Best screenwriting software

9+ Best Screenwriting Software in 2023 (Reviewed)

Professional screenwriting software is a must-have for any filmmaker or screenwriter. It allows you to outline, write and structure your scripts more efficiently.

While there are many writing and screenwriting programs to choose from, not all are created equal.

As an indie filmmaker, I’ve tried many different screenwriting software programs. Sometimes I need to use the screenplay software that a film production uses already (if I’ve been hired to work on an existing script), and other times I get to choose for myself.

This article will examine the five best screenwriting software programs in 2023. I’ll review each program and explain why it made the list.

So, read on to find the best program for your needs, whether you are just starting out or have been writing scripts for years!

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Best overall


celtx logo

Celtx is our overall top choice for screenwriting software.

It’s easy to use, formats your script perfectly, is cloud-based, and includes many premium features like story beat index cards and character lists!

Best budget version

Arc Studio Pro

Arc-Studio logo

Arc Studio Pro is our runner-up for screenwriting software.

It doesn’t have quite as many features as Celtx, but the software is more affordable.

best free version


trelby logo

Trelby is an excellent option for those who need a free screenwriting software program.

It is a bare-bones program and lacks many of the story structure features and character lists of other programs.

best ai script writing assistant


Sudowrite Logo

SudoWrite is a new storytelling-focused AI writing assistant.

It can assist you with creating characters, settings, story plots, and even dialogue in your screenplay! The AI even gives you feedback on your creative stories.

best grammar & style checker

ProWriting Aid

ProWritingAid logo

ProWriting Aid is a great choice to add to your screenwriting software stack.

While it will not format your screenplay, it is specifically designed to check your story’s spelling, grammar, tone, and style!

What Are the Best Screenwriting Software Tools?

  1. Celtx
  2. Arc Studio Pro
  3. Sudowrite
  4. Trelby
  5. ProWritingAid
  6. Final Draft
  7. Scrivener
  8. Squibler
  9. StudioBinder
  10. MovieMagic Screenwriter
  11. FadeIn

1. Celtx

Celtx screenwriting software


Celtx is a collaborative screenwriting software program that has been around for over 15 years. Celtx has several features that make it ideal for writing screenplays, including the ability to format text quickly, create and navigate through outlines, and add images and other media. It is cloud-based and allows for lots of collaboration among scriptwriters.

Top Features

If you’re looking for a powerful and easy-to-use screenwriting tool, Celtx is a great option. Here’s why:

  • It has all the tools you need to write a professional screenplay. Celtx has everything you need to complete the job, from automatic formatting to revision tracking.
  • It’s available on multiple platforms. So, you can always access your work using Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  • You can also download your scripts in multiple file formats.
  • Celtx is a popular collaborative screenwriting software program, as it allows you to track your changes as you (and your co-writers!) revise your script.
  • It has affordable pricing (starting at about $15 per month) and a free trial period, so you know it’s right for you.



Celtx is less than $15 per month and has a free trial period, so you can try it before you pay monthly. There is even an option to pay for a whole year and get up to three months free!

Celtx Pros

  • Has a great free demo version, so you can try the program before you pay for it.
  • Celtx is cloud-based, so you can work on your script wherever you go!
  • Collaboration with other writers is easy.
  • Has a handy automatic save feature.
  • Comes with many script and production templates to make indie filmmaking easier.
  • Automatically formats your script to industry standard so that your scripts look professional.
  • Includes story beat index cards so that you can efficiently structure your script.
  • Contains an easy-to-use character list, making writing more accessible.

Celtx Cons

  • It can occasionally glitch if two people simultaneously work on the same script.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a top-notch screenwriting tool, Celtx is definitely worth checking out. Its extensive feature set and affordable price tag make it the perfect tool for any screenwriter.

2. Arc Studio Pro

There’s no shortage of screenwriting software on the market, but finding the right one can be challenging. Arc Studio Pro is an excellent option if you’re looking for a powerful yet easy-to-use program.


Arc Studio Pro offers all the features you need to write excellent scripts, including character development tools, storyboarding capabilities, and automatic formatting. It also includes a wide range of templates to help you get started, and its intuitive interface makes it easy to use. Best of all, it’s affordable, so you can get started without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a seasoned screenwriter or just starting Arc Studio Pro is the perfect tool for bringing your story to life.

