11 Best Screenwriting Software of 2022 (Free and Paid)

John Smith
Email/ UX expert
11 Best Screenwriting Software of 2022 (Free and Paid)

If you’re a talented screenwriter hoping to get a breakthrough into filmmaking, you no longer have to live in Hollywood or rub shoulders with the big names in the film production industry. Instead, you only need a good computer, the right screenwriting software, a professional literary agent, a knack for screenwriting, and a pinch of luck.


Using the right screenwriting software is critical for anyone who wants to become a great writer. An excellent screenwriting software will assist you in meeting your writing goals, from a convenient scripting environment to planning scenes and characters.


This guide outlines the 11 top screenwriting software to convert your ideas and concepts into a great screenplay. But first, what’s screenwriting software?

What Is Screenwriting Software?

Screenwriting software is a tool that helps to create, edit, structure, and publish scripts used in films, TV shows, and computer games.


It helps scriptwriters meet the industry’s rigorous formatting standards. Most paid plans have tools that analyze and improve syntax and grammar. Furthermore, they come with backups for the project documents. 


This software saves you from the drawbacks of manual formatting and ensures your script matches or surpasses the industry standards. 


With easy keyboard shortcuts, these applications can allow you to add action, speech, slug lines, episode headings, character names, parentheticals, transitions, and more.


Nevertheless, there are thousands of screenwriting tools on the market today. And picking the right one can be challenging, especially if you’re new to filmmaking.  


So, if you’ve ever felt confused about the right screenwriting tool, here are the 11 best paid and free software in 2022. Let’s dive right in!

The Best Screenwriting Software in 2022

1. Arc Studio Pro

Arc Studio Pro is the go-to tool to take screenwriting to the next level. Despite being new in the market, it’s one of the leading screenwriting software and is quickly becoming the new industry standard for filmmakers.  


This program has a simple and distraction-free interface that makes formatting a breeze. Moreover, it has advanced real-time teamwork tools and a reliable feedback system. To cap it off, it comes with the ‘Arc Mode,’ allowing you to experiment with the story’s composition while uniquely arranging the beats. 


Many celebrated filmmakers are using the ArcStudio Pro thanks to its fantastic features. An excellent example is Netflix’s “The Writers’ Room for Arcane.”


Arc Studio Pro has a free plan with limited features, which is an excellent option if you’re just starting. However, experienced screenwriters should opt for the paid plans, which provide advanced features to produce the best films. Besides, their paid subscriptions also come with lifetime updates and cloud storage. 

Best For:

Arc Studio Pro improves your writing beyond industry standards with its suite of writing options.

Its distraction-free writing helps you concentrate and improve your ideas.

Its innovative story-building features allow you to visualize your concepts and brainstorm them before converting them into the script. 

  • This real-time platform enables team members to see others’ edits. 

Key Features:

  • It has a distraction-free mode that helps you concentrate more on your work.
  • Arc Studio Pro allows writers to collaborate in real-time.
  • It has a program that allows you to work in the cloud using real-time features, just like Google Docs.
  • It has a sophisticated plot board you can use to structure your script.
  • Its industry-standard format helps to generate excellent script specifications.
  • Arc Studio Pro allows you to display your story outline while writing to help you confirm its accuracy.

User Experience:

Arc Studio Pro is an excellent tool for creating top-quality eBooks since it allows you to organize your information into several acts and has a large content bank to choose from.


Use the Content Cards function to get inspiration from other authors’ works or to take account of your concepts. Its Key Beats helps you to focus on specific points in your story.


Arc Studio has three pricing plans:


  • Free: $0
  • Essentials: $69/year
  • Pro: $99/year


  • Inbuilt Beat Outlines keep your plot on track and focused.
  • It has a clean and well-organized user interface.
  • The Arc Studio pro’s feedback tools are unique and vital in improving your work.


  • Its free version only works on browsers.

Product Updates:

  • Outlining tools make it easy to plan and structure your writing.
  • Revision management allows you to record changes and reverse the previous storyline if necessary.

