So, you have an idea for a blockbuster movie and are in a rush to get started writing. However, as much as you want to begin, you don’t have any money for screenwriting software. Lucky for you, there are quite a few free screenwriting software solutions out there.
In this guide, we’ll break down the best free screenwriting software programs on the market and explain what makes them so good. Let’s take a look at each of them and see why they shine in a crowded market.
1. Page 2 Stage
Once a paid software, Page 2 Stage is a tried-and-true software perfect for any would-be screenwriters out there. This software has an extremely simple interface that looks straight out of the 1990’s. Though some may not like that appearance, it cuts down on distractions and helps you focus on your work.
While newer and more polished software has come out since this Page 2 Stage first came out, it still works and is perfect for anyone minimalist. One of the biggest downfalls of this program is the developer stopped providing support for it since it went free to use. However, that’s not much of an issue because many of the bugs were crushed while it was still paid.
Much like Page 2 Stage, Trelby has an extremely simplistic design. That style allows you to focus on your writing at all times while not getting distracted and pulled away from your ideas. Trelby’s design has a more modern look, which will please many younger people who are used to having nice looking user interfaces.
Trelby has some really nice features that other free software and older software do not. That includes a name database with 200,00 names, as well as character statistics that lets you know how many lines, scenes, and action sequences each character is involved in. These are not necessary, but they are great bonuses.
StudioBinder is an amazing program that allows you to not only write your next screenplay, but schedule the entire movie shoot. We are going to focus on just the screenwriting aspect, but know that it can do much more than that. As far as writing a script with StudioBinder goes, it is extremely easy and intuitive. Just create a new document and get to writing with industry-standard formatting.
One of the cool features of StudioBinder is the ability to share your script and collaborate with other writers on your project without having to download, send, and wait. They can access your script right in StudioBinder, and make their edits and write their parts. This makes it one of the easiest and best collaboration screenwriting programs available today.
4. Highland 2
Many screenwriting programs and word processors have many features that get in the way more than they help. A cluttered user interface can cause you a lot of confusion. Highland 2 remedies that by creating almost an entirely white screen with only a couple of essential buttons. That allows you to hone in on the writing, and zone out all other distractions until after you’re done.
Highland 2 has some great features, including the navigator, which is a small breakdown of your sections and scenes for easy skimming. You can also drag and drop scenes to move them around inside your script. There is also a section called “The Bin” where you can store small snippets of text that you love but haven’t found a place for yet. When that moment comes along, stick it right in your screenplay and you’re good to go.
DramaQueen has a great name, and this free version of the software will allow you to write your next smash TV or movie hit from the comfort of your own home. It has plenty of features to make writing your script as simple as possible, but it also offers a full screen mode to remove distractions and allow you to write for hours on end.
FinalDraft is what many consider the industry standard for writing screenplays, so DramaQueen gives you the ability to both import and export your script for use with FinalDraft. That means if you’re collaborating on a project with a person who is using FinalDraft, you will not struggle with compatibility issues. DramaQueen offers a great writing experience, and you get a surprising amount of value.
WriterDuet offers a free version for your first three scripts, meaning you get a very powerful screenwriting tool for free. While the pro version isn’t very expensive, this will let you test how you like the software first. Not all of the features are unlocked on the free version, but for the affordable price per month of a subscription, you can unlock them when needed.
While the free version does offer all you need to write your script, unlocking the full potential of this software really lets it shine. As the name implies, this program is made for multiple writers to work on a script at the same time. This will allow you to see exactly what the other person writes, and they can see what you write. This makes the writing go much faster, and makes WriterDuet the best collaborative tool on the market.
What if you prefer to write your scripts while on the go? Maybe in a coffee shop or in your local park? That is where DubScript comes into play. This software is native to the Android operating system, meaning you can use it with your cellphone or an Android powered tablet. This makes it perfect for writers constantly on the go.
Just because this is a mobile app doesn’t mean that it isn’t as good as the others on this list. DubScript is a full-featured screenwriting app. It has all the tools and formatting options that you need to produce a high-quality, professional screenplay. Some may prefer the solitude of sitting at a desk and pounding the script out from a keyboard, but for the rest of you, check out DubScript.
The seven programs all perform the same task, but they each do it in their own unique way. Pick the one that’s most pleasing to you and your preferences, and it will last you for years to come. Who knows, you could write the next great movie or television series from one of these pieces of software.
Where do you like to write? A park, coffee shop, or just at home? Let us know in the comments below!
Influenced by the startup culture in the Silicon Valley, Jessica loves building things from zero to one and is keen on following news related to the Big Five tech giants and many SaaS startups.