13 Best Screenwriting Software 2023

screenwriting software

Table of Contents

Introduction

Do you want to become a professional screenwriter? Do you want to enter the film industry to create scripts?

If yes, then all you need is a computer, screenwriting software, and excellent writing skills. Yes, you heard it right. These are the primary things that you require to start your career as a screenwriter.

The screenwriting software industry is a growing industry. It is supposed to reach the $235.8 million mark by 2026. This figure is enough to explain the importance of screenwriting software options.

But before this, let’s know in detail the meaning of screenwriting software.

What Is Screenwriting Software Programs?

Different screenwriters or scriptwriters require several tools to create their screenplays. These screenplay software are called screenwriting software.

The screenwriting software programs help the screenwriters edit, format, and print the scripts of different video games, films, and television shows.

Users can avoid the time-consuming tasks of manual formatting by using screenwriting software. Such software automatically formats content and adds different features to your content.

These features include dialogues, scene headings, character names, shortcuts, etc. There are several standard word processing programs available, such as Microsoft Word.

But these processors cannot satisfy the requirements of professional scriptwriters. To satisfy their special requirements, the users need professional screenwriting software.

The special requirements of the screenwriters include the usage of special characters or quick shortcuts. Writers also require the screenwriting software to collaborate with other writers or take notes.

So the users can fulfil their special requirements with the help of screenwriting software. This software will help them create an awesome script very quickly.

One of the best aspects of the screenwriting software that helps them create scripts is the templates. Templates assist this software in making writing very simple. The users can easily select any template according to their script type and then edit it. This is it.

Now you are done creating your script. This will help you save time and stay organized by allowing you to write quickly. Screenwriting software also helps you focus on your content rather than the technicalities of the program.

Let us take a look at the various features and benefits of screenwriting software for users.

Features of Screenwriting Software

Let us have a look at the different benefits of the popular screenwriting software that make it possible for users to create scripts and screenplays.

  • Screenwriting software programs have an easy-to-use interface. This interface makes it easy for users to operate the software and create their scripts without any training.
  • Various screenwriting software also includes a variety of ready-to-use templates.These templates are simple to use and can be customized to meet the needs of the users.
  • The facility of drag-and-drop building is also available in screenwriting software.
  • Using the different features of screenwriting software, the users can easily edit their content. Editing features include grammar and spell checks, as well as autocorrect options.
  • The screenwriting software also helps users with mind mapping and outlining.
  • Using this software, users can easily collaborate with other stakeholders and writers.
  • Different screenwriting programs also have a note-taking tool. This helps the writers create their content.
  • Using the software, the writers can easily organize their data and write in a distraction-free manner.
  • Drafts can also be quickly imported and exported using the screenwriting software. This also keeps the different screenwriting software at an advantage over the normal word processors.
  • The user can even open the on-screen sidebar. This sidebar provides quick access to the different characters and scenes of the script.
  • The writers can connect with third-party applications like cloud services using this software.
  • Screenwriting software provides multi-device support to users.

So, these are some of the benefits or advantages of screenwriting software. You can choose such software to create your screenplays easily. But before choosing the right software, you should consider the following aspects of each program:

1. Templates

The screenwriting software provides ready-made templates. These templates serve as a base for you to create your scripts. You can modify the templates according to your requirements.

Different elements of a template include the character names, headline scenes, transitions, action, dialogue, etc. Such elements help save the users’ time and make their work easier.

2. Easy to Use Interface

You should always make sure to choose screenwriting software with an easy-to-use interface. If the software does not have an easy to use interface and requires training, then it will take much of your time and effort.

You will have to learn how to use the particular screenwriting tool.

So, the interface and layout of the screenwriting software should be easy to use. It should be self-explanatory, with different buttons and options clearly mentioned.

These buttons and options should explain their purposes to the users. The users can also opt for screenwriting software that has a drag-and-drop tool with a graphical interface.

3. Collaboration Opportunities

Before choosing a screenwriting software, you should always consider its real-time collaboration capabilities. The collaboration capabilities will speed up your screenwriting process by helping you collaborate with different editors, writers, and other stakeholders.

The collaboration facility of the screenwriting software will help you collaborate with other writers without integrating any other third party application or tool. In this way, you can easily create your scripts in an organized way with a single piece of software.

Choosing the right screenwriting software for you is a personal decision. But these three features are the critical aspects that you should always consider before choosing your screenwriting software.

Let’s take a look at some of the screenwriting software that you can use to create your screenplays.

