11 Best Free Screenwriting Software

Top 11 Best Free Screenwriting Software

Are you looking for free screenwriting software for film? Screenwriting is a complex and laborious process. Knowing all the details about a scene, the characters and dialogue is the duty of every scriptwriter. Thankfully, special software can simplify that process and I’ll tell you all about them below.

1. Trelby

With heavy personalization options
  • Available for free
  • Hollywood-level scriptwriting functionality
  • Plenty of customization options
  • Character statistics
  • Not found

Verdict: Trelby is currently the best free screenwriting software on the market. Moreover, it is the only free option with an open-source code. If you’re unfamiliar with what that means, “open-source” implies the software isn’t protected by copyright, allowing any user to freely change and improve it.

That’s great news for Trelby users since they can receive a ton of updates and add-ons to the software’s functionality as long as it has a community of loyal fans behind it.

Other than being free, the aspect I’ve liked about Trelby the most is the Statistics feature. It records the number of lines written for each character and generates a graph that displays how active the cast is throughout the script.

If you’re on a tight budget and love the freedom to customize all buttons, Trelby is your option. However, if you’re taking scriptwriting seriously and can afford it, I suggest investing in paid software instead.

  • free screenwriting software trelby
  • free screenwriting software trelby

    2. Highland

    For Mac users
    • Dark Mode
    • Can import Final Draft or PDF documents
    • Solid revision functionality
    • Supports simultaneous input by two writers in the same project
    • Title pages
    • Only for Mac users
    • Performance can be slow sometimes

    Verdict: This free script writing software was created by a famous scriptwriter, John August. It boasts a beautiful UI and has an abundance of functions, while also excelling at auto-formatting, allowing you to focus on writing, without having to worry about commands.

    This software indents characters, parentheticals, and dialogue as you write, divides the scrip into acts and sequences, etc.

    One of the functions that were introduced recently is called Revision Mode that allows you to see all the adjustments you’ve made by using color-coding. This free screenwriting software is also useful for importing documents from Final Draft, Fountain, and all kinds of PDF files. The two cons I’ve noticed is its Mac-compatibility only and the watermarks added to saved PDF scripts.

    • free screenwriting software highland
    • free screenwriting software highland

      3. Amazon Storywriter

      Online service
      • User-friendly script visualization feature
      • Can scan a script for scenes, places, and characters
      • Automatically generate a storyboard with the help of built-in templates
      • Available for free with Amazon Studios
      • Screenwriters have to post their work on Amazon Studios to access the storyboard feature

      Verdict: This scriptwriting software creates automatic storyboards, which allow screenwriters to visualize their script or check out projects completed by other authors that are posted on Amazon Studios. All you need to access content is an Amazon account.

      The software allows you to work on several projects simultaneously and automatically forms scenes and characters as you go. Amazon Storywriter doesn’t have templates or co-op functionality, but at the same time, it’s provided at no cost.

      If you are a beginner screenwriter and are thinking about filming your clips, you will probably need the help of professional video editing services.

      • free screenwriting software amazon storywriter
      • free screenwriting software amazon storywriter

        4. WriterDuet

        • Saves the scripts in the industry standard format with “fdx” support
        • Allows to import/export Celtx, Final Draft, Adobe Story, Word and PDF
        • Intuitive UI and functionality
        • Automatically finds poor spelling, formatting issues, identically named characters
        • The first 3 screenplays are free, the next ones - paid
        • You can’t collaborate with colleagues without Internet access

        Verdict: Most paid screenplay writing software are designed for cooperative use and WriterDuet isn’t an exception as it allows users to work together on projects during all stages of the process. However, the software’s functionality isn’t limited to live cooperation.

        WriterDuet also offers a built-in chat function and a commenting tool (the messages can be set to public or private). The software saves the document each time one of the screenwriters makes any changes and allows sorting the content by its author. With the help of WriterDuet, you can easily determine who and when was editing the script and what phrases or words were changed.

        • free screenwriting software writerduet
        • free screenwriting software writerduet

          5. Fade In

          Multilanguage software
          • Distraction-free writing experience
          • Import and export in formats compatible with Final Draft, Scrivener
          • All projects can be stored in the cloud
          • Free version supports only a single screenplay at a time
          • May occur compatibility issues with new software

          Verdict: Fade In is advanced free screenwriting software used by professionals for writing scripts for movies, TV shows, videogames, theatre plays, radio, etc. It entered the market not that long ago but has already managed to grab the attention of several popular screenwriters.

          It supports several languages and offers filming, management, and navigation tools as well as in-depth script formatting and reliable functionality for tracking edits and revisions. You can get this screenwriting software free for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone/iPad, and Android.

          • free screenwriting software fade in
          • free screenwriting software fade in

            6. Causality

            For one-off projects
            • Story Sequencing Engine allows keeping track of all events
            • Intuitive UI
            • Can craft stories on a macro scale
            • Limitations in the free version
            • File export and printing can only be accessed in the paid edition

            Verdict: Causality offers a distinct approach compared to the majority of other free script writing software. This option lets you write and visualize timelines and crucial moments to help you establish a coherent and interesting narrative chain, which is oftentimes overlooked by amateur scriptwriters. Causality is available in free and premium editions.

