Screenwriting : What software do you use? by Bradley Peter Scott

Bradley Peter Scott

What software do you use?

Hello people, I'm new to screenwriting - having had all my writing experience in stage - so I'm of course in need of much advice about various things. One such thing is the software / programs I should be writing on. It's always been a given to me that Microsoft Word is the obvious choice, but I've recently been led to believe that if I'm to be taken seriously as a screenwriter, I need to buy screenwriting software. My confusion comes from perhaps not understanding what these programs do that Microsoft Word does not. Must I spend money for software that perhaps I don't actually need? I guess the obvious follow-up advice I need, is if screenwriting software is a must, which ones would you lovely people suggest?

Philip Singh

Final Draft is the best and easiest to use.

Jack Middleton

I like fadeIn for its simplicity. And also Celtic. Lately I have been using Movie Magic. I have used Final Draft because I won a copy, but I think I like MM more.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hi Bradley. There has been a lot of discussion about screenwriting software on the site. Perhaps do a general search in the Lounge by topic and all related threads will be listed -- lots of opinions and information! :) I hope that helps. Best to you!

Anthony Moore

I was using Celtx but right now I'm using WriterDuet because its easier to use.

Anthony Cawood

Hi Bradley, I wrote an article looking at some of the main ones... Might help.

Pierre Langenegger

Be professional, look professional, don't use Word.

Paul G Newton

We use Adobe Story because it comes with the Adobe CC I use. It's good enough.

Brenda Young

Hi Bradley, Nice to meet you. I love final draft, it's specialist screenwriting software, worth a try.

Dan Guardino

I use Movie Magic and Final Draft. Both are good but I tend to use Final Draft more because that is what most people I work with use.

Izzibella Beau

I am falling in love with Final draft, it has everything that I need.

Linda Bradshaw Rogers

Final Draft was the software recommended by my writing class and the only one I've ever used. Much success!

Hillary Lawlor

I just finished a Masters program and we used Final Draft. Good luck to you!

Jason Belschner

Check out It is free to use with an upgrade paid version available. The price is right, and it is good to start with.

Sandrene Mathews

Getting a good screenwriting application will not only help you cut down on formatting mistakes, it will save you heaps of time so you can just focus on the writing. Many of them also have features you can't get in Word, like the ability to collaborate, and have a lot of great features that aid with moving into development and production. I use Adobe Story for the same reason as Paul. I also like that there's a free version that has many of the features. I'm currently working on a web series so it's nice that I don't have to make my writing team pay for software or buy an expensive bulk license just so we can all work together. Sending pdfs back and forth is a pain.

Sonibel Rae

For affordability, Celtx is great, fast, easy to use and does everything you want it to. I also use Trelby which is also free but lacks some functions. I definitely recommend Celtx it's great but you can only use it online while Trelby is an offline programme.

Adam Tester


William Georgi

I have tried Final Draft, but used the Screenwriter program, which was required by UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting.

William Martell

Movie Magic. But theses are tools, and what's most important is what you use the tools to build.

Izzibella Beau

So true, William. One can have all the tools in the world to write with, but if there isn't a story and substance behind the pen, or in most cases, the keyboard, then nothing will be of use.

Bradley Peter Scott

Guys, thank you all so much. I'm completely overwhelmed by the responses to my post.

Richard "RB" Botto

I know my boy Bill is a MM guy, but I'm FD. But again, it's not just the software, it's the input.

Dan Guardino

I use both Movie Magic and Final Draft. I think Movie Magic is more user friendly but I tend to use Final Draft because that is what the people I work with all use. If I only had one choice today it would probably go with Final Draft for that reason. However both cost money and if was just starting out I would probably go with Celtx because they have a free version and it formats the way a script is supposed to be formatted which is all one needs to worry about when starting out.

Ron Dawson

It doesn't look like anyone answered a key part of your question. Why you need it. First and foremost, it will properly format your script per industry standard. That is the most important. As far as which to use, a lot will come down to HOW you'll be using it. If all you're doing is writing, and you don't plan to go into production, one of the simpler and free ones will do. If you need things like formalized scene numbers, more's and cont'ds, revisions, the ability to import and/or export to other industry programs like Scheduling (for script breakdown), then you'll want to start looking at programs like MM and FD . Will you be working with other screenwriters? If so, pick a program that has some kind of collaboration tool. You really can't go wrong with any of these suggestions. Even Amazon has a web-based program that's free called Amazon Storywriter ( It actually allows you to submit your script directly to Amazon. And it imports from and exports to industry standard formats: PDF, FDX (Final Draft), and Fountain. Whatever you select, make sure it can 1) import/export Final Draft (by far the industry standard) and 2) PDF (to give to folks to read). The most important thing though is to write. Don't let not having one stop you from writing. From what I understand, Woody Allen still writes by hand and/or a typewriter. And as I end all my podcast episodes, "If the story sucks, I don't care what you shot it with, or cut it on." And I could add, "...what you wrote it on either." :) Good luck!

Aray Brown

I use Movie Magic Screenwriter. I love it! I'm more comfortable with it than FD. If you're serious about screenwriting, those are the top two I would suggest. The industry standard. If you go with FD, get an earlier version. Version 9 is buggy

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