Best Screenwriting Software 2023

1. Final Draft, screenwriting software program

Final Draft is best screenwriting programs out there. It is used by approximately 95% of television and film productions. This platform has won several awards for screenwriting.

The final draft was released in 1990. Since then, it has been used by famous production platforms like Netflix, Paramount, Pixar, NBC Universal, ABC, etc. The software had also won a prime-time Emmy Engineering Award in 2013.

If you are intrigued by the information mentioned above, then you can try the final draft. This software is the best for people who want to use it to create scripts similar to those of different television shows.

Creating screenplays is made easier by Final Draft due to its wide range of features. Some of the best features of this screenwriting program are as follows:

  • Final draft has many visualization tools. These tools will help you collaborate with other writers and stakeholders easily. 
  • The platform also helps its users plan their plot points.
  • The users can easily organize their content with the help of the final draft. They can even customize different features like the location, plot points, characters, etc.
  • The software also makes sure that it helps the users preserve the data. For this, it has the feature of automatic backups.
  • Final Draft’s editing feature assists users in automatically formatting their scripts. These scripts are then aligned with the required industry standards.
  • Due of the text-to-speech feature, users can easily create their screenplays on the final draft.
  • This software is compatible with iOS, Windows, and OS X.
  • One of the best features of the platform is its number of pre-made templates. Final Draft provides more than 100 templates to its users.
  • The platform also has fonts in more than 97 languages.
  • This screenwriting software has the option of creating alternate dialogues. As the name suggests, this option allows users to create modified versions of a particular line.
  • The user can easily switch between the options of action and dialogue. This is done by clicking on the shortcut keys: enter and tab.

If you are satisfied by all the above-mentioned features of Final Draft, then you can use this platform to create scripts.

For this, you can get a digital download of Final Draft. The cost of this download is $199.99 USD. A single purchase can help you perform two activations. Final Draft’s educational license is also available for $99.99.

But before purchasing any version, you can opt for the 30-day free trial. This trial will help you know whether the software aligns with your preferences and requirements or not.

2. Celtx, professional screenwriting software

celtx

Celtx is multi-purpose screenwriting software with an easy-to-use interface. It has several features that help in both screenwriting and managing production activities.

This platform is meant specifically for large teams and organizations. These organizations can easily write, edit, and manage production using this single platform.

The screenwriters can easily learn how to use this screenwriting software. This is because of its easy-to-use interface, which prevents the screenwriters from needing training to use it.

The software also has several tools that help users in collaboration, production, managing costs, writing, reporting, etc.

Since Celtx is a multi-purpose program, it is not very suitable for beginners. This is because beginners tend to work on a single project. But the platform provides capabilities for screenwriting as well as production management.

Now let us have a glance at the different features of Celtx that can help professional screenwriters. This software can help the screenwriters create the scripts even offline. These users can track their performance and collaborate with other writers as well.

The users can also work in teams because the software supports working with multiple members. They can work for story development because of the index cards and storyboard features of Celtx.

If you are satisfied with all the above features, then you can try this platform. The users can opt for the 30-day free trial, which will help them to know whether the software is suitable for them or not. Besides the free trial, Celtx also has different paid programs.

Plan Features Price
Writer
  • Up to 3 projects
  • Unlimited PDFs
  • Unlimited comments
$14.99/month
Writer Pro
  • Writer plan features
  • Unlimited projects
  • Story development tools
$24.99/month
Team
  • Writer pro features
  • Production planning tools
$59.99/month

3. Fade In, best screenwriting software tool

Fade In is another piece of screenwriting software that is primarily meant for people working in the film, gaming, or television industries.

These people can easily create motion picture scripts using fade-in. They can create scripts using this software on different platforms. Fade in is compatible with mobile, Windows, Linux, and Mac.

There are several features that help to make fading easier in some of the best screenwriting software. One of the best features is that several writers can work on a single story. This is due to the real-time collaboration capabilities of this software.

These users can easily learn how to use this screenwriting software due to its easy to use interface. You can choose any language on the platform because it supports many languages. It also supports different file formats like PDF, images, etc.

Another advantage of Fade In is that it helps the writers integrate with third-party applications. This is because the software supports cloud services. The users can easily type without any distraction on this platform.

They can even make use of the autocomplete tool and revision tools in Fade In. The rewrite and editing tools also enable people to easily create their scripts.

You can try all these features of this screenwriting software using its free demo plan. But the demo version will not allow you to download or use the content.

Apart from the demo version, you can register as a permanent user of Fade In. For this, you need to purchase the full version or license of the software. The full version costs $79.95.

