Best screenwriting software

5 Best Screenwriting Software in 2024 [Free & Paid]

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Table of contents

We look at the best screenwriting software on the market for scriptwriters of any level. Whether you’re just dabbling or looking to make the next hit show screenwriting software can help you get the job done.

However, with a few different options out there, it can be hard to know which one to go for. Here is a breakdown of the best screenwriting software out there, looking at features, pricing, and ease of use.

1. Final Draft

An article on the best screenwriting software wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Final Draft. This award-winning software is used by the vast majority of professional screenwriters, including those working at Netflix, Paramount, and Pixar. Many smaller production companies use it too.

It has a long list of advanced features to help streamline the scriptwriting process, including formatting, storyboarding, alternate dialogue tools, collaboration features, and over 300 templates for all kinds of creative projects.

30-day free trial is availableDoesn’t come cheap at $249.99
Packed full of toolsMore geared towards feature films
Allows for real-time collaboration
Offers automatic backups to protect your work
Used by the likes of JJ Abrams and Guillermo Del Toro

2. Celtx

This cloud-based software was designed to speed up and simplify video production. With a scriptwriting package that includes industry-standard formatting, storyboarding, and integrated index cards it’s high up on our list. Also with its easy-to-use interface and multiple tools, it’s definitely one of the best screenwriting software out there.

Lots of tools at a low price pointToo many features
Good for beginnersSubscription plans are flexible but you end up paying more
Straightforward navigation
Good online support
Free 14-day trial

For a more in-depth look at the Celtx software, you can take a look at our full CeltX review.

3. WriterDuet

Focused purely on screenwriting, WriterDuet is another cloud-based tool that allows you to customize your workflow and collaborate with others in real-time. Along with formatting and compatibility with a range of file types, WriterDuet also offers reporting and outlining tools that help bring your script to life.

Both intuitive and user-friendlyNeed to be online to work collaboratively
Good for beginnersMost of the features are geared toward paid subscriptions
As it is web-based, there’s no risk of losing your workSubscription plans are flexible but you end up paying more
Great for collaboration
Subscriptions start at just $5/month

4. Trelby

The only completely free option on the list, this multi-platform program was designed to make screenwriting simple. It has an editor that prompts corrections to format and pagination.

Also, it offers the import and export of a range of file types and has fun features like a database to help you name your characters. The interface is a bit old but for something completely free, it’s not a bad option best screenwriting software.

Completely freeOld-school interface
Easy-to-useDoesn’t have as many features as other programs on this list
ReliableNot as sharp as some of its paid counterparts
Can be up and running in minutes
System requirements are minimal

5. Squibler

Squibler is a screenwriting app that’s both a story development tool and a writing program all in one. It provides all the tools you need for screenwriting, novel writing, blogging, and more.

It comes loaded with 30+ screenplay templates that help you get started hassle-free. The drag-and-drop user interface makes it extremely easy to add headings, beat boards, and other elements.

Also with its collaboration feature, multiple writers can work on a single story simultaneously. This saves you from the hassle of sending stories to multiple people and then waiting for them to add their section.

Basically, it’s designed for writers who want to write better but don’t have the time to learn how to use complicated screenwriting software. Squibler was made by writers for writers.

Automatically formats your script as you writeNeed to be online to work collaboratively
Clean and minimal interface
Import existing scripts from other software
Create characters and locations
Subscriptions start at just $9.99/month

Wrapping Up

In short, when looking for the best screenwriting software there is a great range of options to try. Our advice would be to test a few and see what works for your needs, budget and workflow.

Also, check out our scriptwriting techniques article if you need some help putting pen to paper!

Bob is our content editor at the Video Collective. He's a videographer and a real tech geek with over 13 years of experience in video production. Loves coffee but hates Marmite.
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