Writing Software

Writing Software

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 (look for PDF export or download). Don’t rely on web apps to save your files forever!

Free software

  • Fountainize – free plugin for Google Docs, difficult to use effectively.
  • Trelby – app for Windows or Linux

Freemium software

These programs allow some use for free, then offer more options with payment.

  • Arc Studio – web app, also standalone app for pc, mac, iOS, first 2 scripts free then $69 per year. Discount for students. Interesting options for plot boarding.
  • Celtx – web app, first three scripts free, then $14.99 a month.
  • Highland 2 – Basic: free, Pro: $29.99 – Mac only. (Highland is based on Fountain, a more code-like way of writing scripts)
  • WriterDuet – web app, first script free, then $9.99 a month.
  • WriterSolo – A variation on WriterDuet, can run locally (not in your browser) and save locally. 
  • Studiobinder – web app for writing/scheduling, allows one free project, then $29 a month.

Paid software

How to Use Dropbox

We use Dropbox in RWW meetings to share files. Before readings, we post links to what we’re reading, but if you’d like to use Dropbox on your computer, here’s an overview of how it works. 

How to Use Celtx software / How to format a screenplay

How to Use Trelby, Other Screenwriting Tutorials (Playlist)

How to use Highland 2.