The best screenwriting software without a doubt is Final Draft. There are some other big boys on the block, like Sophocles and Movie Magic Screenwriter to name a few (These are both fine scriptwriting programs). However, the market leader, industry standard and best screenwriting software is Final Draft. If you intend to get serious about screenwriting then get it. If, on the other hand, you are unsure about how serious you are and you want to just get your feet wet first then perhaps you should hold off on the impulse to buy and explore some less expensive or free screenwriting software first (discussed further down).
Why Buy Final Draft?
Download script templates for almost any format of script: registered users get access to their database for templates. Graphic novels, musicals, sitcoms and many more styles are available. Whatever you want to write, you can find a template for it.
Ease of use: there is tons of support everywhere for learning this software due to its popularity.
Industry standard: the most used screenwriting software period.
Cross platform support: swap scripts between Mac and PC and between different file formats.
Direct access for registering your work: Final Draft is the only screenwriting software with an authorized agreement with the WGAW online registry service.
Simple editing: a host of features allow for drag and drop editing as you look at your script from the top down on a virtual editing table. The Scene Navigator, Scene Properties Inspector, Scene View, and Index Card features are what make script editing and formatting a breeze.
Alternatives to Final Draft?
If the price is outside your means, fear not, because there are some legitimate strong alternatives that cost substantially less or are free. Some of these are marginal, and a few are contenders, but most importantly, they won't force you to live on pasta for the next 3 months due to a blown budget.
If you need free software for independent productions then A Celtix is your answer. It is not acceptable for pro submissions but it is great for independent/small studios with budget concerns.
Final Draft is the best screenwriting software because every major production house in North America uses it. Screenwriting books are an excellent resource for learning to write screenplays; industry professionals write many of these.
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