2. Final Draft

Launched in 1990, Final Draft is a world-renowned screenwriting tool and has been used by some of the household names in the filmmaking industry. Furthermore, it has received multiple awards for its excellence in the film industry. In 2013, for example, it received a Primetime Engineering Emmy Award.  


It automatically paginates and formats scripts according to industry standards, freeing up time for you to concentrate on other things. You can also collaborate with other writers in real-time. 


Other remarkable features of this tool include SmartType for auto-filling frequently used names and locations, Alternate Dialogue for storing different versions of lines, and Beat Board to visualize your story. 

Best For:

Final Draft 11 has a suite of features, making it the best fit for writers who want to utilize the industry-standard screenwriting tool for major movies and TV shows. 

Key Features:

  • It has powerful visualization and brainstorming tools for collaborating with numerous screenwriters during the writing process.
  • It automatically paginates and formats scripts as per industry standards.
  • It lets you arrange and personalize “beats,” such as character arcs, location ideas, plot milestones, and research, among other things.
  • Its story maps link your visualizations and beat boards to your script.
  • It allows you to visualize crucial plot points and achievements.
  • Its alternate dialogue allows you to save different versions of a line for future references.
  • It has shortcut keys such as Tab and Enters, allowing you to switch between action and dialogue easily.
  • Final Draft generates automatic file backups to ensure you can access your data whenever necessary.
  • Its revision mode keeps track of all changes made to a script as it progresses through production.
  • Final Draft’s fonts support at least 97 languages.
  • It has a text-to-speech function.
  • You have various templates to choose from.
  • The software is compatible with OSX, iOS, and Windows.  

User Experience:

Final Draft gives you the power to generate your toolbar to match the functions you use more frequently in the software, making your user experience smoother and easier. 


Its new interface is expected to be more intuitive and straightforward to navigate as it requires just a few clicks to complete tasks.


Final Draft is available as a digital download for $184.99, with two activations per sale. It comes with a 30-day free trial.


Generally, this is an excellent price considering that Final Draft is currently ranked as the best screenwriting software in the world.


  • Final Draft comes with all the features required to write an exceptional screenplay.
  • It has an intuitive user interface, so expect a short learning curve.


  • Its collaborative features are inferior to those in other leading screenwriting software.

Product Updates:

  • Writing and editing features allow you to structure your script exactly how you want it, with several alternatives for modifying borders, pagination, and more.
  • The story development tools allow writers to keep track of their characters, settings, and plotline points while writing, making your work organized and on track

3. Celtx

Celtx is cloud-based software that allows users to work as a team on the same projects from their respective remote locations in real-time. Its long list of features makes it a valuable tool for screenwriters. 


Celtx has more than six million users from over 180 countries worldwide, making it one of the best screenwriting software. 


Its features can help you generate better content faster, from mere concepts to shooting. Furthermore, Celtx’s comprehensive reports will help you acquire actionable production information.

Best For:

Celtx is the best tool for screenwriters as it simplifies the conversion of simple and disorganized concepts into full-fledged blueprints. Novelists and playwrights can also benefit from this software. 

Key Features:

  • Its user interface is straightforward, easy to learn, and intuitive.
  • Celtx allows you to work both offline and online.
  • The Celtx app is compatible with iPad, iPhone, and Android. 
  • It has one master file, perfect for organizing your work and keeping you on track.
  • It has an excellent text module for novel writing.
  • Celtx supports the generation of production schedules and strip borders.
  • It allows writers and directors to add components to their scripts. 
  • It offers cloud-based services.
  • Celtx is excellent for real-time collaboration.
  • It offers full-set pre-production management.

User Experience:

Celtx has a simple four-step production procedure, making it ideal for people new to screenwriting and filmmaking.


Furthermore, the software’s user-friendly interface makes it simple to locate the tools and features you may require.


