The Best Screenwriting Software for Videos and Films (Free + Paid)

Best Screenwriting Software

You’re ready to take over the world with your ideas but you’re stuck on piecing your ideas together and writing the perfect script that will blow your audience away.

To produce a video professional, you must have your script written and today, we’ll be looking at the top script writing/screenwriting software.

We’ve put together some of the best and industry standard screenwriting software (including the most affordable ones) in no particular order that you can start using today to create masterpieces that will stand the test of time whether you’re writing a TV advert, video sales pitch, social media video ads, short films, TV shows or Hollywood blockbusters, these screenwriting software tool help you get it done.

These incredible screenwriting software are perfect for professional and easy to use for beginners.

STUDIOBINDER (Best Screenwriting Software)

Easily the Best Screenwriting Software

One of the most raved about screenwriting software or scriptwriting software (as some call it) out there is StudioBinder whether you’re an individual, a film company or just a business looking to do some collaborative screenwriting and storyboarding, StudioBinder is just perfect.

They also have Free Forever plans so you can get started without any out of pocket costs  and it syncs with their many other suites of software, so you can easily go from script to pre-production in a matter of seconds.

Though I think the best thing about it is that it’s all in one system allowing you to go from script to script breakdown to shooting schedule to call sheet all in one app.

PRICE: Free – $99/month for individuals (or up to $1,499/month for enterprise)

HIGHLAND (Free Screenwriting Software)

Best Screenwriting Software Free

Highland is probably the most advanced and dedicated screenwriting software to help you plan your videos, it was the first screenwriting software to include ‘Gender Analysis’ which gives you a great way to look at the breakdown of male and female characters in your script. Not just how many times they speak, but how many words.

Another topside, if you previously used FinalDraft, Highland allows you to open your FinalDraft (FDX) files and even you scripts in PDF, Highland will allow you to edit them easily.

The only downside is if you want to enjoy Highland, you need to get a Mac computer as the software remains Mac-only. It’s also only available from the Mac App Store. The free edition is a generous trial: there’s no time limit and it is possible to write entire screenplays in it and to upgrade is pretty affordable.

PRICE: Free – $49.99

FINALDRAFT (Screenwriting Software for Mac and Windows)

Best Screenwriting Software

Considered by many as the industry standard though the people at Highland would rather digress, in their own words…

 “People say Final Draft is the industry standard. Is it?
Not really. The industry standard format is PDF. That’s what people read. No matter what apps screenwriters use to write their scripts, they’re always delivered as PDF.”

But the team at FinalDraft would counter that with “The Numbers Don’t Lie” and has FinalDraft acquired some numbers?

  • The number-one selling screenwriting software in the world
  • Used by 95% of the entertainment industry
  • Over 300 templates for screenplays, teleplays, comics, immersive storytelling, graphic novels, and stage plays
  • Voted Best Choice for Screenwriting

If you’re new to FinalDraft, the special features to look out for are Refined Beat Board, Story Map, and their Real Time Collaboration if you’re working in teams.

The 11 upgrade makes it easier than ever to brainstorm, visualize, report, tag, collaborate and customize your writing environment like never before, their script formatting is also now much easier and fun.

Compatible with Windows, Mac and iOS.

PRICE: Free 30 Day Trial – $249 (if you’re upgrading, it’s only $99)

WRITERDUET (Online Screenwriting Software)

free screenwriting software

The first thing about WriterDuet is its ability to handle almost all file types from Celtx to FinalDraft, PDF, Fountain, HTML, Text, or Word.

More than that, it’s considered the standard for “real-time collaboration” in screenwriting software. It also includes an in-app chat box and a commenting feature (which can be private or shared).

It also has an admirably thorough revision tracking feature, which breaks down script changes by calendar date.

PRICE: First 3 Free – $11.99/month


screenwriting software online

Scrinever is more than just a screenwriting software, in their own words “it’s go-to app for writers of all kinds, used every day by best-selling novelists, screenwriters, non-fiction writers, students, academics, lawyers, journalists, translators and more. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it simply provides everything you need to start writing and keep writing”.

One of their most loved features to watch out for is the CorkBoard, their Auto-Backup functions means you won’t suddenly loose your work for any reason, I’ve lost a ton of work myself and it’s frustrating so I always look out for things like this. But the real Scrivener specialty is in longer writing projects and it automatically outlines your work, which is a nice touch.

Compatible with Mac, Windows and iOS.

PRICE: Free 30 Day Trial – $49


screenwriting software online

Celtx is in same line with StudioBinder, it’s an all-in-one tool that takes you from screenwriting to production inside one software but it’s far more affordable. And it’s 6 million active user base means it’s a mainstay.

It’s the preferred go to scriptwriting tool for video game creators and many movie makers, it also allows for active collaboration between many writers (though not real-time), an entire team can work together to write the script, prepare the shoot, and take your cast and crew into production.

It comes with a wide variety of template formats and you can convert them from one to the other.

If you’re working from an existing script, it offers a variety of import formats including PDF, Final Draft, and Microsoft Word documents.

Among its other features, Celtx screenwriting integrates with other pre-production tools like call sheets, storyboards, shot lists, and scheduling solution.

PRICE: First 3 Free – $40/month (or $15/month for only screenwriting features)

FADE IN (Hollywood’s Screenwriting Software of Choice)

The Hollywood’s Movie Writers Choice

If you want the screenwriting software that have been used to produce hollywood blockbusters, you want FadeIn.

Some of the hit movies written inside this software include Skyscraper, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Venom, Chernobyl and so many more, the software is a hollywood darling.

Compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, Linux and Mac (yes, it’s pretty versatile I would say!)

And it’s cheaper than even the simple upgrade cost of FinalDraft not to talk of a full purchase so yes if you’re on a budget, get this.

PRICE: Free Demo – $79.95

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After Production

Once you’re ready to share your masterpiece with the world…


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What is a screenwriting software?

Screenwriting software are word processors (sort of like MS Word) but designed specifically for writing screenplays for films and scripts for voice overs, TV commercials, video ads, explainer videos and more.

What screenwriting software does Hollywood use?

Hollywood screenwriters and movie producers are very fond of using FADE IN screenwriting software, and Celtx
hollywood screenwriter using screenwriting software

What is the best screenwriting software for 2020?

StudioBinder is considered a leading screenwriting app but not just because of it’s writing capabilities, rather because of it’s all in one suite for total video production which includes tools for casting, storyboarding and so on.

Other really amazing screenwriting tools you should try are Fade In, Highland and WriterDuet.

What screenwriting software do professionals use?

Most professionals use Celtx, Fade In, Highland or WriterDuet.

How to use celtx screenwriting software?

To learn everything you need to know on using Celtx software, it’s best to checkout their support center, they have detailed video and educational guides, you can see it here:

What screenwriting software is okay for beginners?

If you’re beginner, try WriteDuet, it’s very easy and user friendly.

Is there an online screenwriting software?

Yes, WriterDuet and StudioBinder are online based screenwriters.

What’s the best free screenwriting software?

If you’re looking for screenwriting tools that are free, try Celtx and StudioBinder. They have some great dibs.