Are you a filmmaker at any level? Then there are many best free screenwriting software options available for your writing process.
Screenwriting is one of the most imperative components of filmmaking. It can single-handedly make or break the entire film. Therefore, making use of free screenwriting software is mandatory. Yes, several tools in the market can make this whole process systematic and reduce unnecessary hassles.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and the added advantage is that free, useful software choices are abundant. Free scriptwriting software will also come under this range of resources.
In case you are not exactly familiar with the idea of using software for screenwriting, let us take a look at what are its advantages and how to select the option that will suit you best. After going through its perks, a compilation of the best free screenwriting software will also be available below.
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What Is Screenwriting Software?
- 1 What Is Screenwriting Software?
- 2 What Does The Screenplay Writing Software Offer?
- 3 Best Free Screenwriting Software in 2023
- 3.1 1. Trelby:
- 3.2 2. Highland 2:
- 3.3 3. Celtx:
- 3.4 4. Kit Scenarist:
- 3.5 5. Fade In:
- 3.6 6. Arc Studio Pro
- 3.7 7. Causality:
- 3.8 8. WriterDuet:
- 3.9 9. StudioBinder:
- 3.10 10. Prewrite:
- 3.11 10. DramaQueen:
A standard screenplay format is obligatory for the screenplay to stay structured and create the desired impact. It can be quite a headache to stick to a rigid layout while letting your creative juices flow simultaneously. The entire process of screenwriting becomes a breeze, as the mundane parts involved in it are taken care of by the screenplay writing software.
If you believe you have the talent and creativity to break into the world of glitz, all you will require is a computer/ laptop, a literary agent, a great deal of skill, and last but not least, the best free script writing software out there.
However, since all the fellow screenwriters in the competition also have access to these tools, we need to ensure that we select from only the best options in the market to stand apart from everyone else and stay relevant. Usage of screenwriting software has become part of industry norms at present.
What Does The Screenplay Writing Software Offer?
It essentially aids you in the script’s composition and takes care of all the editing involved, including spelling checks, grammar corrections, language analysis, etc.
The software also backs up your scripts safely. Plenty of keyboard shortcuts are also available to simplify the process. You can add several elements like scene headings, dialogues, transitions, etc., with these shortcuts. A list of the best options in the market has been compiled while simultaneously paying attention to detail. The various software is as follows:
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Best Free Screenwriting Software in 2023
Previously called ‘Blyte,’ this software is available on GitHub and operates on Windows and Linux. It is known for its built-in PDF generator, which is highly configurable. It is suitable for budding individual writers and is available for educational purposes as well.
An in-built screenplay editor is also at one’s disposal in this software, making the writer’s job easy by checking for script format, spelling, and pagination. The system requirements for this software are also pretty minimum. A character name database is another added feature.
Other features of this screenplay writing software include the quick hotkeys for line types. This software is not cloud-based and has to be downloaded. Hence, you can work on it in an offline style as well.
- Screenplay editor
- Multiplatform support
- Script comparison
- Support multiple import/export format
- Built-in PDF generator
2. Highland 2:
This software is currently available only for Mac; however, it is an excellent choice while looking for the best free screenwriting software options. Its main highlight is how it has been designed; the navigation through the software has been maintained in a very user-friendly and simplistic approach. It specifically works with the Fountain file format.
The factor of customizability is also pretty high in Highland. It will suit you best if you work amongst a team and the individual requirements are varying and diverse. This free screenwriting software will suit bloggers and anyone who uses a lot of images in their work.
If you are a writer whose primary focus is on characters and their appearances, this software will be of great use. Its auto-formatting feature is another aspect that makes it stand out from the rest. It is also known to offer excellent customer support and service.
- Automatic formatting
- Ten PDF templates
- Revision mode
- Ten unique themes
- Toggle between text & finished document preview
- Pro: $69.99
The Celtx screenwriting software’s key area of focus is on collaboration. It is compatible with several devices and OS, like tablets and iPhones. It makes it easier to track several connecting factors and help the user coordinate across multiple platforms effectively. This free script writing software is cloud-based and also possesses several formats of templates.
Microsoft Word documents, Final Draft, and PDF are amongst the wide range of import formats available in this software. It also takes care of other essential tools required for pre-production, including shot lists, call sheets, and storyboards.
This screenplay writing software is also popular amongst novelists and playwrights. The use of a rich text editor module is another added advantage of this tool. You will also work offline in this software and support index cards and storyboards for developing stories.
- Industry-standard script editors
- Visual story building
- Integrated to your script
- Include index cards
- Free: 14-day free trial
- Paid: $15/month
4. Kit Scenarist:
The next name in the best free screenwriting software list is Kit Scenarist because it is not just a word processor. It is the one-stop solution for research, planning, and a statistical hub for your screenwriting.
It allows you to collect all the research material in one place for your scriptwriting. Whether it is characters, descriptions, locations, photos, or anything else, you will find it all together to access at your ease.
For those who want to proceed with their script with visualization, the card module lets your story get laid on the board. The standard word processor and good formatting of the script are some of the best features.
It works according to industry standards. Program algorithm is easily configurable to suit your writing needs. You can import and export the final draft between the supportable operating system. It supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Store a variety of materials in one place
- Card module for visualization
- Industry-standard formatting
- Native language support
- Pro: $4.99/month
5. Fade In:
Fade In is available on operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac. This software comes as a worthy alternative to its other paid counterparts, including Final Draft and Movie Magic. It is highly customizable, down to the most minute aspects of writing, such as spacing, margins, and so on.