Celtx has three pricing plans:


  • Scriptwriting plan: $15/month
  • Video production plan: $27/month
  • Game production plan: $27/month


  • It helps you format scripts easily by learning basic screenplay formatting principles, giving you enough time to focus on composing instead of fretting over margins and spacing.
  • Its online cloud format gives you access to your project from anywhere and enables you to collaborate with partners.


  • It doesn’t have a free plan.
  • It focuses more on the entire pre-production process and overlooks some features for in-depth screenwriting.
  • Celtx’s copy-paste function needs improvement.
  • It doesn’t support PDF files; you must use the OCR software.

Product Updates:

  • Its new dedicated space is designed to improve teamwork by giving you more opportunities to link with other writers.

4. WriterDuet

WriterDuet offers excellent formatting, statistics and reporting features, and production resources. It is also compatible with almost every screenplay format. This program has scene cards, mind maps, and tools that allow you to brainstorm, arrange, and create remarkable pieces. 


Furthermore, WriterDuet is designed for collaboration; it comes with features like real-time co-writing, in-app text and video chat, and intuitive commenting. Such features make WriterDuet the best tool for sketch groups, writer’s rooms, and anybody who relies on feedback to improve their project’s outcome.


WriterDuet allows you to easily format pages, personalize your workflow, build custom themes, and save revision versions. To cap it off, beat sheets, outlines, and treatments are integrated and organized in WriterDuet.


Note: This goes well beyond what other screenwriting software presently offers.

Best For:

WriterDuet is best for writers who need real-time collaboration to organize and develop ideas. Also, it’s beneficial for educational presentations. 

Key Features:

  • It allows you to add a variety of plugins to improve your customization.
  • It supports mobile devices and various browsers. 
  • Signing up is free.
  • It supports different screenwriting formats and offers high personalization, enabling you to make template changes.
  • It comes with an SSL certificate with fully integrated scripts that can only be shared with users’ requests and approved guest codes.
  • WriterDuet allows you to back up your files with the cloud storage service providers such as Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, and your computer.
  • It provides seamless offline and online services.
  • It enables you to keep track of all changes you make.
  • WriterDuet has a user-friendly interface.
  • It offers free tutorials after you sign up.

User Experience:

WriterDuet’s user interface is simple and uncluttered, which can help you to concentrate on what you do best.


Furthermore, its real-time collaboration tool helps you receive feedback from your partners or collaborate on a project.


It also has a handy menu on the upper part of the screen where you can access all the tools and features you may need. 


WriterDuet offers three free scripts upon signup, after which you’ll be required to upgrade to paid plans. The paid plans are as follows:


Plus: $5.99/month (paid annually)

Pro: $7.99/month 

Premium: $9.99/month


  • It is lightweight so that you can access it from anywhere. Plus, it won’t take up much room on your device.
  • It offers cloud-based writing services, allowing you to access your project and share it with your partners.


  • It only provides three free scripts; after that, you’ll have to pay to use the platform.
  • It doesn’t allow offline collaboration; you must be online to collaborate.
  • It mainly focuses on “pro” accounts. 

Product Updates:

  • Offline editing allows you to proceed with your project without being connected to the Internet.

5. Trelby

Trelby is a free and open-source screenplay tool. It is one of the best screenwriting software in the world. It has a built-in, highly customizable PDF generator and is compatible with Linux and Windows platforms. 


It offers you the freedom to select from various alternatives while importing files. These include Screenwriting Formatted Text, Final Draft XML (.fdx), Adobe Story (.astx), Celtx (.celtx), Fade In Pro (.fadein), and Fountain (.fountain). 

Best For:

This free software is an excellent choice for screenwriters on a tight budget. It is also suitable for educational presentations, demos, and tutorials. 

Key Features:

  • Trebly is user-friendly and easy to navigate (highly configurable).
  • It has a built-in screenplay editor that implements the correct script format, spells checking, and pagination.
  • Trebly is compatible with different platforms.
  • It offers different views to select from.
  • It has multiple reporting options (location/scene/dialogue/character).
  • Trebly can compare scripts and identify the changes.
  • This software allows you to choose from different format options when importing.
  • It allows you to create PDFs with customized watermarks, which gives you more options.
  • The software’s system requirements are modest, making it simple to execute even on older systems.

