If you are thinking of starting a film but are stuck with a tight budget, then you are in the right place. Unlike earlier times, when writing was based on pen and paper, we now have several free screenwriting software that can make your writing process simple by providing it the much-required aid.
What’s the need and use of a Screenwriting software?
If you want your work to overshine and come in the spotlight, you have to follow some standard format laid by the industry. Screenwriting is a creative field, and drafting a script requires a lot of gameplay around the usage of words, story, and characters.
But how do we maintain a balance between creativity and standard formatting? This is where a free screenwriting software come in the picture; these software takes care of all the perky formatting issues and sets you free with your creative side. With these software, you can effortlessly organize your rough ideas, keep track of all characters, and map your storyline.
Here, in this article, we have put together a list of some of the best and free screenwriting software that follows all the formatting rules and helps you learn all the mandatory elements of a screenplay.
Let’s dive in to check which one works best for you.
Top Free Screenwriting Software for Filmmakers & Writers
Recommended by many experts, Treble is open-source software and is 100 percent free of cost. It is specially designed to suit Windows and Linux platforms and comes with several editing and formatting tools that can be easily customized.
Trelby is known for its fast and straightforward working mechanism and is completely free of issues related to watermarks, script limits, and locked features. With this online free screenwriting software, you get a story and revision tracking tool that allows you to track and compare various drafts. It can import Celtx, Final Draft, and Fade in Pro and at the same time, export your work to HTML and RTF file, PDF, Fountain, and Final Draft.
The most beautiful part of this open-source software is that people who know coding can easily customize it according to their needs and requirements. We are waiting for its Mac version to hit the ground soon.
2. Page Stage 2
Next on our list of best free screenwriting software is Page Stage 2. It works well for Windows and comes with an array of editing and writing options. Two of its most distinguishing features are:
- Supports multiple languages, which gives an added advantage to non-English writers. Let’s assume you are a Turkish Writer and are searching for top screenwriting software; then Page Stage 2 can serve your purpose well.
- Advanced Auto Cheat feature: With this feature, you can get your script in the prescribed word limit. However, it is crucial to understand here that one page of script roughly equals a single minute of screen time. So, use it cautiously to avoid any issues related to pagination.
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3. Drama Queen
This free screenwriting software is compatible with multiple OS including Mac, Linux, and Windows. Likewise, it also works effortlessly well on Final Draft, so if you want to import, export, and format your screenplay using it, Drama queen can be a good companion.
It comes with various tools that can assist you in structuring your rough storyline. Drag and drop navigation, full-screen mode, independent platform auto-formatting features along with an idea panel are few other notable offerings. With the idea panel, you can easily collect all your research in one place and edit them accordingly.
This stunning software comes at no cost and does not impose any limits on the number of scripts, duration of usage, and the length of various projects.
4. Highland 2
Highland 2 is suitable for both novelists and screenwriters and is perfectly compatible with the Mac-based suite. Its various customizable tools offer a simple and easy way to alter and organize rough thoughts and ideas. With this online free screenwriting software, you can export your work in PDF and Highland files, but it does not support Final Draft.
Its basic version comes free of cost. However, if you wish to enjoy watermark-free work with all the advanced features unlocked for use, you will have to opt for its Pro version. Unfortunately, no details about the pricing of the Pro version are mentioned on its site.
Few Feature of Free version
- Character Highlighting
- Automatic-Plain text backups.
- 5 PDF templates.
- Watermarked PDF, which says, “Made in Highland.”
While on the other hand, with its pro version you get additional benefits like :
- 14 PDF templates.
- Watermark free PDF.
- Priority Email support.
- Custom Theme Builder, which allows you to create your themes.
5. Writer Duet
Another best and free screenwriting software is Writer Duet. Its working is based on real-time collaboration, which means you and your partner can see the changes made by each other — the date the changes were made, who made them along with the details of all the alterations.
It is highly compatible with other screenwriter software and can easily sync your work when online. You can import and export your work in various formats like PDF, Word File, Fountain, Final Draft, and Celtx. With its free version, you can upload up to three scripts that are, however, not free from watermark issues.
To access its feature-rich version, you should opt for its Pro version. Offerings of the Pro software includes real-time co-writing, online-offline desktop app, granular analysis, unlimited scripts, and line-by-line customization.
With this mobile-based software, you can hear your script loudly. With Dubscript, you can easily import your story written in Fountain and Final Draft, export it in a PDF or Final Draft format, and also save it on cloud storage systems like Google Drive and Dropbox.
It falls in the mediocre category software and offers all necessary functionality, including spell-check, auto-complete, undo/redo, dual-dialogue addition, and find/replace features. The only downside of this powerful software is that it only supports Windows and is not free from Watermark issues.
Another most distinguishing free screenwriting software is Causality. It’s an incredible writing and story development app that allows you to turn your visual story into reality. No matter how complex storyline you have in your mind, with Causality, you will be able to picture various events and place them in a logical sequence.
Its free version comes with limited writing options, while you can enjoy unlimited writing with its pro version along with other added benefits like printing and export.
8. Story Touch
Another downloadable free screenwriting software for Windows and Mac devices is Story Touch. It offers a massive array of features and editing tools that can help you organize your rough thoughts in a better way. With its analysis and organizing tool, you can easily prepare a remarkable script to portray your vision of the film. It comes in both a free and Pro version.
9. Fade In
This is one free downloadable screenwriting software, which works on almost all platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iPad. This intuitive software has everything that a scriptwriter would need. Writing and editing tools, exporting options, version tracking, you name it, and it there for you. Its real-time collaboration tools make it a popular choice among professional scriptwriters.
You may opt for its free version, but if you want a watermark-free result, then buy its pro version at $79.
10. Studio Binder
Studio Binder is a free industry approved professional screenwriting software. This incredible tool can take care of all the formatting issues while you can concentrate on your creativity and writing part. It’s an end-to-end platform, where you can build your storyline, share information with your team, collaborate various documents, and maintain multiple contacts for smooth working.
11. Final Draft 10
Our rundown of free online screenwriting software will be incomplete without “Final Draft 10”. It has been in the market for over a decade now and is highly preferred by filmmakers and writers. It offers several reporting tools, supports robust tagging, real-time collaboration, more than 100+ templates, and a mobile version.
It comes with a free 30-day trial version post, which you will have to buy its premium version at $249.99.
12. Movie Magic Screenwriter
Another well-known software for screenwriting is Movie Magic Screenwriter. It’s set of powerful and diverse tools gives it a cutting edge over its competitors. Real-time collaboration, formatting for films, index card view, breakdown reports, and revision tracking are some of its prominent offerings.
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If you are looking for an all-in-one software that can help you with novel writing, brochures, flyers, articles, there is no better choice than Scrivener. No matter how long your storyline is, you can quickly outline and organize it with this incredible software.
14. KIT Scenarist
KIT Scenarist is an open-source screenwriting tool. With this simple yet smart tool, you can create stunning screenplays and stories. With KIT Scenarist, you only have to concentrate on the artwork, all other formatting formalities will be taken care of by the software. With its card module, you can give your rough idea a good story structure.
Leave an essential part of screenwriting, the writing part to this elegant yet straightforward application. It is fully compatible with iOS devices and helps you structure your storyline as you go ahead. Slugline comes with a 14-day free trial version post, which you need to pay for enjoying its unbeatable services.
We hope this article has helped you shortlist the best screenwriting software. With these tools, you can collaborate your scattered ideas and turn them into a stunning storyline. So, what are you waiting for? Pick the best-suited tool for yourself today and craft impressive scripts without any hassle for free.