            The free option imposes a limit on how much space you have to complete your screenplay. Meaning, it’s great if you’re writing a short, one-off script, but don’t expect to be able to write an epic tale for free.

            Screenwriting here is generally done on the foundation of 3 aspects: the script, the chain of events, and the timeline. By allowing you to plan and visualize them, this software managed to occupy a solid niche on the market.

            • free screenwriting software causality
            • free screenwriting software causality

              7. Final Draft

              For professionals
              • Matches all Industry Standards
              • UI is very intuitive
              • Impressive speech-to-text conversion feature
              • All edits can be tracked thanks to the Revision Tool
              • Rather high price
              • Updates can delete some of the older files from time to time

              Verdict: This screenplay software has been setting the industry standards for years and it’s one the most popular choices made by Hollywood moviemakers. JJ Abrams, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron, and Sofia Coppola can all attest to those words. This software formats the script automatically, can read it to you aloud, and help you work with co-creators online.

              It even has built-in templates for such popular TV series like Game of Thrones and the Simpsons. Final Draft script writing software is multifunctional, intuitive, and powerful. Beginners can make use of templates for movies, TV screenplays, theatre plays, and even character bios and treatments. Regardless of the format you want to write in, you’ll find a suitable template inside.

              Often, post production takes longer than writing the script and the filming itself, our video post production services will free you from these worries.

              • free screenwriting software final draft
              • free screenwriting software final draft

                8. Movie Magic Screenwriter

                With intuitive interface
                • Beginner-friendly UI
                • Free tech, email, and online support
                • Used by Writers Guild of America West
                • Large selection of templates for different formats and tasks
                • Difficult to manage large, complex scripts
                • Navigation is highly inconvenient

                Verdict: This option is often found on the lists of the best free screenwriting software thanks to its large range of supported formats. It can help you work on movies, TV series, comics, and books by offering all the necessary tools. Movie Magic Screenwriter is particularly well-suited for users, who like to combine writing scripts and novels.

                The software also has a draft comparison feature that allows you to analyze different versions of your own scripts or locate the changes introduced by a co-writer. You can also enable notes and have them displayed next to the relevant parts of the script. Such functionality proves that the developers of MMS knew what they were doing.

                • free screenwriting software movie magic screenwriter
                • free screenwriting software movie magic screenwriter

                  9. Slugline

                  With Dark Mode function
                  • Has a dark mode
                  • PDF conversion support
                  • Works even on iPhone
                  • Only for Mac users

                  Verdict: Even though Slugline can only be used by people who own Apple devices, it comes with multiple benefits. While you can’t get this script writing software free, it’s still a worthy inclusion on this list due to the user experience it provides.

                  Additions like Dark mode (that makes the screen dimmer when you’re writing in the dark) make this software truly unique. It’s also a terrific option for writers, who constantly work on the go. It can be used on iOS devices and allows you to export PDFs from your phone so that you can continue working on your scripts and share them with your partners wherever you are.

                  • free screenwriting software slugline
                  • free screenwriting software slugline

                    10. Scrivener

                    With script templates
                    • Digital corkboard
                    • Color-coding
                    • Allows you to set session goals
                    • Can compile manuscripts
                    • Can’t be synchronized with Windows

                    Verdict: Scrivener wasn’t created just for writing scripts. This free screenwriting software is very simple in use: it has script templates, automated formatting, useful hotkeys, and a special card system that helps you follow the scene sequencing.

                    Scrivener is aimed at large writing tasks (such as screenplays) and it creates an automatic outline of your project, which is always a welcomed feature. It allows you to export PDF, Word, and Final Draft documents.

                    Widely used by novelists, the screenplay mode of this software was designed specifically for scriptwriters. The corkboard is a handy feature for quick and simple work structuring.

                    • free screenwriting software scrivener
                    • free screenwriting software scrivener

                      11. Celtx

                      For offline use
                      • Offers Android, iPhone, and iPad support
                      • Can create screenplays both online and offline
                      • Easy-to-use and satisfyingly intuitive UI
                      • Comes with an impressive character database
                      • Isn’t intuitive
                      • Smartphone access is unlocked after paying

                      Verdict: If all you need is simple screenwriting software that only has basic functions, then Celtx is a solid choice. However, if you need a full set of professional features like screenplay series support, storyboard creation, and expense reports, then you’ll have to pay for them.

                      The full version allows you to convert your script specifications into a shooting guide, put together schedules, and even allow your clients to view and approve changes. From scriptwriting to filming, the Celtx screenwriting software launches the process by using cloud planning tools to help you create quality content with previously unseen speed. You may also use the services provided by Script Reader Pro to get help from a team of professional screenwriters.

                      • free screenwriting software celtx
                      • free screenwriting software celtx

                        Ann Young

                        Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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