User Experience:

Trelby is your best pick if you want a user experience that allows you to concentrate on your work. It is easy to switch between composing in pages and scenes mode when using Trebly.


Moreover, you won’t have to fret over formatting issues since Trelby does it for you while you type.


Trebly is free and open-source software. The source code is accessible on Github.


  • It has all the necessary tools for a screenwriter.
  • It has a vintage MS Word-like layout.
  • It’s free and open-source.


  • Its revision tracking feature is not effective.
  • It is only available on Linux and Windows (it doesn’t support OSX).
  • It doesn’t have italics, underlining, and bold options.
  • Lack of long-term customer support.
  • It lacks collaboration tools.
  • It supports only the English language.

Product Updates:

  • Undo/redo tools allow you to go back and forth when revising your work. The feature comes in handy when you make a mistake or wish to modify something. You can move your screenplay to other applications that support the Fountain format if you have the Fountain import/export capability.
  • You can import screenplays from Adobe Story into Trelby thanks to Adobe Story import compatibility.
  • It supports story import, allowing you to add a screenplay from Adobe story, a famous screenwriting tool, into Trebly.

6. Scrivener

Launched in 2007, Scrivener is a perfect ebook writing tool. It has many exceptional features for writing an incredible screenplay, so most authors find it convenient. 


The software offers a range of activities, such as drag-and-drop functions, organizing notes, and editing several documents simultaneously. 


Surprisingly, the program allows you to simulate the feel of a typewriter, scrapbook, and ring-binder. Additionally, you can easily connect various parts of your story or a lengthy text while creating an intriguing narrative. 


The best part is that Scrivener is compatible with Mac, iOS, Windows, and Linux, giving you the luxury of using multiple devices. Its inbuilt corkboard is a massive plus for many writers, regardless of genre.  

Best For:

Scrivener has features such as MathType integration, footnote support, and the capacity to use a research library. It is, therefore, an excellent screenwriting tool for authors of fictional, non-fictional, and historical publications. You can access different templates for writing general and academic non-fiction.

Key Features:

  • You can quickly shift from editing a part of your document to editing the whole thing.
  • Scrivener’s interface is intuitive and user-friendly.
  • It has a conventional text editing system that allows you to use italics, bold, and other familiar formatting functions
  • You can import documents from different extensions and Word processors, such as text files, PDFs, and Microsoft Word.
  • It has an inbuilt corkboard, allowing you to re-organize files using the drag-and-drop function. 
  • It brings all features into one platform.
  • Scrivener can easily merge documents into a single chapter.
  • It offers a free trial period of 30 days.
  • It gives you the freedom to choose your favorite font.
  • It has tutorials to help newbies get familiar with it swiftly.


  • It has a long learning curve. 
  • It has different platforms that do not use the same license.
  • You have to pay more to get some updates.


The cost may vary depending on the platform you want to use. The Windows and Mac editions cost $49; however, you’ll get a discount if you’re a student. The iOS edition, on the other hand, costs $19.99.

7. Fade In

First launched in 2011, Fade In is a leading screenwriting program on the market today. It is extensively used in film production and is compatible with various platforms, including Mac, Android, Linux, Windows, and iOS. 


The software has incredible features and is one of the most affordable scriptwriting software products. 


Besides supporting multiple languages, Fade In also boasts of an impressive interface, an action-to-dialogue function, and wide-ranging features for revisions and rewrites. As a result, it is quickly becoming the emerging industry standard. Interestingly, it has been positioned as Final Draft’s top rival.

Best For:

Fade In is best suited for scriptwriters who desire seamless integration of their ideas and their equipment. For that reason, most world-renowned filmmakers and directors in the film production industry use Fade In.

