Screenwriting Software

Many people believe that getting the right software is crucial to success as a screenwriter. That’s like saying getting the right pencil is crucial to duplicating the success of William Shakespeare. Your tools don’t define you. You define what you do with your tools whether you’re using a Windows PC, a Macintosh, an iPad, a typewriter, or just a pad of paper and a pencil.

The basic idea behind any script formatting program is that it allows you to focus on writing while the program takes care of standard margins, centering, and capitalization of scene headings and character names. The more advanced features may include special outlining or index card displays, the ability to jot down notes, or the flexibility to format different types of scripts. For example, you can take a screenplay and reformat it as a stage play and vice versa.

In short, there is no “best” script formatting program because they all do the job well. It’s mostly a personal decision, but definitely try the least expensive options first.

What I use or what someone else uses is ultimately irrelevant because screenwriting is a combination of technical proficiency and creativity. Script formatting programs like Final Draft can take care of the technical proficiency, but it’s up to you to worry about the creative part.

Remember, classics like “Casablanca,” “Citizen Kane,” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” were all written on typewriters, so that doesn’t mean you’ll write a better script using a typewriter. Script formatters can make writing easier, but you still have to bring your imagination and creativity. If you don’t have that, then all the best computer programs in the world will never help you.

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