View Full Version : Script Writing Software

May 30th, 2013, 05:14 AM
I found a free script writing software, called Celtx. I just thought I would share the information. :D

May 31st, 2013, 01:20 AM
I've tried Celtx. I think it's an excellent script program. I like the project system it uses. I'm looking for something that can do index card synopsis on the side, but Celtx is extremely good. It has a limited index card system, which is a bit of a let down, but no more so than Scrivener's IC system. Also, you can't setup formatting options for the different sections. I like to have the sluglines boldfaced but in Celtx, you would have to do that for each one independently.

Some kudos to celtx, I like its inline note system. Scrivener doesn't have anything like it. You either write notes on the side panel, make annotations (which take up space on the page) or footnotes.

Scrivener's index card system is better, but only slightly.

If you want something that is more focused on scripts and you don't have a lot of money to spend (<$40), Cetlx is it. If you can spend $40, scrivener is more versatile.

If you have a lot of money to spend, Final Draft appears to be top dog all around.

June 25th, 2013, 04:32 AM
Addendum: I tried the trial version of Final Draft 8. I has some features that I like. I like the fact that it automatically picks up character names and stores them in the auto-completion list. I like the scene selection box. It allows you to number scenes. It has much better analysis tools: amount of pages a scene takes, how much time a character gets, etc.

I don't like the script being a single, monolithic document as opposed to Scrivener's binder system. I'm finding I don't really like the index card system on it, but I don't use Scrivener's index card system either, so there. The scene navigator works very nicely to give another means of going from part to part in a script.

Like Scrivener, it allows you to change the font of elements, so I can bold face sluglines.

Scrivener's outline system is infinitely better (especially since FD8 doesn't have an outline feature at all), but beyond FD8's complete lack of, Scrivener's outline system allows you to use folders or text pages and you can stack text pages under text pages, text under folders, folders under folders, folders under text, etc, etc, etc., so it's a true hierarchical outline system. However, Scrivener lacks any serious statistics and analysis tools.

I would still buy FD8 if I had the money and use it for script analysis and revision, but I'm more likely to use Scrivener for creating the first draft.

Lastly, scrivener is more versatile and can be used for short stories and novels, so scrivener is a serious go to and at $40 it delivers the most bang for the buck.

July 2nd, 2013, 11:44 PM
A buddy of mine who went to Columbia University here in Chicago told me about Celtx. It's what the film program there uses to draft their screenplays/scripts.

July 3rd, 2013, 07:31 AM
I used Celtx for a while before I made the jump to Final Draft. In a way, I think celtx is slightly better. It's free, and a fair amount of it's features give Final Draft's a run for their money.

July 4th, 2013, 06:02 PM
I used Celtx for a while before I made the jump to Final Draft. In a way, I think celtx is slightly better. It's free, and a fair amount of it's features give Final Draft's a run for their money.

I agree. Celtx has all the format utility of FD8. Pretty much the real stand out part of FD8 is the analysis tools, maybe the revision tools also, but that is a maybe.

The only thing missing from Celtx that I wish they had is the ability to define element formats. I like to have bold faced sluglines, but the only way to do that in Celtx is by highlighting each and every slugline and clicking the 'B'.

July 12th, 2013, 02:11 AM
I have another find. Trelby. It's a free cross-platform screenwriter's software for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. I remember trying it once, but I can't remember why I didn't stick with it longer. I'm going to take another look at it and render an opinion.

ADDENDUM: Hmmm...Trelby actually looks good. It has very good analysis tools. The means of choosing elements is a bit funky and sometime, I don't know why, I can't type anything. One other issue is that whenever it attempt to print something to pdf, I get a dialog box saying it can't open Acrobat in protected mode. The only option I see as of now is to choose to open with Protected mode disabled.

Some cons: can't import rtf.
Pros: it can import final draft 8, Screenwriter, Celtx, Adobe Story XML, fountain and fadein and formatted text (whatever that is).
A big con: sometimes, as in often, it won't register keyboard input. This is the windows version.
A good pro: Made for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

July 13th, 2013, 01:36 AM
I will also add a couple other things. I have element styles w/ margins setup in OpenOffice and I'm sure it would be zero trouble setting them up in Word.

Secondly, I found a Courier font made quite specifically for script writing. Courier Prime - A Courier made for screenplays. | Quote-Unquote Apps.


July 18th, 2013, 05:09 AM
There are scriptwriting templates available for OpenOffice and LibreOffice (screenplays, theatrical plays, radio dramas, and other media. I haven't used them yet so I cannot offer opinions on how good or bad they are.

They are available here: Portfolio of scripts by Anikó J. Bartos + Alan C. Baird... (http://www.9timezones.com/scr/) You have to scroll way down the page to get them. They are also available through the Open/LibreOffice extension sites.

August 12th, 2013, 04:23 AM
Very good information. I was thinking of getting Final Draft sometime. But since there are other software script programs out there for free, heck, I'll just check those out instead. Thank you for the information.

August 12th, 2013, 04:27 AM
Was wondering for Celtx, is it possible to copy and paste my script to the outline software program and let the program put the script where it needs to be or do I input everything long hand?

