Comparative review of major software for script writing

If you are looking for software for script writing for movie, TV, or other genre, there are 6 software that are usually mentioned on the web. They are Final Draft, Celtx, Scripped, Scrivener, Plotbot, and ScriptBuddy.

A frequent question people have before making a decision of what script writing software to use is “what is the best script writing software?”.  A few years ago, an easy and immediate answer must have been Final Draft, as the most used software, had no serious competition. However, with more good software for script writing showing up in recent years, the question, nowadays, should be to find a software that suits each scriptwriter’s purpose.

There are tons of reviews out there about each software. I tried in my review to provide a comparison of major features of each software to help you with choosing a good one.

1. Major script writing software

A. Final Draft

According to its developer, Final Draft is NO.1 selling script writing software in movie and TV industry. Undeniably, this is a compelling reason to use the software.

B. Scripped 

Scripped presents itself as NO. 1 in online community for scriptwriters and the best online software for script writing.

C. Celtx

Celtx describes itself as the first choice for media pre-production meaning it is not only for writing scripts but can be used to manage the entire process of producing movie and other media.

2. Types of media supported

A. Final Draft

Film, Television, Stage play

B. Scripped

Film, stage play, TV, audio play, and comic book

C. Celtx

Film, stage play, documentaries, music video, advertising, audio play, comic book and novel

D. Scrivener

Film, stage play and comic book with export as Final Draft format

3. Online script writing software

There are 3 major web-based software for script writing.

A. Scripped

Scripped has more online features than other software. It supports online collaboration in realtime, creation of writing groups, online writer with tab and enter shortcuts, online contests promoted by producers, and offline script writing.

B. Plotbot

From the beginning, Plotbot was developed for collaborative script writing. It supports simulateneouls collaboration on a script, track recording of who wrote what and reverting to earlier versions.

C. ScriptBuddy

ScriputBuddy offers online screenwriting and a community where people can leave feedback.

4. Free script writing software

A. Celtx

Celtx is free. You can buy add-ons for more functions like index cards, full screen mode and etc.

B. Plotbot


C. ScriptBuddy

Basic version is free. There is pro version with cost but the website gives no detailed pricing information.

D. Scripped

Scripped comes in three options in terms of price, which are free version, pro monthly ($9.95), and pro lifetime ($89.95).

E. Final Draft and Scrivener

Both software have no free versions. Final Draft costs $249. Scrivener costs $40 for Windows and $45 for Mac.

5. So, what is the best script writing software?

If you want to pursue a commercial career as a scriptwriter as soon as possible, Final Draft seems to be the best choice with its status as an industry standard.

If you are a bunch of writers working on a script together, Scripped would be the best software to use. If your budget is limited, Plotbot would be a good alternative.

For people who are not just writing a script but needs a software to manage the whole process of media production, Celtx would be a good choice.

If you are trying various genre or want to adapt your existing novels for a screenplay, Scrivener is recommendable.

6. Now try the software

You can click the following links to download or try each script writing software.

A. Celtx

B. Final Draft

C. Scripped

D. Scrivener

E. Plotbot

F. ScriptBuddy

3 comments for “Comparative review of major software for script writing

  1. Emerson
    February 25, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Celtx is fine to fool around with but it’s not for real writers. Almost every pro uses Final Draft, although I’ve seen quite a few saying they’re trying Fade In now.

  2. March 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    You left out Fast Screenplay. Very interesting software. Check it out.

  3. Jeffrey Mac
    March 22, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I have no horse in this race, but pros already know what software they should use for their projects. Most folks are writing spec scripts, and, Celtx is fine for that, without having to drop hundreds of dollars for the privilege, as I’ve already done for FD 6, 7, & 8.

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