Top Features

This software is the perfect tool for screenwriters who want to get the most out of their work. Here are just a few of its top features:

  • Flexible screenplay format: Arc Studio Pro allows you to write in any standard screenplay format, making it easy to switch between different software programs.
  • Real-time collaboration: With it, you can invite other professional screenwriters to work on your script in real-time. This makes it easy to get feedback and make changes on the fly.
  • Built-in note taking: Arc Studio Pro includes a built-in notes tool to keep track of ideas and inspirations as you write.
  • Powerful story development tools: Arc Studio Pro includes everything you need to develop your story, from the premise and character development to scene planning and outline creation.
  • Export to PDF: When you’re finished writing, you can easily export your screenplay to PDF, so it’s ready to send to agents or producers.


Arc Studio Pro is highly affordable. It even has a great free option! The plans include the following:

Free: Create up to two screenplays with the free version of Arc Studio Pro. Know that your scripts will be watermarked when you export them as PDFs and that collaboration features are disabled with the free version.

$69/year “Essentials” Plan: Includes unlimited scripts, advanced formatting, and the ability to use the program as a desktop or iPhone/iPad app.

$99/year “Pro” Plan: Includes all of the features of the Essentials plan, plus collaborative screenwriting tools, custom formats, and more!

Arc Studio Pro Pros

  • Has a free version, which is great for those just starting out writing scripts!
  • The paid versions are affordable.
  • Uses industry-standard formatting, ensuring your screenplays look professional.
  • Export to PDF easily (although it will be watermarked if you use the free version).
  • Automatic backup to the cloud.
  • Includes drag-and-drop storyboard beat cards, making it easy to outline your screenplay.

Arc Studio Pro Cons

  • Collaboration tools are only available with the Pro Plan.
  • The software is not as easy to use as Celtx’s.

Bottom Line

If you’re a screenwriter, then you know that having the right software can make all the difference. Arc Studio Pro is a fantastic screenwriting software option for several reasons.

First, it’s incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate. Second, it has all the basic features you need to develop and format your screenplay. Finally, it’s affordable, so you won’t have to break the bank to get your hands on it. Whatever story you want to tell, Arc Studio Pro will help you bring it to life on the big screen.

3. SudoWrite


SudoWrite is the perfect AI writing assistant for screenwriters looking to improve their productivity and creativity. With its powerful Artificial Intelligence engine and easy-to-use interface, SudoWrite can help enhance your workflow by providing expert-level formatting, revision tracking tools, and personalized content in a fraction of the time it would take to create it yourself.

Top Features

  • Powerful AI engine for personalized content creation – the AI writer will take what you’ve written and expand on it using artificial intelligence.
  • Has an intuitive user interface for quick and efficient use.
  • A comprehensive suite of features custom-tailored to the needs of aspiring and experienced screenwriters.
  • SudoWrite acts as a “beta reader” and gives you feedback on your stories and screenplays.
  • Free trial period to test the basic version before committing to a subscription.


SudoWrite has three pricing levels:

Hobby & Student: $10 per month

Professional: $20 per month

Max: $100 per month

SudoWrite Pros

  • SudoWrite was developed specifically for fiction writers (novels, short stories, and screenplays).
  • SudoWrite is affordable for what it can do.
  • SudoWrite uses artificial intelligence to help you with ideas for stories, settings, characters, and more.
  • It acts as a “beta reader” and will use AI to scan your script and give you feedback.

SudoWrite Cons

  • SudoWrite is not designed to be a screenplay formatting software. It is an excellent program to use in addition to your existing software (i.e., Celtx).
  • SudoWrite cannot create your whole screenplay! AI is best used as a writing assistant, not as a replacement for a human writer.

Bottom Line

SudoWrite is a great AI writing assistant for screenwriters. While it certainly can’t write a whole script for you, it can help give you ideas for the story, plot points, characters, and even dialogue. SudoWrite also acts as a “beta reader” for your creative works and can give feedback on your screenplays.

If you haven’t used an AI writer before, it’s worth giving their free trial a try to see if you like using it!

