Monique Mata 4 years ago Having only used Movie Magic Screenwriter, I can't address the other software but I can say that when you get down to typing a screenplay, these specialized programs compared to say, Word have helpful, easy shortcuts.
London by birth, NYC by fortune. Dec 13, Life Without Final Draft: I wrote a follow-up article with some more recent alternatives. You should check it out. A couple of years ago, I wrote about several screenwriting alternatives to Final Draft.
For a writer there was a sense of comfort that came from the blap, click and ker-ching sounds the multiple moving parts produced. Still, if you had a typo, you would have to scroll back and manually and X it out, and that was without even considering the small issue of having to correctly format every page.
Now, we do it all on chiclet keys, sweeping away effortlessly on software that does much lot of the heavy lifting for us.
When it comes to spacing, page numbering and just how much to indent a slugline, Final Draft has been the gold standard for a generation of writers. I remember when I first used it — it was a revelation coming from Microsoft Wordwhere trying to figure out my how much space to leave either side of my character names was a constant headache.
I marveled at its smarts, and soon it was how I wrote every script. But all that layout-massaging and easy element switching, it came at a price.
Consider this a rough guide to screenwriting apps, primarily with a focus to the free or pretty cheap end of the spectrum. How do they hold up? Is everything online-only these days? And if so, how do you get around that? And when compared to a lot of the other mobile screenwriting apps that on the App Store, it stacks up pretty well.
Of course, making the move from the full desktop version down to the mobile app means that there are some inevitable trade-offs, not least of which is typing on a glass screen.
Like a lot of mobile ports, it could be argued that Final Draft Writer is either just a simple companion app to the real thing, or even a gateway drug for those testing the waters as writers.
But the fact remains, if you need something stripped back, yet with enough solid features — and you can get beyond the limitations of working on an iPad — Final Draft Writer is a good start. Celtx Studio Web When Celtx first launched its screenwriting software a decade ago, it was a breath of fresh air for a lot of writers.
Although I already owned Final Draft, I was irritated by the upgrade costs for each new version. So when Celtx landed with their free desktop app, like a lot of people, I switched.
Celtx proper is actually a handful of pre-production tools, but the desktop screenwriting app was, for the longest time, the jewel in the crown. Indeed, in a lot of ways, it was ahead of its time at launch.
Built on as an open-source project, it put a strong onus on storing your documents in the cloud before we were all calling it thatmaking everything easily accessible by teams and collaborators no matter where they happened to be.
It was also very simple, putting you into the writing experience fast, and with an instantly familiar interface that aped much of what Final Draft could do. In addition, there was a community wiki to clear up questions, issues and oddities, and it was also cross platform — built to work on Windows, OSX and Linux.
Simply put, it was the first real heavyweight contender to Final Draft, and it worked great even if the visual design never went beyond basic. Still, a lot can happen in 10 years and Celtx as a product suite has morphed into a highly capable set of pre-production tools — loaded with everything from script collaboration and scheduling, through to storyboarding and pre-viz.
With so many of their products becoming web-centric over the years, Celtx decided to sunset the legacy app for good in in favor of Celtx Studio. Personally, I think this is a shame.
Celtx Studio However, when it comes to the Celtx Studio, the screenwriting app is still best in class. You sign in and all your screenplays are there, ready to go — even ones you backed up to Celtx years ago.
Creating a new script is fast and simple — just as it always has been with Celtx of old, and the actual writing tools themselves are just as fast and responsive as ever.
Even features such suggesting character slugs is there, ready for you to tab in or dismiss. Importing screenplays from your desktop is simple too — you simply drag and drop from your file system.
Celtx Studio However, if, like me, you still want a good desktop fallback, all is not lost.
And, at present, it still syncs to your online Celtx Studio account — allowing you to hop between both online and offline apps. You should be aware that officially, Celtx no longer supports their legacy app, which in turn means no guarantee of future compatibility.
But, if you can deal with that, feel free to download it here for WindowsMacLinux bit or Linux bit. As well as online, Celtx are doing big things in the mobile space too. And just like Final Draft, you can move over to your tablet iOS and Android in this caseor even your phone.Final Draft sits down with WME's Christopher Lockhart and Benderspink's Daniel Vang for a discussion about the life of a script.
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