The professional solution for script writers

And I hate it. What do I love? Its ubiquity: Everybody uses it. What do I hate? Dislike 1 Its penchant for crashing in the most inopportune moments, no matter what version I have, and no matter whether I run it on my PC or my Mac. Of course, maybe this is just me. It feels so, well, The game has changed when it comes to simplicity and elegance.

Dislike 3 The price. But remember ? That was the year Microsoft released their first Microsoft Office package. Final Draft appears to have caught wind of this, and has developed their Final Draft Writer app for the iPad. Point is: And confused potential customers tend to abandon their shopping cart.

Publisher's Description

Now, sure, screenwriters who got their start during the heady days of the typewriter, like me and many of my generation, are probably not keen on the idea of writing a screenplay on a tablet, but for thousands of young screenwriters, writing movies on an iPad or an iPhone is not as far a leap. Please note: They put out a fine product, but that product is just, well…getting old. Meanwhile, the number of new screenwriters grows every day.

How many of them can afford to pay their student loans, let alone finance a copy of Final Draft?

But take heart! There are now cheaper and free alternatives that, in my opinion, really give Final Draft a run for its money. And a few of those apps have finally gotten my attention. I jumped right in and started writing a scene, and it just flew. Right on to the page. Very intuitive tabbing. For new screenwriters: By tabbing I mean, for example, you type INT. I know… I know. Especially over the course of a page screenplay, consisting of 6 months of work, and drafts. Other great features I love about Trelby: Fountain is the new open-source markup language that lets a lot of different new screenwriting apps share a common script formatting standard.

But for me, the lightweight feel of Trelby, and its ability to export to Final Draft, are the things that are gonna compel me to give Trelby a shot on my next screenplay. For me, the lag is unbearable on other software packages, so this is a real lifesaver. For others, they may not care or even notice the lag, so Trelby would be less appealing, especially without the easy color-revision pages feature. The good news is, Trelby is open source and seems to be adding features all the time. Paid version available http: Available for PC, Mac, and Linux. The suite is responsive enough, but the major drawback for me is the sheer amount of clunk and window space it takes up.

It seems everything you do opens up another window, and it fills up your screen pretty fast. Not to mention the amount of tabs, buttons, and menus can really be daunting for the uninitiated. The suite itself is powerful and quickly becoming its own standard. But the design and usability? It definitely feels like sitting down in front of an Avid video editing program for the first time. Demo available for free download http: And its design and usability puts it ahead of Final Draft in many ways.

FadeIn is impressive. The bottom line: Final Draft is still the big gorilla. People still see it as the industry standard. But with more and more modern, elegant, streamlined, super-responsive, and future-proof desktop and mobile screenwriting apps hitting the market, and especially with their increasing compatibility with Final Draft files, you owe it to yourself as a smart screenwriter to take a second look. Read their response to my blog post here. But with so many new awesome screenwriting program choices, how can anyone not be happy?


  • 3 Great Alternatives to Final Draft (that are either free or cheap).
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Their argument is that the software design will make it virually impossible to implement, and that you, if your script is accepted and goes into production, can afford to buy Final Draft. Yeah, I did notice that, and mentioned it in my article as a drawback. Not unlike you, after some 25 years in IT, I switched to screenwriting and then producing feature films.

When I started, some 15 years ago, I tried out Final Draft and found it cumbersome, so I made my own version based on Word styles and macros, which I used happily ever after, imposing it successfully on practically all the screenwriters I work with, who were happy to find something very much FD but without the constraints.

Download Final Draft for Mac Free

And of course, free. So FD or eqiuvalent should not cost more than ten bucks or so. ANyway, this is just to thank you, when I read your post from 4 years ago, I felt like meeting a soul body. Why is the FadeIn demo annoying? I downloaded it but I have not had a chance to play with it much.

But I can imagine the program without those popups, of course. I am a novelist adapting my own work to a screenplay using Trelby. Now, trelby does not allow copy and paste between itself and the system clipboard. The Trelby manual does however mention that this is possible but fails to list the command that can achieve this. Any idea how this can be done? I thank you in advance. Hey Rajat — That seems a bit strange. This is my main complaint with Trelby. Otherwise, this is a great program.

Have you tried saving the script with a different name for your second draft? Or would that work the way you write? Hey Matt — thanks. Sorry, mate! Can you at least tell us if it has support for retina Macs? My biggest beef with Celtx is that their stageplay formatting is incorrect. FadeIn looks pretty solid in that area. Thank you so much for posting this! I knew about Celtx but am happy to check out Trelby. Any truth to this? I have to admit, I did think it was a bit weird it asked me to connect to the internet upon installation. Hahaha, Cliff. They connect to the internet so you can connect your software to your online account, and can save your projects to your online folder too.

For me the HUGE drawback of Celtx was how different something could look on the screen as compared to when you printed it out. What I see on the program prints out-and I love that. Though I definitely agree that often times the Celtx screen to page placement issues do become annoying, I would only point out two things.

