Screenwriting Screenwriting Software

The best screenwriting software to use in 2020

Screenwriting software can be an expensive piece of equipment and quite frankly a big deal when it comes to deciding which screenwriting software suits you best. Today we breakdown the industry-leading screenwriting software so you don’t have to spend hours deliberating.

What is screenwriting software?

Screenwriting software is primarily software in which you can write your television, movie, radio and video games scripts. A lot has changed over the years, no more manual typewriting or handwritten scripts bound by beige pieces of string.

We have kindly broken down each piece of software to help you with your deliberations – let’s have a look.

1. Celtx 

Probably our favourite (A little bit bias. Whoops). The free version is incredible. Fantastic for starting off as a screenwriter and understanding the key features. Celtx provides you with the best tools to develop your writing and produce excellent content.

  • Cost:

    • Free (Basic version) and Paid: ($9.99 per member per month if billed annually, or $14.99 billed monthly).
  • Key Features:

    • Rich text editor module
    • Work online or offline
    • Tag elements within the script
    • Cloud-based
    • Real-time collaboration – this allows you to spare and edit in real-time with writing partners, producers, directors and team members.
    • Video production management tools
    • Supports production calendars

2. Final draft

Probably the most recognised screenwriting software of them all. One of the most expensive, but for bloody good reason. This is the go-to software for big-budget films.

It offers unlimited space, so there is no restriction on the number of projects you can work on at once. Although the cost is extortionate it makes up for this with the impeccable features.

  • Cost:

    • $249.99 for the full license and $99 per software update.
  • Key Features:

    • Text to speech support
    • Collaborate from afar – they offer remote collaborations from all over the world
    • Automatic back up files
    • 100’s of different templates
    • Automatically formats to the industry standard

3. Trelby

Trelby is open-source screenwriting software that is completely free. Although it doesn’t have as many high spec features as Final Draft for example but for a beginner or indie filmmaker – it’s perfect!

  • Cost:

    • FREE 🙂 
  • Key Features:

    • Compatible for all platforms
    • User friendly and easy to use
    • Reporting options and tools
    • Character name database inbuilt
    • Import from multiple screenwriting software if you want to write for free. Imports Celtx and Final Draft as well.

READ MORE: Seven top tips for a beginner screenwriter

4. Fade in

Fade In screenwriting software

Fade in. What the F%$K is that. Fade In is one of the most advanced software used by professionals writing for motion pictures, television, video games, the stage, radio, and more. It’s also one of the most affordable out of the whole lot, check out the key features below:

  • Cost:

    • Free for a limited time. Then you pay $ 79.99-lifetime cost.
  • Key Features:

    • Image support
    • Collaboration
    • Powerful writing tools
    • The fully featured application interface
    • An open file format
    • Cloud storage
    • Extensive font and Unicode support

5. Highland 2

“It is truly such a beautiful app. I have more genuine affection for it than almost any other: the way you love a favourite hand tool or kitchen knife.”

Michael Chabon – Novelist (Wonder Boys, Moonglow), screenwriter (Spider-Man 2) and showrunner (Star Trek: Picard).

We’d have to agree with Michael! It’s a fantastically smooth piece of screenwriting software. It’s user-friendly interface is easy to navigate and you have access to the free version perfect for no to low budget filmmaking.

  • Cost:

    • Free, basic addition. Or,  $49.99 full version.
  • Key Features:

    • Design your own theme in the Pro version
    • Track time – see how long you have spent developing each script: “Sprint mode”
    • The free version contains an abundance of features – up to 5 templates.
    • Regular updates – always improving the software
    • A formatting mode that’s built-in and automated
    • The customer support is quick and efficient


Well not really a summary. Just a thought:

We recommend playing around with the free versions and get an understanding of what works for you, don’t rush in, as some are pretty expensive. Once the work starts flowing and you are progressing, then look to add the paid features. Happy typing.

This may help you… Seven top tips for a beginner screenwriter

Check out a few more articles below to set you on your filmmaking journey and don’t forget to sign up to our FREE newsletter with all the latest news, filmmaking contest, resources and filmmaking tutorials so you don’t miss out!

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