4. Trelby 

Trelby is screenwriting software that was developed in 2003 by Osku Salerma. It was originally known as Blythe. But then, in 2011, the name of this screenwriting software was changed to Trelby. The platform was updated as open-source screenwriting software this year.

This screenwriting software program is one of the best options for beginners. Beginners can use this platform with both Linux and Windows. Before using the platform, the users do not need to learn or procure any special training.

This is because trelby has an easy to use interface. When the users open the software for the first time, they can find different buttons on the left side of the screen.

They can optimize or modify the location of these buttons according to their preferences. When you start typing on the software, you can further explore the different features of this screenwriting platform.

The software has a screenplay editor. This editor helps to auto-correct the script and format the typed content. It can spell-check the content as well. The writers can even opt for a full screen for their screenplays.

Besides these features, Trelby also has some advanced features. These features include the tracking feature, character name generator, reports, etc.

Moreover, the writers can even import from Adobe Story, fade in, Celtx, final draft, and fountain. The file formats compatible with this platform include HTML, PDF, final draft, RTF, etc.

If you are satisfied with all the above features, you can use this platform to create screenplays. The customizable interface of Trelby will help you with automatic formatting. Also, the platform is free to use

5. Movie Magic Screenwriter

movie magic screenwriter

Movie Magic Screenwriter is another screenwriting software with an easy to use interface. This software has been primarily used by professionals for years. The latest version of this screenwriting platform is Movie Magic Screenwriter 6.

To understand the complex and advanced features of Movie Magic Screenwriter, users are provided with different manuals. They receive a paper manual, sample documents, an electronic manual, and a 35-page PDF guide.

These manuals and guides explain to users how to make the best use of the features of the program.

Movie Magic screenwriter offers the best user experience features that can help them create screenplays. It is easy to set up and install, and it has automatic updates. The users can make use of the screenwriting templates of this software.

The platform has more than 100 pre-made templates. These templates make it easy for users to create their screenplays. Out of these templates, there are eight instructional templates as well.

After making use of the templates to create the content, the users receive another feature. This feature is the real-time formatting feature, which helps format the content.

The users can even track their revision history and edit their content easily. To edit the content, the platform has spellchecks.

The Movie Magic screenwriter also helps to improve the vocabulary of the script for the users. This is possible because of the dictionaries and thesaurus in multiple languages present in the software.

To easily navigate through the software, the platform has four navigation panels. These panels include options for bookmarks, scenes, an outline, and notes.

Another amazing feature of this screenwriting software is the text-to-speech feature. This can help the users to easily create content without typing it.

Once the file is created, there are options for quick export in multiple file formats. Similarly, users can even import files. They can make a backup of their files and collaborate with others as well.

Since the software has several advanced and complex features, professional writers can use it. They can make the process of screenwriting easier and more flexible due to the customizable tools of this software.

Moreover, the users need not focus on the technical aspects of the software and can easily create their scripts.

With all such benefits, you can use Movie Magic Screenwriter 6. This screenwriting software is available for Windows and Mac OS. To use the software, you need to subscribe to its various plans.

  • The regular version of Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 is available for $249.95.
  • These teachers or students can subscribe to this version only if they have any proof of identification for their profession. The price of this version is $99.95.
  • In the end, you can even upgrade to the next version of Movie Magic Screenwriter. The cost to upgrade to the latest version is $89.95.

6. WriterDuet

writerduet

WriterDuet is a screenwriting software with one of the best collaboration capabilities. This cloud-based software was developed in 2013. Since then, it has allowed multiple writers to work on a similar script to create the best screenplays without the risk of overwriting content.

The writers can create scripts from any device using WriterDuet. This is possible due to the auto-sync feature of this platform. Apart from this feature, several other features meant for professional screenwriters are:

  • Customizable templates
  • Commenting option
  • Video chat and text inside the application
  • Outlining tools
  • Import and export options in different formats
  • The file formats include Fountain, PDF and final draft
  • Cloud backup
  • Revision tracking

To use all such features, the writers can opt for the different plans of WriterDuet. The platform has a free plan and three paid plans.

