Script writing software is an essential tool for any screenwriter in 2023 who is truly looking to turn their hobby of writing into a career as a scriptwriter.
Not only does script writing software help organize and format scripts in a way that is considered to be “industry-standard,” but it also makes you look more legitimate in your pursuit of becoming a real screenwriter.
Final Draft is one of the most popular script writing software programs available to scriptwriters today, but there are many other options and alternatives that people can and should consider:
Celtx is a cloud-based script writing software offering various features for up-and-coming screenwriters.
These features include access to a world-class script editor, the ability to import and export scripts, collaboration capabilities, storyboarding tools, and access to a library of templates and formatting options.
Cloud-based: Celtx is cloud-based, which basically just means you can access your scripts from anywhere and anytime as long as you have an internet connection. This makes for a much more convenient way to collaborate with other writers remotely. Speaking of collaboration…
Collaboration Tools: As mentioned above, Celtx offers a range of tools that allow writers to collaborate together in real-time. These features can also be really helpful for writers who work with teams and need to work on projects and scripts together.
Templates and Formatting Options: Celtx offers templates to help writers create professional-looking scripts.
Story Development and Pre-Production Tools: Celtx offers a variety of story development and pre-production tools such as: beat sheets, storyboards, cast and crew, script breakdown features, and so much more.
Production Tools: On top of its story development and pre-production tools, Celtx doesn’t stop there, as it also offers its user’s production tools like production reports, call sheets, shot lists and more.
Compatibility with other file formats: Celtx is compatible with various file formats, including PDF, Word, and Final Draft, making it a flexible option for writers who need to work with different documents.
Celtx is Best Suited For:
While Celtx does offer these great pre-production tools, its bread and butter is its script editor, which makes it particularly well-suited for writers and filmmakers who are really looking to take their script writing skills from a hobby and turn it into a profession.
Not only does Celtx still offer a free version of its platform, but the premium plans, Writer, Writer Pro and Team, still remain an affordable choice. Celtx offers both monthly and annual subscriptions; annual subscriptions benefit from a cheaper monthly price.
The screenwriting and production packages can be selected separately, and the rate depends on how many projects you wish to have running. The standard Writer Plan is $13.49 per month if billed annually, with the Writer Pro plan coming in at $22.49 per month with annual billing.
2. Fade In
FadeIn is a screenwriting software that provides a variety of powerful features to help writers create professional scripts quickly and easily. Here are some of its key features:
- Professional screenplay formatting features, including margins, character names, and auto-filling scene headers.
- Scene breakdown tools to easily visualize the story structure and timeline.
- Advanced tools like automated scripting rules, auto-formatting of dialogue, character dictionaries with configurable syntaxes, and tab-completion capabilities.
- Detailed budget and production reports.
- Easy script sharing with multiple collaborators.
Pros and Cons:
Like any software, FadeIn has its pros and cons. Here are some of them:
- Affordable price of $79.95.
- Automatically formats scripts to industry standards.
- Easy collaboration and sharing with multiple users.
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface.
- Some users have reported glitches when using the software on Chromebooks.
- Moving from the computer app to the phone app can be challenging.
- No cloud-based storage.
FadeIn is priced at $79.95, making it an affordable option for screenwriters. Once purchased, users can download the software onto their computer and start writing immediately.
StudioBinder is a reliable and popular screenwriting and film production tool trusted by professionals worldwide. It offers practical solutions for media production companies with its user-friendly interface and features such as:
- Storyboard creation for movie scene planning and customization options.
- Call sheet creation for film production.
- Script breakdowns with elements like props and wardrobe tagging.
- Shooting schedule planning with a drag-and-drop interface for multi-day film shoots.
Pros and Cons:
As an all-in-one solution for film productions, StudioBinder has its pros and cons. Here are some of them:
- Customizable with many templates available.
- Ideal for professional filmmakers and media production companies.
- Practical features for movie scene planning and scheduling.
- Might be complex and expensive for individuals who are new to screenwriting.
- Limited pricing options, with plans starting at $29/month.
StudioBinder is a pricier option compared to other screenwriting software like WriterDuet. Its pricing options start at $29/month (best for indie filmmakers) and go up to $99/month for unlimited projects.
4. Arc Studio Pro
Arc Studio is one of the industry’s newest screenwriting software programs. It has a modern and intuitive user interface that makes it easy to learn and use, with features like automatic Cloud saving and dark mode settings for those times you
- An intuitive user interface that makes it easy to use.
- Automatic Cloud saving and dark mode settings.
- Plot Board feature to help with script writing and story organization.
Pros and Cons:
Arc Studio Pro has its pros and cons for screenwriters. Here are some of them:
- Ongoing free option that includes industry-standard screenplay formatting for two scripts.
- Cloud-based software with real-time capabilities similar to Google Docs.
- Advanced plot board structure for organizing story notes.
- No Android app available at the moment.
Arc Studio Pro offers various pricing plans to unlock all its features, including:
- Free plan for up to two scripts.
- Essentials plan for $69/year, which includes unlimited scripts and advanced formatting options.
- Pro plan for $99/year, which includes collaboration tools and the ability to work on unlimited scripts and download them without a watermark.
Squibler is an advanced software created to help writers with screenwriting and novel-writing projects. With its powerful editing capabilities and formatting style, you can rest assured that your script or novel will look very professional.
Squibler’s outlining tools allow aspiring scriptwriters and novelists to write compelling stories quickly and easily.
- Script editor with auto-complete, pre made templates, and custom formatting features.
- Writing sprints and prompts to help you reach your writing goals.
- Robust outlining tools which include beat sheets, and story maps.
- Collaborate with other writers in real-time.
- Dialogue analysis to keep your characters talking on point.
- Estimate word counts, track progress over time, and compare scripts automatically.
Pros & Cons
While Squibler is a great option for writers who want to try both novel writing and screenwriting, many users have reported bugs in the software and difficulties with formatting. It is affordable, and you can always do the free trial to see if it is right for you.
Squibler is $9.99 per month.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to choosing the best alternative to Final Draft, it’s essential to find a software that complements your writing process. As a writer, you don’t want a tool that complicates your work.
Therefore, take the time to explore different screenwriting software options and even try them out before deciding on one. Through research and experimentation, you will eventually discover the software that suits your writing style.
Best of luck in your quest to find the perfect alternative to Final Draft. Remember, keep writing!