Its also a good alternative program, simply because if you have a non funded writing staff all using Celtx, there are no real issues. Beyond that, every writer should learn to storyboard their ideas. And for those worried about having their ideas stolen. Nice article! It seems like there are a lot of features here that would work well for a beginner. Hey Ben! As far as class collaboration, try WriterDuet. I would really like the option of creating custom reports. One of the bugs that sticks in my head is that changing text colors will strip out any other formatting which has been applied.

Also FI will render a printed page that is slightly different than one that has converted to PDF first. I just know that FI printed pages are slightly more left aligned. Will Trelby automatically provide me with this or do I have to set up the format if at all? Thank you. Yep, Trelby, like the rest of the apps mentioned do just that. From my experience, Celtx makes your scripts seem longer than they really are. I was a long time Celtx user who recently switched to Trelby.

Great review! It only supports online-based system. I had old downloaded file and installed on my PC, and it deleted itself. Final Draft Customer Support is very good about restoring your authorizations when you change systems without de authorizing first like, say after a crash that requires a system restore. Trelby is amazingly easy to use.

I use Linux Mint. Does that mean that Trelby will not interface with Linux Mint? Thanks for this breakdown. That mids microsoft look really distracts me. It appears that CeltX no longer has a downloadable free version, at least for Mac. I also like to keep my applications separate. Hey Todd! Have no fear. You mention importing in to Trelby.

Does this mean I can import my saved script from the locked up trial version of Final Draft? Hi Julie — Trelby imports Final Draft files. I just did it and it works fine. Great little Article. Too bad that there is no Trelby Mac Version yet. But i have hope, some People working on it. It is one of the best Focuswriter under the Screenwriting Programs for me. Jim Porter Its not necessary. Sometimes then it works fine, if you start it with sudo gksudo on Gnome, ksudo on KDE — but its not an all-time option.

All I have some other Options too.

Install Final Draft

If you like Markup Languages, than use Fountain http: Trelby can handle those too and for Mac you can use Writer https: Scrivener https: And another alternative: DramaQueen http: They hold a free Version beside paid Plans. Then again, I don't have an Intel Mac, so I can't comment on the stability of that. All I can say is, if you're a Final Draft user, don't upgrade to anything above 7. If you're stuck with 7.

I really do like the product, but the high price, the terrible 7. I would've given Stability four, maybe five stars, if not for 7. I already got Montage beta version and it's already much better than this latest Final Draft. Rest in peace. An utter joke, filled with bugs.

I only wish I could have my 5. I'd run OS 9 to use it. Can't refresh text as you type. Can't zoom because it corrupts it's sytle element sheets. Consistently mis-applies styles Loses track of hard and soft carriage returns, causing style reformatting. Can't work with a file for more than a few hours, because the software automatcially corrupts it. Horrible, pay by the minute, customer service that refuses to admit this buggy, pre-beta realease junk doesn't work. This used to be the standard, but now it's not even close. I really hope montage is good, because I'm desperate for a good screenplay program.

Final Draft still doesn't draw correctly, meaning if you scroll a page, it becomes all garbled text. I mean come on, what are they doing over there in CA? They seem to be more worried about copy protection and charging money for support, then they are about making a good solid product. Like this: The concept is "it suggests, but it doesn't interfere if you don't want it to".

Well bullshit. Have a list with several characters, all starting with L, and make one "Lloyd". Then type a character and type two L after each other. Instead of selecting Lloyd, FinalDraft incorrectly scrolls through the list and selects any name with an L at the beginning, but most likely not Lloyd.

Imagine that you've just written this killer paragraph. You select it and choose "insert ScriptNote" and guess what: This feature replaces your stuff with a ScriptNote and there is no undo whatsoever. The only way to go to your stuff is by reverting the whole document - but if you haven't saved right before this step: Final Draft inc, listen up: Fix your software!

Editors' Review

Saving in 7. I have no confidence in this company of losers. At least version 6 works, more or less. Stay the! PS Apologies from developer are moot - thankfully these people are insane enough to allow you to demo this joke of an app, so try it for free and save yourself the money and the grief. Can't some comp boffins weedle away in the night to create writing tools that aren't hopelessly buggy and inadequate? Wouldn't they get rich? Login or create an account to post a review. The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.

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Final Draft 8 Support

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Final Draft for Mac 9. Publisher's Description. From Final Draft: Final Draft, the number-one selling word processor specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays, combines powerful word processing with professional script formatting in one self-contained, easy-to-use package. There is no need to learn about script formatting rules.

Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards as you write. Use your creative energy to focus on the content; let Final Draft take care of the style. Latest Stories. Read more. The best alternatives to OneNote for capturing all your dazzling ideas OneNote is flexible and much liked. Adobe Lightroom for iOS Review: Summary This review was originally posted on VersionTracker. Reply to this review Was this review helpful? Please Wait.

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