Plan Features Price
Free
  • 3 projects
  • Industry standard template
  • Rewind through editing history
  • Google drive/ Dropbox backups
$0
Plus
  • Free plan features
  • Unlimited projects
  • Real time collaboration
  • Offline writing
  • Desktop app
$9.99/month
Pro
  • Plus plan features
  • Customization options
  • Dialogue & character filters
  • Document statistics
  • Revisions management
$11.99/month
Premium
  • Pro plan features
  • Script narration with distinct voices
  • Simultaneous scene format & tools
  • Script translation to dozens of languages
$13.99/month

7. Studio Binder

Studio Binder

Studio Binder is professional dedicated screenwriting software for writing meant primarily for different filmmakers or writers. It has an easy to use and industry-approved interface. This interface helps you focus more on the content than on the technicalities of the software.

Another outstanding feature of Studio Binder is that it is an end to end production management platform. This means the writers can easily create scripts that need production on this platform.

The software has several other options that can help you generate schedules and call sheets automatically. You can easily create and manage documents on this platform.

The collaboration capabilities of Studio Binder make it possible for the writers to connect with their team and edit the content simultaneously. Using this platform, the writers can even import documents, drafts, or PDF files.

You can get access to all such features in Studio Binder for free. So you can give this platform a try to create your scripts.

8. KIT Scenarist

KIT Scenarist is an open-source perfect screenwriting software. This software helps more than 300 writers create their scripts. These writers keep up with the new updates to KIT Scenarist released almost every month.

Up until now, the platform has received more than 70 updates. All such numerical figures are enough to show the usability and popularity of this platform.

KIT Scenarist is best suited for professional scriptwriters. This is because the platform helps to create high-level scriptwriting that can work well in the television industry. Moreover, writers, authors, or novelists who want to create scripts in multiple languages can also use this software.

The software’s compatibility allows users to create scripts on a variety of devices. The platform is compatible with Android, Linux, Mac, Windows, and iOS. KIT Scenarist also has an all in one research module and an inbuilt card module.

The research module helps the writers to collect the necessary data at a single place and organise it. On the other hand, the inbuilt card module helps the users to build their Story.

KIT Scenerist also has features for editing and formatting. The script editor and the formatting tool of the software help the users to edit their content.

These users can create content in multiple languages and use multiple themes as well. The themes can be light or dark. The formats in which the users can export the scripts include PDF, Doc, FDX, and Fountain.

You can use KIT Scenarist to get access to all the above features. This platform is a free screenwriting software but after the free trial is over, you need to subscribe to the paid plan. The paid plan will help you to get access to additional features like cloud services.

9. Scrivener

Scrivener is screenwriting software with a drag-and-drop interface. This software does not only help screenwriters but also different types of writers like journalists, novelists, non-fiction writers, etc.

These writers can create content by using the pre-made templates in Scrivener. These templates are customizable, and the writers can easily edit them according to their preferences.

But the writers need to procure training before using this software. This will help them to learn the different functions and usages of Scrivener. Once the users know all the functions of this platform, they can use it on Windows, Mac OS and iOS.

Now let us have a look at the different features or functions of this screenwriting software. One of the best features is the corkboard mode of Scrivener. This mode helps the user access their notes for different screenplay scenes.

Besides this feature, the writers can avoid distraction while writing by modifying the full-screen mode. They can easily navigate through the document because of the easy-to-use interface of this software.

Scrivener also helps the users to import and export different file formats, like a PDF, word, final draft, etc. These users can easily edit their documents according to the industry standard with the help of the toolbars.

Moreover, they can also set limits for their characters. In the end, the screenwriting software has the feature of auto backup and autosave. These features help the users to save and preserve their content.

To try all the features of this platform, you can opt for the 30-day free trial version. This version will help you to know whether this software is suitable for your requirements or not.

If you find it suitable, then you can further opt for the paid plans of Scrivener. The price of the paid plans depends upon the platform or device on which you want to use this software.

Software Price
iOS (iPod, iPhone or iPad) $19.99
Mac OS $49
Mac OS educational version $41.65
Windows $49
Windows educational version $41.65

10. Highland 2

Highland 2 is one of the best screenwriting software with an easy to use interface. This software was created by John August for the people involved in the screenwriting process. These people, or users, can set up the platform and learn to use it in just a few minutes.

The four main tools of Highland 2 include the live margins, navigator, revision mode, and bin. These tools assist screenwriters in creating scripts and screenplays for various devices.The software is compatible with Android, Mac OS, Windows, and iOS.

Once the users type their scripts on Highland 2, their content is automatically formatted in editor mode. To create the scripts, these users can even use the 10 pre-made templates in the software.

Besides the templates, you can even adjust the dark and light themes in your scripts. The full-screen mode can also help you to write in a distraction-free way. Users can even create dialogues in the software’s various languages.

This app is free to download with basic features. You can opt for Highland pro features with in-app purchases.