4. Trelby



Trelby is a free, open-source screenwriting program that makes writing screenplays easy. It’s an intuitive and user-friendly platform that lets you create scripts quickly and efficiently. Trelby has robust features, including auto-complete, find and replace, formatting options, revision tracking, scene numbers, character navigation, PDF generation, customized templates, and more.

Top Features

  • AutoComplete: Trelby helps you stay on track with its auto-complete feature, which suggests script elements as you type.
  • Find and Replace: Quickly search for and replace words, phrases, or entire text sections.
  • Formatting Options: Easily customize your script’s look and ensure it aligns with industry format with Trelby’s formatting options.
  • Revision Tracking: Keep track of different versions of your work with the revision tracking feature – easily compare and switch between them.
  • Character Navigation: Easily jump to different parts of the script by viewing a list of characters in the sidebar.
  • PDF Generation: Create a PDF version of your script quickly and efficiently for easy printing or sharing online.


Trelby is open-source and free for anyone to use!

Trelby Pros

  • Trelby works to format your screenplay to the standards of the film industry.
  • Reliable and easy to use.
  • Trelby is free to use and is open-source.
  • Trelby can generate scene, location, character, and dialogue reports.

Trelby Cons

  • The user interface looks old-school (Trelby was released in 2012).
  • No collaboration features.
  • Lacks more sophisticated features such as storyboards, timelines, and index cards.
  • Not easy to cut and paste sections of your screenplay.

Bottom Line

Trelby is the best free screenwriting software for screenwriters looking for an intuitive, easy-to-use solution. Its robust features, customizable templates, and PDF generation capabilities make it an excellent choice for any type of project – from short films to full-length feature scripts. It’s also budget-friendly, making it an excellent choice for professional and amateur writers.

5. ProWriting Aid


ProWriting Aid is a comprehensive writing support tool designed specifically for fiction writers. It offers writers an array of features to help them improve their work and make the creative process faster and easier. With its AI-powered suggestions, ProWritingAid can check grammar, spelling, clarity, and consistency and offer analysis of characters, plot points, and scene structure.

Top Features

  • AI-powered suggestions to check grammar, spelling, clarity, and consistency.
  • Real-time analysis of characters, plot points, and scene structure.
  • Comprehensive dashboards to monitor progress on each script.
  • Excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation checking, with corrected suggestions given automatically.


ProWriting Aid Free:

  • Gives you access to 19 writing reports
  • Ability to edit 500 words at a time
  • Use online only

ProWritingAid Expert:

  • No word limit
  • Available on desktop computers
  • Integrate with MS Word Processor, Google Docs, Chrome, and Scrivener
  • $30 per month if you pay monthly, or only $10 per month if you pay yearly!

ProWritingAid Pros

  • Helps you create a consistent style and tone throughout your script.
  • Checks your work for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • It uses AI to correct your errors at the click of the mouse (it even fixes passive voice!).
  • ProWritingAid has a fantastic free version!
  • It is like a personal writing and editing assistant.

ProWritingAid Cons

  • Sometimes gives incorrect suggestions – don’t accept all the suggestions automatically! Check each one.
  • The free version is limited to editing 500 words at a time.

Bottom Line

ProWriting Aid is a great AI-powered writing assistant for screenwriters who want to have a polished and spelling/grammar-error-free script! It gives excellent suggestions for clarity, tone, and style for fiction writers.

6. Final Draft

final draft screenwriting software

Next is Final Draft. It’s widely considered to be the industry standard software for screenwriting. It has all the features you need to write a professional screenplay, including templates, automatic formatting, collaboration features, and story tools!


Final Draft is screenwriting software that automates how you format your script to the standards of the film and television industry. It is the film industry standard for screenwriting professionals and has been used to write award-winning films and television shows. Final Draft also offers powerful collaboration tools to brainstorm and work with fellow writers remotely. And its finishing touches feature allows you to add music, sound effects, and other audio elements to your script.

