Best Screenwriting Software (2019)

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Beyond Industry Standard

You probably know that Final Draft is the “industry standard” choice of software for screenwriters, but in this article I will be taking a look at the best screenwriting software for people who are looking for a Final Draft alternative.

Ideal Features

There are certain ideal features that are expected in screenwriting software, otherwise we’d all be using Google Docs or the Notepad app on our computers. Here are some features that I look for when I check out new screenwriting software.

Formatting

Obviously the software you choose will need to help speed up the task of formatting your documents in the screenplay format.

It’s possible to dial in a regular word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs to resemble a screenplay. It’s the ability to streamline the process into a speedy writing tool that really matters.

Luckily for you, this is an easy one as it wouldn’t be a screenwriting app without this feature.

Outlining

Planning is a crucial step in our screenwriting process. We spend a ton of time outlining and planning out beats before we begin a screenplay.

Having a great outlining feature in your screenwriting app will give you the ability to have everything in one place instead of flipping back and forth between apps or documents.

Importing

If you are moving to a new program from a different application, you’ll probably need to import your old scripts into the new platform. Having a clean and effective way to do so will help you avoid retyping your script.

Collaboration

This one is important for me as my writing is primarily done with my business partner, Trevor. 

Having the ability to work together remotely makes it possible for us to really work together instead of dictating ideas to one another and having the other person type it out.

Online AND Offline

This has been a deciding factor for me as to what program I have decided to go with.

Our writing process generally includes going to a cabin in the woods where our distractions are limited. This sometimes means going to a place where there is no internet.

As such, we can’t rely on an entirely cloud-based solution.

Price

I like subscription models for certain things like the Adobe Creative Suite. Being able to pay $30-40 a month for up to date software is much more appealing than paying $1,000+ for a license and then having to pay for updates each year like you used to.

When it comes to screenwriting software, however, I prefer a low annual payment vs an inflated monthly cost.

My Pick: WriterDuet

Best Screenwriting Software

WriterDuet checks all of the boxes for us when it comes to a great screenwriting software with all of the features, ability to collaborate, online and offline versions, plus we were able to get a lifetime license for under $100. 

I’m not sure if that deal is still around or will ever come back, but I do know that you can still get a lifetime license giving you the option to avoid a monthly or annual fee.

Formatting
9.5
Outlining
8.5
Importing
9
Collaboration
9.5
Online App
8.5
Offline App
8
Price
8.5
WriterDuet

A solid writing platform that has all of the collaborative features and cloud-based features combined with an offline option.

The Best!
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Alex Darke
Alex Darke
Alex is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker located in Los Angeles, who has spent the past 7 years working with the legendary broadcaster Larry King and shooting thousands of episodes of television as a camera operator and director of photography. He owns the motion picture production company Gilded Cinema and co-hosts the No-Budget Filmmaking Podcast.
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