10 Best Screenwriting Software For Free
Most lists out there claim to be “free”, but halfway through you find out they require payment. It’s also not a list of both paid and free software either.
Below is a list of the 10 best screenwriting software for free.
Screenwriting Software That’s Not On The List
Any program that needs you to pay. Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter have no free version which is why they’re not on the list. Any program that I can’t vouch for personally is also not on the list. Programs that are no longer in existence like Adobe Story and Amazon Storywriter are not on the list. Any program that has confusion as to whether it’s free are not on the list. Celtx falls into this category because on this page of their website, it is. Then on this one, it isn’t. That’s enough confusion to be left off the list.
So exactly what kind of software is on the list? Check out this list of gems for screenwriting software and get writing.
Free Software For Screenwriting #1: Fade In.
This is one of the greatest screenwriting software programs. This is 100% free. There’s a demo version of the one you pay for and the the functionality is the same.
Their site says, “The free downloadable demo offers the same functionality as the full version, although it will pop up an occasional purchase reminder after 10 pages, and includes a watermark on print/PDF output.”
What Fade In offers is real time collaboration and that you’re not restrained to just utilizing scenes and index cards to put your script together. You’re also able to color-code it and mark important plot points, characters and other elements. This gives the user a more personalized and clear look at the story.
This software is available on Mac, Windows and Linux. The one drawback is that there will be a watermark once you print it out or convert it to a PDF.
Free Software For Screenwriting #2: WriterDuet.
WriterDuet is another good free option for screenwriting software. It provides real time collaborative work where you and your writing partner can see all edits made. Both you and your partner can filter changes that are made by whoever made them, the date and line.
WriterDuet saves your work locally when you’re offline and it automatically synchronizes it once you reconnect to the internet. It’s compatible with other screenwriting software and allows you to import and export Final Draft, Fountain, PDF, Celtx and Word files.
The one drawback doesn’t come in the form of a watermark, but rather the fact that the software can only be used online. Because of this, you’re only allowed to upload three scripts on one account. With that said, all are without page limits, time limits or export/import quotas.
Free Software For Screenwriting #3: Trelby.
Trelby is a free open source screenwriting software that’s downloaded and suggested by several screenwriters. Trelby has no locked features, no script limits, and no watermarks. If you’re a coder, you can change the software to fit your needs.
With Trelby, you’re able to import Final Draft, Fountain, Celtx, and Fade In Pro. You’re also able to export PDF, Final Draft and Fountain along with HTML and RTF. The software is capable of generating the same output, which means it acts the same across all platforms.
The drawback with this software is that it’s only available with Windows and Linux, although a version on Mac is soon on its way.
Free Software For Screenwriting #4: Kit Scenarist.
Kit Scenarist is one of the best software options available because it’s not just a word processor. It’s also a one stop hub for research, planning and stats.
Kit Scenarist allows you to gather research for a screenplay in one place along the side of the screenplay you’re writing. You can track stats such as how many lines of dialogue each character has.
If you’re a fan of the Save the Cat style of visualizing your story on index cards, this program has a card module that enables you to see you story sprawled out on a board.
The processor is pretty standard and does an adequate job of formatting a screenplay to the standards of the industry. To fit your writing needs, you’re able to configure the program’s algorithm. This software is accessible on Mac, Windows, and Linux and can import and export to Final Draft.
Free Software For Screenwriting #5: Causality.
This app is different from the ones on this list because it lays out the beats of your script visually, instead of in the usual movie script format.
Causality helps you form your story on a macro level. Even if the story is intricate, Causality is capable of giving you an overview of the events with its story sequencing engine. It can even tell you if there’s plot problems you may have missed and offer logical sequences.
One drawback is that it has limited writing in the free version. For unlimited writing, exporting and printing, you’ll need the paid version.
Free Software For Screenwriting #6: Highland 2.
This software is for Mac only and is developed by professional screenwriter, John August. Highland 2 offers more power with less distraction while you write.
The software is designed well and has many features. It’s capable of handling formatting automatically, which allows you to concentrate on writing instead of stressing about menu commands.
With this software, you’re able to indent characters, parentheticals and dialogue while you type. You can also arrange your script by acts and sequences, rather than sluglines. Revision mode is a new feature that’s been added where you’re able to track the changes you make to the script in different colors.
Highland 2 also allows you to move files between Final Draft, Fountain and PDF formats. The two drawbacks are that it’s only available for Mac OS and PDFs will be watermarked.
Free Software For Screenwriters #7: Arc Studio Pro.
This software has a clear and distraction free interface that allows you to concentrate on writing your story during making formatting to industry standard simple.
It has enhanced collaboration features and feedback management to help keep your workflow efficient. It also keep track of your edits so that nothing goes missing. It features an intuitive drag and drop and color coding system that helps you arrange or rearrange your story quickly.
This app is on Windows and Mac and there’s a web version. It enables you to write two scripts with no page limit. They’ve made the premium version free since the beginning of COVID-19.
Free Software For Screenwriting #8: Prewrite.
Prewrite is an outlining tool as opposed to a conventional screenwriting software to write your screenplay on. It emphasizes perfect story structure.
This is the first step in the screenwriting process. It has a plethora of layouts to view and analyze your work before exporting out to Final Draft.
You can give your characters life with images from Unsplash and The Movie Database, which can be searched in the app. It also allows you to import an existing script to analyze and rewrite its structure.
Free Software For Screenwriting #9: DramaQueen.
.DramaQueen is another software that’s compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. It’s also compatible with Final Draft, which allows you to import, export and format on that platform.
The software has a variety of features that include auto-formatting, structuring a story, an ideas panel and a navigator for drag and drop. The ideas panel is especially handy because it allows you to gather and edit your research and ideas in a single place.
DramaQueen is 100% free with an unlimited amount of scripts you can upload and length of use.
Free Software For Screenwriting #10: DubScript.
This software reader is mobile based, which allows you to hear your script being read.
DubScript is capable of being imported in Final Draft and Fountain and exported to PDF and Final Draft. You can store your scripts in your own device or in the cloud on Dropbox and Google Drive.
It has basic functionality. Screenwriters can add dual dialogue, auto complete, spell check, undo/redo, and find/replace.
The two drawbacks are that PDF exports have a watermark and it’s only available for Windows and Google Chromebooks.
Overall, try some programs out and use the one that fulfills your screenwriting needs. These are all the 10 best screenwriting software for free so you can’t go wrong with any of them.
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