Top Features

  • Screenwriting templates and tools for professional writers
  • Powerful collaboration features for multiple screenwriters on a project
  • Finishing touches allow you to add audio and other elements to your script
  • Industry-standard format for professionals (used by 95% of professional filmmakers)
  • Track changes within your screenplay with ease
  • Has a character name generator and story map tool – so helpful for newer screenwriters!


final draft screenwriting software pricing

Final Draft is $199 for new customers. If you have an older version of Final Draft, it is $79.99 to upgrade to the newest version.

Final Draft Pros

  • Final Draft is one of the most commonly-used screenwriting software programs.
  • Has many templates – short, feature, tv show, etc.
  • Formats your script to industry standard.

Final Draft Cons

  • Not intuitive to use.
  • Expensive to buy, and future upgrades are not included when you buy the program.
  • The beat board could be better.
  • Collaboration tools are not great.

Bottom Line

Final Draft is the industry standard for a reason. It’s packed with advanced features that make screenwriting easier, faster, and more professional. The software includes templates for various types of scripts, such as movies, TV shows, and stageplays. It also features an outline view, allowing writers to see their story’s structure at a glance.

In addition, Final Draft can automatically format scripts to industry standards, making sending them to agents and producers easier. Overall, Final Draft is an essential tool for any serious screenwriter.

7. Scrivener

Our second screenwriting program on the list is Scrivener. Scrivener is a word-processing program that is designed specifically for writers!


Scrivener has many features that make it ideal for writing screenplays, including the ability to easily format text, create and navigate through outlines, and add images and other media.

Scrivener allows users to view their work in several ways, including as a traditional screenplay or storyboard. This makes it easy to see the flow of the story and make changes as needed. In addition, Scrivener can export scripts in various formats, making it easy to share work with others or get it into the hands of Hollywood professionals.

Top Features

  • Designed specifically for writers
  • Easy to format text, create and navigate outlines, add images and media
  • It can be used to export scripts in a variety of formats
  • Scrivener lets you break your script down into scenes, so you can easily rearrange and restructure your story as you write
  • Scrivener’s Corkboard feature allows you to visually organize your scenes and ideas so that you can see the structure of your screenplay at a glance
  • Scrivener’s built-in research tools make it easy to find the information you need to bring your screenplay to life
  • Scrivener’s outlines and templates help you to format your script correctly and stay on track as you write.


Scrivener is $49 for either Mac or PC (or $19.99 for iOS). They also have a free trial that is good for 30 days.

Scrivener Pros

  • Scrivener is affordable!
  • A free trial is available for Scrivener.
  • Has built-in templates for screenwriters.
  • Helps you visually organize your screenplay.
  • Works for novels and short stories too!

Scrivener Cons

  • Not focused only on screenwriters.
  • Not as intuitive to learn as other writing programs.

Bottom Line

Scrivener is a powerful screenwriting tool that helps you to manage your ideas and get your script written quickly and efficiently. If you’re looking for a screenwriting tool that will help you to write a great screenplay, Scrivener is worth checking out.

8. Squibler



Squibler is a screenwriting program that bills itself as “the easiest way to write a screenplay.” The software has some features designed to make the writing process more accessible, including an interactive outline tool and the ability to share work with others.

Top Features

  • The software is designed to be easy to use.
  • Has screenwriting templates for various genres (adventure, comedy, action, etc.)
  • Helps you format your screenplay effortlessly
  • Has desktop and cloud versions (Final Draft is desktop only)
  • Co-writers have an easier time writing a script together via the cloud-based software version of Squibler



Squibler has a 14-day free trial. After that, it is $9.99 per month. Squibler is a very affordable screenwriting software!

Squibler Pros

  • The software is optimized for both screenwriters and novel writers, making it a good option if you want to try both!
  • Affordable ($10 per month).
  • Intuitive and easy to use.
  • A free trial is available.

Squibler Cons

  • Not specialized for screenwriters.
  • Some users report problems with formatting their scripts using this software.

Bottom Line

Squibler is a powerful and versatile screenwriting software that offers many features and tools to help you write your next great screenplay. With Squibler, you can easily create and manage characters, locations, and scenes and track storylines and subplots. Additionally, Squibler’s storyboarding feature is invaluable for visualizing your script and bringing it to life.

Whether you’re a seasoned screenwriter or just starting out, Squibler is the perfect tool for helping you bring your story to the big screen.