11. Squibler

Squibler is another excellent screenwriting software with a drag-and-drop interface. Such an interface helps the users to easily create headings and add other elements in their screenplays.

The users can easily set up the software to create their scripts. This is because the software is easy to use. It also has more than 30 templates that work as a base for the scripts of the users. The writers can modify these templates according to their preferences.

Another element of Squibler is its collaboration feature. This feature helps several writers work simultaneously. These writers can create their scripts in distraction-free mode.

After creating the scripts, the writers can even work with third-party applications like Google Drive and DropBox. This application is compatible with different devices like an iPhone, Android computer, or iPad.

If you are satisfied with all the above features of Squibler, then you can use the software. It is suitable for different types of writers. These users include scriptwriters, authors, and even fiction and non-fiction writers.

The users can opt for the free trial of this screenwriting software. After the trial, you can even opt for the paid-up plan.

The paid-up plan is known as the Pro Plan. This plan allows users to unlock the advanced features of Squibler for $9.99 per month.

12. Slugline

slugline

Slugline is easy-to-use screenwriting software that does not require any formal training. The writers can easily use this software and focus on their content rather than the technicalities of the application. The screenplay format of Slugline is plain text.

Besides the format, Slugline also has several other formatting and editing features. These features help to auto-format the content of the writers and make it free from any grammatical errors. These writers can also use keyboard shortcuts to create their content.

This software also has customizable screen sizes. The users can easily write on the full-screen mode without any distraction. They can even collaborate with other writers and edit a story simultaneously.

After creating the screenplays, the writers can live-compare their scripts to track any changes. They can preview their scripts before printing them. The drag and drop interface of Slugline also works as the cherry on top.

Hence, by using all the above features, you can make the process of scriptwriting easy and more organized.

You can download this screening software for iOS and Mac OS devices. After downloading the software, the writers can use the free version.

This free version is suitable for creating short films worth 6 pages. This is because the limit of the free version is six pages.

After this, the users can upgrade their versions. The upgraded version provides unlimited writing opportunities for the writers. These writers need to pay $49.99 to get this version.

13. Storyist

Storyist is all-purpose screenwriting software. It not only helps the writers in their screenwriting process but also in the story development process. The story development process can include writing, editing, planning, and researching.

To help in all such processes, Storyist has several features. The writers can e\asily check their word count and track their deadlines on this program.

We can also use color-coded pictures and index cards. The text snippet shortcuts also help the writers in their screenwriting process.

Moreover, these writers can also use pre-made templates. These templates serve as the foundation for the writers’ scripts. The writers can even modify these templates according to their preferences. If they have any difficulty using this tool, they can use the educational guides and tutorials included with the software.

Besides the guide, the software also has a dark color theme for the users. After creating their scripts in different themes, the writers can import and export their files in multiple formats.

The print-ready PDF tool helps these writers print their scripts. They can even organize their documents related to screenwriting using the project manager of the software.

But the benefits of the software do not halt here. The writers can receive real-time feedback using the comment feature of Storyist as well. They can create duplicates or save their original scripts using the duplicate and autosave options.

Hence, Storyist is one of the best platforms for writers who want to create their scripts in a distraction-free way. The tool can easily function on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

If you think Storyist is an ideal platform to create scripts for you, then you can use its free trial version. The trial version will help you get to know its features in a better way.

Besides the trial version, writers can even purchase this tool. The one-time purchase price on macOS of Storyist is $59. Whereas, the one-time purchase price on iOS is $19.

Conclusion

Hence, here is the list of the best screenwriting software in 2023 that can help you in the screenwriting process. Though this software cannot make you a professional writer, it works as a lubricant in your screenwriting process.

Without the help of screenwriting software, the process of screenwriting becomes quite hectic and time-consuming.

So you can choose any screenwriting software on the market according to your project’s requirements and needs. But choosing the right software also depends on your position as a writer.

You should answer several questions before choosing any screenwriting software. These questions can include:

  • Are you a newbie in the screenwriting industry?
  • Do you want to work with a team or alone?
  • Do you want to focus on the production process along with the screenwriting process?
  • Do you want to conduct the screenwriting process flexibly?
  • What are the types of pre-made templates that you require to create your screenplays?

All such questions will help you know the requirements of your screenwriting process. Besides the above questions, one of the major factors that helps you to determine the screenwriting software is your budget.

Several of the tools mentioned above have both free and paid plans. You can always try the free trial of the software before opting for any paid version. The free trial will help you know whether the software is suitable for your requirements or not.

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