7 Best Screenwriting Tools Available Online

Of course, screenplays can be written on any available word processor. However, it can be irritating to deal with issues like formatting instead of paying attention to the story. With word processors, you would have to copy-paste long chunks of text just to rearrange scenes, hunt down the correct screenplay version from multiple files, and find some spot to place stray ideas. Why bother when there are many available screenplay tools online? In this list, our team has compiled the top screenplay writing applications you can use to focus on the story, not the formatting.

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WriterDuet is the first real-time collaborative screenwriting tool, providing fluidity across devices, automatic cloud save, line-by-line comments, and even text and video chat between users while on the screenplay. The software offers a comprehensive set of features for different stages in the writing process. Formatting options and script analysis tools guide the user through industry writing standards. On top of this, the software’s infinite version history and external backups safeguard the script from data loss.

Ulysses is a writing application designed to create a distraction-free experience on the Apple system. Like Scrivener, it’s an all-around writing application suited for different long-form projects like articles, books, and screenplays, but with a more minimalist interface. This interface offers various features, such as its Markdown formatting support and document management tools—which can be kept out of the way when you just need a clean view of your work. The application also keeps writers on task with its writing goal feature and keeps ideas organized through its sidebar.

StudioBinder is the world’s leading production management software for video and film media. Clear, sleek, and comprehensive, the tool brings organization to a production’s workflow. The feature-rich software offers customizable solutions such as call sheets, script breakdowns, shot lists, storyboards, and shooting schedules, and does so in a much more simplified way. While it has a learning curve for new users, the centralized project manager is suited for all pre- and post-production processes, allowing for clear and organized tracking for filmmakers across different skill sets. The collaborative cloud software might be a lifesaver for your film crew, most especially for producers and production managers.

While Final Draft is considered the screenwriting standard, Scrivener is the standard for writing overall—providing an excellent way to organize and format large writing projects so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the task ahead. As an all-around writing app, Scrivener holds a comprehensive toolkit in its library, including citation formatting for academics and, most importantly, different templates for screenwriters. Scrivener also has planning features such as its corkboard and outliner to pin down any idea. With this in mind, Scrivener would be best suited for screenwriters that also work in non-film projects or for authors looking to adapt their previous works to film.

Highland 2 is a writing application designed to create a distraction-free experience for different kinds of writing. Like Ulysses, the software is suited for long-form projects and has a minimalist interface. For screenwriting, Highland 2 has a navigator for rearranging and skipping to scenes, a bin to keep random thoughts, and a revision mode to track changes with different colors. However, its standout feature is its gender analysis, which helps break down male and female characters by word count and their amount of dialogue. The feature also lets you explore what it would look like if character genders were flipped.

When talking about screenwriting software, the biggest name in the business is Final Draft. The application has collaboration tools and production management features that enable efficient teamwork. However, the application is best known for streamlining the creative process through its interface. The multiple-view navigation is helpful for keeping track of the current story. The Story Map visually connects elements like index cards and character sheets to specific points in the script. The flowchart-like Beat Board is customizable and is reminiscent of the physical notecard approach.

Celtx is a versatile screenwriting software for the whole pre-production team. It promises a seamless writing experience and provides a range of formatting options and script templates, ensuring adherence to industry standards. Collaborative features such as commenting and client approvals enable multiple writers to work together in real-time. However, what makes Celtx stand out are its production management tools. Once the script has been written, users can keep track of future production expectations through shot lists, script breakdowns, call sheets, and catalog maintenance.

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