9. StudioBinder



If you’re looking for a screenwriting software option that’s both professional and easy to use, then StudioBinder is worth looking into.

Top Features

If you’re looking for a great tool to help you write a screenplay, look no further than StudioBinder. Here’s why:

  • StudioBinder is used by professional writers and filmmakers worldwide, so you know it’s a trusted and reliable tool.
  • It’s easy to use and navigate, so you’ll be able to get started writing your screenplay right away.
  • Many features and resources are available, so you can customize your experience and find exactly what you need to write the best possible screenplay.
  • We love the storyboard feature for planning movie scenes!


StudioBinder pricing

StudioBinder is $29 per month, so it is one of the pricier options for indie screenwriters.

StudioBinder Pros

  • Is a commonly-used, industry-standard screenwriting program.
  • Has film production tools as well as just script writing capability.
  • Great storyboard function.
  • Includes templates to make things easier for filmmakers!

StudioBinder Cons

  • The software is expensive, especially for what it is.
  • Might be too complicated for those who just want to format a screenplay correctly.

Bottom Line

StudioBinder software makes it simple to format your script according to industry standards and also provides a wide range of features that make the writing process more efficient and streamlined. For example, the software includes tools for organizing your research and notes and a built-in storyboard function that makes it easy to visualize and plan your scenes.

StudioBinder is also constantly expanding its functionality, with recent additions including a calendar for film and television productions, and a budgeting tool. All in all, it’s an excellent choice for any screenwriter who wants to get the most out of their work.

10. Movie Magic Screenwriter

MovieMagic Screenwriter screenwriting software


As any screenwriter knows, having the right tools can make all the difference in creating a great screenplay. Movie Magic Screenwriter is a popular software choice for many writers.

Top Features

Here are just a few of the reasons why Movie Magic Screenwriter is fantastic for writing a screenplay:

  • The software is very user-friendly, and even those without prior experience can quickly learn how to use it.
  • The built-in formatting templates ensure that your screenplay will always meet industry standards.
  • The software includes many features, making it easy to customize your workflow.
  • Customer support is outstanding, and you can always get help if you encounter any problems.
  • The software is designed to be used by people who have never written a screenplay before, so it’s very user-friendly.
  • It includes a storyboard feature that allows you to map out your story visually and an outlining tool that helps you keep track of your characters and plot points.


MovieMagic Screenwriter pricing

The regular price of the Movie Magic Screenwriting software is $249.95, but they sometimes have specials on the software. There are three activations per purchase included in the price. This is a buy-it-once type of software rather than a monthly subscription, which appeals to many screenwriters.

Movie Magic Pros

  • Easily customizable (colors, tags, etc.).
  • Not on a monthly subscription, like many other software options!
  • Helps you format movies, television, novels, stage plays, and comic book scripts.
  • A cheaper, academic version is available.

Movie Magic Cons

  • Can be expensive, but you do get the software for life (not a recurring cost).
  • Some users report difficulty accessing support.
  • It may feel dated.

Bottom Line

Movie Magic Screenwriter is a popular software program that offers users a wide range of features. One thing that sets it apart from other similar programs is its focus on helping writers format their scripts according to industry standards. This can be a valuable asset for writers new to the business and who want to ensure that their scripts are as professional as possible. In addition, Movie Magic Screenwriter also offers several other helpful features, such as story development tools and character profiles. As a result, it is an ideal program for writers serious about taking their careers to the next level.

11. Fade-In



Fade In may be the right screenwriting software for you! With a powerful feature set and an intuitive user interface, creating professional-quality scripts with Fade In is easy. It also supports industry-standard script formatting, revision tracking, collaboration tools, and more. Plus, you can try out the basic version for free to see if it’s right for your needs before committing to a paid subscription. With its great value and capabilities, Fade In is a top choice for experienced and aspiring screenwriters.

Top Features

  • Comprehensive support for industry-standard script formatting
  • Intuitive user interface and robust feature set
  • Revision tracking and collaboration tools
  • PDF generation capabilities
  • Option to try out the basic version for free before committing to a paid subscription
  • A variety of templates are available


Fade In Pricing

Fade In has a great free trial option. If you love the software, you can buy a copy for just $79.99. This includes all future updates to the program as well!