August 12th, 2013, 12:58 PM
I wrote my last screenplay using Word and just set up the first couple of pages of format then used "match properties" to do formatting on the rest of the play. I should probably set up templates, but I'm too lazy and end up taking twice as much time or more doing it the way I did. :roll:

August 12th, 2013, 02:49 PM
That is how I'm writing all of my works, on Word. I wrote 1 comedy play for fun and started working on a WWII Christian Drama Series on 9/12/2009. My friend and I are on episode 3 script. We stopped for awhile due to working on a card game which is also a large project.

August 12th, 2013, 05:13 PM
Yeah, I don't have word. I have OpenOffice and setting up a script template was easy. You just make special condition for the style and formats (in OO Writer, press F11), and save it without text. You could put a title page with replacement fields, but I didn't want to go that far.

Stormy, I know you can import various formats and I think RTF is one of them, so if you save your Word script as RTF, you should be able to import it into Celtx, but you may need to go line by line to set up the element type.

Lastly, you need to use a Courier font. I read some some guy saying you can use any font, but that's not true, at least not until your respected and established. Courier's spacing allows them to get a good idea of how long a scene or page takes up in screen time. As I posted above, I downloaded Courier Prime and I'm liking it. It's a very clean, monospaced TT font, though it's boring like any courier font.

June 15th, 2014, 01:00 AM
Would you guys rate Celtx as your favourite free software?

July 30th, 2014, 05:36 AM
I'm in film school now. For what it's worth, our professors recomend Movie Magic Screenwriter if you can afford it and Adobe Story if you want something free. The screenwriting teachers I've had there have been surprisingly opposed to Celtx. I switched to Adobe Story (from Celtx) to keep them happy, but honestly I'd say they're close in terms of quality. It just comes down to personal preference.

Adobe Story is cloud based, which means you can work from anywhere and are less likely to lose files, but you need an internet connection. Also, because it's newer, they still have some kinks to work out. For instance, the spell checks not that good yet.
Celtx stores files on your computer (though the last version I had still needed an internet connection to export to a PDF). The spell checks better. But there's some tools, apparently, that it lacks. Also, some older professors seem uncomfortable with it since it's free and not from a well known company like Adobe. They take that to mean it comes with viruses, but I've never heard of that actually happening.

October 18th, 2014, 01:57 AM
As one who is considering writing a play my question is, how do I approach it, particularly when using this sort of software?

October 18th, 2014, 03:52 AM
any opinions on ywrite - another free novel manuscript program

October 24th, 2014, 01:46 AM
I use MS Word with a few preset tabs. Works fine.

Dilbert J. Wellington
January 20th, 2015, 11:43 PM
Celtx is a great tool for writing comics, novels, screenplays, etc. Very easy and versatile, and goes well with planning on Evernote.

January 28th, 2015, 09:52 PM
Great find! I will check this out, but what is the advantage of using this over say google docs or some other word processing software? I have been using google documents for three plays now and I find it does the job. Is it just easier to format?

March 30th, 2015, 03:37 AM
I've used Celtx for about 4 years now, and I've gotta say that for being free, it's freaking awesome. I think they recently-ish added a paid or subscription option (I dunno, I haven't used it in a while) that I'm sure is only better.

May 8th, 2015, 08:50 AM
I use Final Draft 9 and in my opinion its the best software around for script writing. if price isn't an issue, I would suggest that for professional grade work. There may be a trial as well with it I'm not 100% on that however.

pink lemonade
July 3rd, 2015, 12:40 PM
Celtx is the best. Used to use Scriptwriter, but it's ancient compared to Celtx.

Linton Robinson
August 19th, 2015, 10:18 PM
I have had a half dozen copies of Final Draft (they give you one every time you place in a contest) but far prefer to just use templates for Word. The platform I'm familiar with. Everything's all pdf anymore, anyway. There are lots of them, ranging from free to a hundred bucks. Final Draft creeps me out.

Evocraft RPG
November 27th, 2015, 08:52 PM
CeltX is a rebel X-wing to the Death Star that is Final Draft.

November 28th, 2015, 09:00 PM
I gave up on ywriter- mainly because I could not find a user-manual to help me understand how the program works. Sure, the tutorial videos are good but I learn best with textbooks in hand. Do any of the other software mention have a manual available?

December 8th, 2015, 06:25 PM
Definitely a great find! I can't believe this post was posted in 2013 and I'm just hearing about Celtx! What's wrong with me? I'm checking it out now. Thank you :)

Eric John
January 26th, 2017, 02:10 PM
Celtex is okay, but a bit too cumbersome for me. I use Writer. Ridiculously easy. You basically write into a blank word doc and it formats for you.

It uses Fountain coding which does everything for you. There are several apps which use Fountain– some free, some not. (I think Writer is free.)

Then you can export to any format– PDF, Final Draft, whatever.

nyameye sky
May 25th, 2017, 02:31 PM
thank you man

March 17th, 2019, 09:07 PM
I tried Trelby, and I actually find it very versatile, if you are willing to spend a little time delving into the settings. In fact, I think it is all I need to write my screenplay!


June 24th, 2019, 03:53 PM
I might be a little outdated in this, but I really don't like script-writing programs. I'm not saying they're not useful, but I just feel like creating your own templates on whatever writing software you use feels infinitely better as you're learning the process and setup of scripts themselves, as well as design and the fundamentals of screenwriting itself. I've used Celtx before but never really liked the autonomy of it. I tend to just use shortcuts on Microsoft Word with which I have created a template of each individual asset of the script. It's a little bit hard when creating the first template, but I prefer it much more than Celtx or Final Draft.