Professional writing software like Final Draft is not necessary when you’re just starting out. There are cheaper alternatives.
The best free app we’ve seen recently is Trelby, which is a stand alone app for Windows and Linux.
For Mac users, we recommend Highland 2. It’s based on Fountain, a plain text markup language for screenwriting. For more Fountain-based programs, visit here.
If you’re using any cloud software, it’s important to back up your work to your home PC. Don’t rely on web apps to save your files forever!
- Celtx – web app, first three scripts free.
- Fountainize – free plugin for Google Docs, based on Fountain.
- Highland 2 – Basic version: free. Mac only.
- Screenplay Formatter – free plugin for Google Docs, tricky to use.
- Studiobinder – web app for writing/scheduling, allows one free project.
- Trelby – app for Windows or Linux
- WriterDuet – web app, first script free.
- Celtx – web app, first three scripts free, then $14.99 a month.
- Celtx Mac app – $19.99 – Mac only.
- Fade In – $79.95 – Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
- Final Draft – as low as $169 on various sites.
- Highland 2 – Basic: free, Pro: $29.99 – Mac only.
- Movie Magic Screenwriter – as low as $129 on various sites.
- Slugline – $20 for Ipad/Iphone, $40 for Mac
- WriterDuet – web app, first script free, then $11.99 a month.
- Script Studio – $199.99 (call for competitive upgrade pricing) Win/Mac.