Screenwriting : Is it okay to use free screenwriting software? by Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson

Is it okay to use free screenwriting software?

I use KIT screenplay software and I've always been told to use final draft otherwise you can't be a successful writer and no one will take you seriously.

Also a few of the jobs here require that you use final draft, and even though I'm happy with the software I use I still feel embarrassed for using it because well, pepple tell me how i need to change software once they find out that I'm not using a paid version or I use my phone to write.

Katarzyna Adamus

Is this free software formatting text properly? I'm new to screenwriting, but if the answer is YES, and the script is of great quality, in my opinion it should not be a problem. But I am a newbie so let's wait for the professionals' answer.

Anthony Moore

I use WriterDuet, because its web based and I write on my lunch hour using speech-to-text on an android tablet. But any software that correctly formats your screenplay and can export it as a PDF is more than acceptable. I won my first contest using and old copy of Celtx. A lot of people use Trelby. So its really all about what you feel comfortable using.

FinalDraft maybe the industry standard but for new writers its usually cost prohibitive and unless someone is paying/sending you FDX files to do revisions, its not absolutely necessary. Most contests and companies want a correctly formatted screenplay in a PDF file. That's it. Very few people (if any) can tell what software you were using to create the PDF file. And regardless of what some people would have you believe, your career will not end if you don't buy FinalDraft.

Christopher Phillips

It’s fine up to a point. As long as the final product as a PDF looks like a script then it’s fine.

It starts to become a problem when you are collaborating with someone and they are on a different brand of software. There are usually some export and import features built into most software, but it’s not always perfect.

Debbie Croysdale

At the end of the day it is the QUALITY of the script that stands out, although obviously with no stupid errors in format and a script reader will follow your dialogue if it is interesting. Industry standard screenplay format CAN be accessed via "Free" screenwriting apps yet my experience with them is the toolbar buttons are not as easily accessible as Final Draft. If Final Draft is not in your budget try permanent Free Version Celtx and any others that have trial period options. Just google them and try them all out. Personally I do not use Final Draft for any "snob value" but just found it the most user friendly out of the twenty other options I tried. Final Draft has a FREE trial period. Why not download that for any important work. Good Luck Emily and do not stress too much, its all in the story and you obviously have a lot to tell.

Stephen Floyd

You were given poor advice. You could write everything on a typewriter and, if it’s formatted and spelled properly, no one will care.

Elrod Chalmers

If you're not in the industry then you have no need for Final Draft. I use Final Draft by choice. Use what works for you. They all do the same thing.

Matt Taylor

I use Fade In, which is awesome. The free version is perfectly functional and I wrote my first screenplay on it, but I upgraded to pro ($79.95 USD) to remove the watermark from my pdf. There are regular updates too.

David E. Gates

You can use whatever software you like, as long as the end product looks right. Anyone who tells you to use a certain product or you won't be successful is an idiot. There are benefits to using Final Draft. But you can produce finished screenplays in Word or KIT or other software that's available that are equally as good.

Derek Reid

Not sure about Final Draft... but you can transfer scripts between multiple software-platforms just using import PDF with minimal trouble/correction. I transferred from Celtx to Writer Duet with about 30min of work per screenplay. Will probably try Fade In one of these days.

Dan Guardino

Until you start working with other people free is fine as long as it formats correctly which I imagine most if not all do. When you start working with other people you might have to get final draft but worry about that when the time comes.

Rosalind Winton

I use WriterDuet for my screenplay and I use the free version. It's brilliant.

PJ Edwards

I use trelby. It's not optimal but no one has said anything about it regarding my scripts.

Gary McClurg

I tried Celtx once because someone I know wrote their script in it and I had to do a breakdown. After it crashing on me 5 to 6 times. I did really get to know the script after I had to start over each time. :)

But I still use Final Draft.

Kaitlin Gagnon

I love celtx! $9.99 a month though

Ben Hinman

I still use the free version of celtx. It is harder to find and not available for download on their website anymore. But honestly i prefer it to final draft.

William Martell

If it is in proper format and can be delivered in a PDF, no problem. Have you had multiple producers request that you submit screenplays in a specific program (app)?

Gary McClurg

Pretty much its just PDF’s. But when I had to break down a script. I used Movie Magic before Final Draft added their tagging mode to bring it into Movie Magic’s scheduling and budgeting programs.

Vital Butinar

I use Celtix and it works fine for me.

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