!!

  2. Hay,
    I think Script Buddy is full-featured screenwriting software. It handles the formatting while we do the writing. Start writing in minutes with the free basic version.

  3. Fade In, hands down. I switched a while ago and never looked back. On a laptop or desktop it does everything Final Draft does and more and it’s about 1/5 of the price. It’s mobile for iPhone iPads and Android too.

  4. And this is crucial in 2014: A DARK THEME option!!! Some of us can’t STAND looking at ugly glaring white screens, and hate them so much they interfere with the creative process.

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