Key Features:

  • It has a global, cutting-edge software interface.
  • It has an automatic script formatting system.
  • It has an automatic typing function, suggesting words and phrases as you type.
  • Fade In guarantees a reliable real-time collaboration, allowing writers to work on a project together regardless of location.  
  • It supports complete images, allowing you to add images to your story. 
  • It offers three valuable modes: page-only, full-screen, and distraction-free.
  • Fade In supports different file formats; HTML, text, and more. 
  • It offers cloud-based storage services, allowing you to access your project from anywhere.
  • It provides free software updates. 


  • Screenwriters using Fade In often face compatibility issues.
  • Its free version has the company watermark on it.


Fade In has a free subscription plan for a limited period. After using up your free plan, you’ll have to pay for a one-time plan that costs $79.95 (one of the best rates on the market). The best part is that you’ll always get a free software upgrade.

8. KIT Scenarist

Most screenwriters regard KIT Scenarist as one of the best tools on the market today. It is a free and open-source tool that is highly customizable, with a global user base of over 3000 authors. 


Furthermore, the software is upgraded almost every month to help you keep up with the advancements in the technology field. 

Best For:

KIT Scenarist has features that make it ideal for top-level scriptwriting projects for movies and tv shows. It’s also beneficial for novelists and authors, especially those who need a tool with multiple languages and statistical evaluations. 

Key Features:

  • It is compatible with Linux, Windows, iOS, Android, and Mac.
  • It has a research module that gathers valuable information, organizes characters, and saves different materials.
  • KIT Scenarist has a card module to help you develop your stories by providing visualizations.
  • KIT Scenarist has a built-in script editor, enabling you to concentrate only on developing their stories. 
  • It supports multiple languages. 
  • You can export files in different formats: FDX, PDF, Docx, and Fountain.
  • It offers different themes.
  • KIT Scenarist comes with an inbuilt statistical tool.


  • The online collaboration features are only available on the paid versions.
  • You have to pay for cloud services after the first 30-day trial period.
  • While it supports iOS and Android, this compatibility is paid for. 


KIT Scenarist is open-source and free software. But if you wish to use their cloud services, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan. 

9. Movie Magic Screenwriter

Movie Magic Screenwriter is a world-renowned software that is excellent for writing screenplays, comic books, novels, musicals, and more. 


It provides new users free online tutorial videos to help them quickly understand the interface. Furthermore, Movie Magic Screenwriter has a free downloadable demo version for new users to try out the software. 


Movie Magic Screenwriter has been used in writing some of the most famous movies and series. An excellent example is Hollywood’s famous Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Best For:

Movie Magic Screenwriter is ideally suited for filmmakers but can also be helpful in the educational setting for creating and submitting assignments and research papers. Despite the additional features, small businesses find it challenging to use the software because of its high cost.

Key Features:

  • It has an intuitive and customizable interface.
  • It comes with an automatic formatting feature.
  • When exporting files to a scheduling program, it allows you to add locations and characters.
  • Its features are color-coded for more organization and easy reference.
  • Its interface is highly customizable; you can change the layout.
  • It comes with templates created by professionals.
  • It has the iPartner feature, which allows you to collaborate with others on a project from your remote location. 
  • It comes with a note commander function that helps you access, view, organize, and write your ideas.
  • Movie Magic Screenwriterriter has a text-to-speech function.


  • It is one of the most expensive screenwriting tools on the market, but its features are not as impressive as Final Draft’s.


Movie Magic Screenwriter has three pricing plans:


  • The Movie Magic 6 (the latest version): This costs $149.95.
  • An Upgrade: Only for Windows and Mac, this plan costs $89.95.
  • The 6.5 Upgrade: This Mac-only plan costs $69.95.

10. Highland 2

Highland 2 is one of the top scriptwriting tools on the market. Its interface is easy to navigate and user-friendly, giving you time to focus on more critical tasks. Unfortunately, as of now, it’s only compatible with Mac devices. 


Nevertheless, it’s versatile and arguably the best software for people or teams that need diversification in their work. The best part is that Highland 2 has a free version with helpful features. However, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to access more advanced features for more serious projects. 