Writing motion picture screenplays becomes a cakewalk with this tool, making it one of the best free screenwriting software out there. Its user interface has been designed in a state-of-the-art manner, and it also supports multiple languages.
Revision and rewrites become an easy task with this software. The facility of complete image support is unparalleled, along with the auto-complete feature for typing. It supports multiple file formats like text, HTML, and so on.
This free script writing software also comes with free software updates. A unique page-only feature is available, which lets all the icons and options to fade.
- Full-featured app interface
- Extensive formatting capabilities
- Autocomplete typing
- easy navigation/collaboration
- Quick organization
- Support multiple file formats
- Free: trial version
- Students: $49.95
- Paid: $75.95
6. Arc Studio Pro
Arc Studio Pro offers a straightforward, distraction-free, and clear interface. It means you can focus on the story while formatting according to industry standards. It is available for windows and mac, but you can pick the web version as well. Plans are different, but you can choose any of your choices.
Advanced collaboration and feedback management are two plus points of Arc Studio pro. It makes your workflow smooth and tracks all the edits for future help. Best of all is its intuitive drag-and-drop and color-coding system that lets users arrange and organize the story in a moment.
Its basic plan is free, plus it doesn’t put any restrictions like maximum pages. And due to this pandemic, they made the premium version free till 3rd December.
- Professional formatting
- Autosave & automatic backup
- Intuitive interface
- Includes basic elements
- One-click collaboration
- Full traceability for editing
- Pro: $49
This free screenwriting software is mainly known for visualization, which it offers to its users. You can plot key moments and timelines in this software and visualize them with complete understanding. This tool’s framework unfolds as three parts: the script, the story logic, and a timeline.
A systematic analysis can be observed, although the format is not strict and rigid like other similar tools under this category. The pattern of a beat management system is followed here. Several popular file types, such as Fountain, Final Draft, etc., are compatible with Causality.
It works well with multi-monitor setups as well as laptops. One aspect of Causality, which makes it stand out from the rest, is how it can turn a multi-layered story into a linear format.
- Visual story development
- Useful for screenplays and novels
- Support over 100 languages
- Multimedia integration
- Pro: $5.99/month
- Pro one time: $279
WriterDuet provides several features and screenwriting, including video editing and gaming, making it a complete package for all of your mass media requirements. Real-time collaborations of writers have been facilitated by this software as well.
You can also add various plugins for enhanced customization. It is a cloud-based software and also has an offline desktop app. Several handy tools are accessible even in the free version, making this a worthy pick in compiling the best free screenwriting software.
The interface is as user-friendly as it can get, and you can import and export several popular formats like FinalDraft, Fountain, Celtx, and PDF. This software is fully integrated with SSL certification. Copies of scripts can be backed up to cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc.
- Simple yet powerful scriptwriting
- Collaborate, outline, and create
- Offer perfect formatting, stats, and reports
- Cloud-based tool for easy sync
- Real-time co-writing collaboration
- Plus: $7.99/month
- Pro: $11.99/month
- Premium: $15.99/month
This software offers maximum value to the user as there are absolutely no limits to the number of scripts you can write and the number of pages per script. There are tutorials, which guide you step-by-step through the industry format.
Since the software’s scope is pretty vast, this would be an ideal choice for users looking to design their entire production process at a one-stop destination. Apart from writing your content, you can sync your script, breakdown all requirements of a particular scene, and schedule essential aspects of filmmaking such as shoot days, locations, cast, and crew.
Real-time collaboration with all team members is another feature of this software. It supports multiple operating system like others.
- Native script writing
- Sync and resync script
- Industry-standard format
- Convert script from other formats
- Cloud collaboration
- Indie: $25/month
- Professional: $42/month
- Studion: $85/month
- Agency: $216/month
- Production company: $340/month
- Enterprise: $1499/month
Prewrite is more of a visual outlining tool than traditional scriptwriting software. It comes with a plethora of features to make your story structure complete.
Its multiple layouts, analyzing features, and exporting the final draft-like features make it unique compared to other tools. You can export your file to any program that supports the .fdx format. The commercial-free images from Unsplash and The Movie Database bring your characters and scenes to life and make the story worth it with the application.
The tool can break down the story stats INT. vs. EXT., set the tone of the story, location, time of day, and scenes when different characters appear together. This tool helps you a lot to make your work top-notch. Even if you have started from the first page, you can import the existing script to analyze and finalize its structure.
- Highly professional tool
- Good for native amateurs
- Classic time structure
- Drag-and-drop scenes
- Great collection of templates
- Index card system
- Paid: $9.99/month
The last name in the list of free screenwriting software. This tool is compatible with different OS like Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you want to format, import, or export the final draft, it is entirely compatible to do all these tasks. You can choose it for this work.
Its handy features include a stepwise story structure, auto-formatting, a drag-and-drop navigator, an idea panel, and a few more. While writing a script, the ideas panel comes in handy to collect all your research and ideas in one place.
I like more about DramaQueen because it allows writing stories, but it can also develop, visualize, analyze, and rewrite. Together it offers a flexible and professional workflow on a new level. It is free without any limits on pages, the number of scripts, or the length of usage. Isn’t it great?
- Flexible between plot, outline, and script
- Detect storyline automatically
- Restructure entire story
- Import as pdf or word
- Support different export format
To sum it all up, these are some of the most used and loved free screenwriting software in this industry at present. All of these are unique in one or another way. Therefore, choosing the apt type of tool for the kind of work one specializes in is entirely up to individual users’ discretion.
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Dilip is freelance software and tech content writer. At TopItSoftware mostly write about the best software. In his free time is doing graphic design work.