FadeIn Pros

  • The price includes all future updates.
  • A student price is available.
  • Has a simple user interface.

FadeIn Cons

  • Your script will be watermarked if you use the free trial and don’t upgrade.
  • Users report that it does not work well on Chromebooks and that switching from app to computer can be glitchy.

Bottom Line

Fade In is the perfect screenwriting software for experienced and aspiring screenwriters alike. With industry-standard formatting, powerful features, intuitive user interface, and revision tracking tools, plus the ability to try out the basic version for free before committing to a paid subscription, Fade In offers unbeatable value for any screenwriter.

What is Screenwriting Software?

Screenwriting software is software designed explicitly to write screenplays. It can be used to format the screenplay to industry standards and add Slug lines, action descriptions, and character motivations.

This software can also help you collaborate with other writers, track changes, and manage revisions. In addition, many screenwriting software programs have a built-in storyboard feature that allows writers to visualize the film or TV show they are creating.

All screenwriting software programs will help writers create well-formatted screenplays ready for submission to agents, industry professionals, and film studios. Screenwriting software is an essential tool for any aspiring screenwriter!

Best Screenwriting Software Programs

Frequently Asked Questions – Screenwriting Software Options

What is the best free screenwriting software?

There are many different types of screenwriting software available, and the best one for you will depend on your needs and budget. If you are looking for a free version of a dedicated screenwriting software program, then Trelby is a great option. Trelby is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful screenplay formatting features. It also has a built-in beat board to help you keep track of your story’s structure.

What is the best screenwriting software for Macs?

There are a few different options for script-writing software available for Mac users. If you want to start writing, one of the most popular is Final Draft, which offers a wide range of features and an intuitive interface. Alternatively, MovieMagic Screenwriter is another popular option, known for its ability to format scripts automatically. Ultimately, the best screenwriting software for Mac users depends on their individual needs and budget.

What is the best screenwriting software for beginners?

Regarding screenwriting software options, a few different programs are popular among beginners. One popular option is Final Draft, a paid program widely used in the industry. Another screenwriting software option is Trelby, a free, open-source screenwriting software program that is excellent for those just starting out writing scripts. My favorite software option for beginners, though, is Arc Studio Pro.

What screenwriting software does Hollywood use?

Final Draft is Hollywood’s most popular screenwriting software, and for a good reason. Not only does it have all the features you need to write a great script, but it’s also easy to use and quite affordable. Plus, it has a built-in script editor to make changes to your script on the fly. Final Draft is the software for you if you’re serious about screenwriting.

Celtx vs Final Draft

When it comes to screenwriting software, two clear leaders are Celtx and Final Draft. Both programs offer a powerful set of features, but they approach screenwriting differently.

Celtx is more focused on collaboration, offering tools that make it easy for writers to work together on a script. Final Draft, on the other hand, is designed for solo writers who want a more traditional screenwriting experience.

In terms of features, Celtx and Final Draft are fairly evenly matched. However, Celtx has a slight edge when it comes to price, as it offers a low-cost monthly payment option that includes all of the features needed for screenwriters. Final Draft, on the other hand, has a higher-cost one-time purchase fee.

Celtx vs Studiobinder

Two popular types of screenwriting software are Celtx and Studiobinder. Both of these programs offer a variety of features that can be beneficial for screenwriters. Celtx is a lower monthly cost program that offers a wide range of features, including the ability to collaborate with other writers and the ability to format scripts according to industry standards. Studiobinder is a more expensive option that offers more advanced features, such as the ability to create storyboards and schedules. While both programs have pros and cons, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Summary: Best Screenwriting Software Programs

The best screenwriting software programs can help you write your screenplay faster and with fewer errors.

Any of these programs should do the trick if you’re looking for a program to help you focus on your writing and make the process easier.

Interested in writing your own screenplay? Check out these great articles:

5+ Best AI Story Generator Tools for Fiction Writers

How to Write a Screenplay Synopsis: 7 Tips for Screenwriters

12 Best Grammarly Alternatives for Writers (Free & Paid)

5+ Best AI Voice Generator Tools: Ranked & Reviewed

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