Best For:

Highland 2 is the ideal screenwriting tool for all Mac users and bloggers who continuously need images for their projects. The software’s various shortcuts also benefit new screenwriters and blog editors.  

Key Features:

  • It has an automatic formatting feature, freeing up time for you to work on more critical tasks.
  • Highland 2 has the ”Sprint” function, which allows you to track time as you work.
  • It is regularly upgraded to ensure you’re constantly abreast of the new technology.
  • Its free version is feature-packed: two built-in editors, five PDF templates, and more.
  • Highland 2 delivers the best customer support.
  • Its Scratchpad feature records note about your script pay, similar to using beat boards or index cards.
  • Its pro upgrade version allows you to create your themes. 
  • It has many keyboard shortcuts. 


  • Its free version has PDF watermarks.
  • Highland 2 only works with Mac.


Highland 2 has a free version that has basic features only. But you can buy the paid version at $59.99 if you want more advanced features.

11. StudioBinder

StudioBinder is a top picture, video, movie, and film production software. The software’s broad approach to scriptwriting necessitates it to include crew management and production schedule features. 


It allows you to collaborate on projects with others, share ideas, and get immediate feedback. Moreover, screenplays created using other programs, such as Final Draft, can be converted and organized more easily on StudioBinder. This software allows you to transition from a manuscript to pre-production with only one click.


This is the ideal solution for managing scripts, teams, and the people engaged in your work if you own production business.

Best For:

StudioBinder is ideal for large organizations or knowledgeable individuals engaged in high-profile film or TV shows. While small businesses may find it challenging to afford their paid plans, StudioBinder has a free plan that offers exceptional educational features. 

Key Features:

  • It has a call sheet builder that allows you to add customized call times and download attachments.
  • It allows you to import scripts and add components.
  • It has a drag-and-drop option.
  • It comes with Script Breakdowns.
  • It gathers and simultaneously transmits messages to teams, suppliers, and clients.
  • It has a free version. 


  • StudioBinder is too expensive for small production houses and individuals just starting.
  • It has too many features, which usually confuse beginners. Therefore, the software is suitable for experienced screenwriters.


StudioBinder has a free version you can use indefinitely. However, it also has paid versions with more advanced features: 


  • Individual plans: The price ranges from  $29 to $99 per month, with a chance to save about 15% if you pay for an entire year.


  • Business plans: The price ranges from $249 to $1499. You also have the opportunity to save 15% if you subscribe for an entire year.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the advantages of using screenwriting software?

Screenwriting software helps writers convert ideas and concepts to full-blown scripts using features and tools to generate industry-standard script plays. Most software allows the crew to work on a project from their remote location. They also have automatic editor features. 

What are the benefits of a paid version compared to the free version?

A paid version of screenwriting software gives you access to more advanced features that free versions lack. These added perks are meant to make your work more accessible, safe and fast. Most screenwriting software, for example, only allows users with paid versions to use collaboration features. Other services like cloud-based services are also found in the paid plans. 

What is the process for backing up my work?

Every scriptwriting software has backup features. But some may not have the automatic backup features. Therefore, it’s vital to follow the saving guideline of your software before shutting down your computer or closing the program. 

What factors should I consider before buying a screenplay software?

There are many things to consider when shopping for a screenwriting software. The factors will vary with your project’s demands and complexity. However, here are the common factors you should consider: 


  • Ease of use
  • Supported file formats
  • Automotive backup features
  • Compatibility with multiple operating systems 


A great screenwriting software won’t make your brand an overnight household name in the movie industry. Instead, it will make your work easier by helping you produce clean, error-free, formatted, and professional scripts. 


However, there are hundreds of screenwriting software on the market, and choosing the right one is often a challenge for many beginners. A number of these software are too expensive for small production houses and individuals who are just starting. 


As a result, this post has reviewed the top screenwriting software on the market. Better yet, most of the listed software are used by big names in the movie industry and offer free versions with industry-standard features. 


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