6 Best FREE Screenwriting Software in 2021
A welder cannot build a bridge without his torch. A rockstar can’t have a solo without his guitar. A screenwriter cannot write a script without screenwriting software.
Today we’ll look at five of the best screenwriting software programs out there in the market in 2021, and the best part, all of these choices are FREE.
Maybe you’re a first-time writer looking to try and bring the film you see in your head onto the page or maybe you’re a seasoned writing veteran looking for new software to try out. Well, let’s look at some of your best choices.
The cloud-based software allows you to access and write your screenplay from the downloadable software (Mac and PC), or in your browser, or from the iOS app on your iPhone or iPad. And it has automatic cloud storage with the ability to save to Google Drive or your hard drive, and access your screenplay from practically any device that has an internet connection.
Cost: Free, with option to upgrade to the $99/year Pro version. You can download the software here
Celtx is screenwriting/pre-production software designed for creating and organizing media projects in several different formats, film screenplays, television screenplays, stage plays, games, podcasts, and documentaries.
It is one of the most well-known screenwriting software in the film industry.
With many collaborative features built into its code its perfect if you want to collaborate on a script in real-time.
There are some features that require you to pay a monthly fee to use, but if you’re just looking for software that’ll allow you to simply write and have things in the proper industry standards when it comes to formatting, you can’t do wrong with Celtx.
Celtx is also available on all devices so it makes writing at home or on the go possible.
WriterDuet is screenwriting software for writing and editing screenplays and other forms of mass media.
Initially released in 2013, this software has been getting more recognition as time has moved along and is a favorite among up-and-coming filmmakers.
The software is powered by Firebase. This allows users to write together in real-time from multiple devices.
WriterDuet is an online-based program but recently the software has been given some off-line features that are free to use.
While it’s not false advertising to say that WriterDuet is free, there are some stipulations to the free title.
Unlike some other programs, WriterDuet allows its users to write their first THREE screenplays for free. After that, you either have to pay a per-month price or an annual free.
With that said, if you are a first-time writer, it’ll take you some time to fully finish your first –second – and even third screenplay. By that time, you may decide to invest some money into a full version of this software or go with a competitor.
Scripts written with WriterDuet allow the user to save their script in the FDX file format which 95% of Hollywood studios, producers, production companies use, so if you get a script request from someone in the industry you’ll be able to easily send the script in the proper format.
Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software or simply known as Fade In is screenwriting software for crafting film and television screenplays, stage plays, radio plays, graphic novels, and more.
The look of the software is very watered down allowing the user to simply focus on writing their script.
While the software is free, you can only work on one script at a time unless you want to pay a fee to work on more.
If you’re just getting your feet wet in screenwriting, the simple free version will do its job just fine.
You can save your script in FDX format as well, which means you can send your script to someone that uses Final Draft and its compatible.
With the software available for both Mac and Windows users, you don’t have to worry if it’ll work on your device.
Trelby is a free and open-source screenwriting program that provides a simple, uncluttered interface for writing scripts.
This is the only open source screenwriting program we have on this list. This means any user can edit the program’s code to add new features or take away ones. This is how innovations are made.
If you’re looking for software that not only allows you to write your script but also does other things like budgeting, create cast lists, and other related pre-production tasks, this isn’t the software for you as this software has none of those features.
Trebly is designed to be clean and straightforward. If you simply want to sit down and write, then Trelby is perfect for you.
Kudos to Trelby for being 100% free. There are no extra features that you have to pay for.
This is completely free screenwriting software that you may have never heard of before because it’s still in beta, but available to download now.
It allows you to export for Final Draft, Word DocX, and PDF files.
A major feature that caught our eye that no other screenwriting program features, is a clock that gives you an estimate of the duration of your screenplay. Each scene heading includes time for how long the software believes your scene will run.
This isn’t a feature that makes all other screenwriting software obsolete, but it’s a unique feature we haven’t seen before and could be useful, especially for those writers who tend to write longer than normal scenes. It’s also a great tool in quickly assessing the pace of your script.
The layout is amazingly simple and allows the user to focus on what’s most important, writing the actual script. Everything looks clean and sleek.
While the program is free, you can choose to pay for dedicated cloud storage and also buy a mobile version of the program for your phone so you can continue writing your script no matter where you are.
The only visible downside to Kit Scenarist is that since the program is still in the beta stage you may run into some issues here and there as the programmers are still working out all the kinks to the program’s code.
But if you’re looking for something brand-new, free, with some unique features, this could be the perfect screenwriting software for you.
John August, (Aladdin, Big Fish)
Jim Uhls (Fight Club)
Daniel Knauf (HBO Showrunner)
Online Screenwriting Courses:
- The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters
- The Script Lab Workshops
- Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
- How to Write a FAST Screenplay
- WGA Presents: The Art of Screenwriting
- Screenwriting Masterclass: How to Write Fascinating Characters
- Screenwriting Masterclass: Craft Complex Characters
- FREE 3 Part Screenwriting Video Series Taught by Oscar® Winning Screenwriters
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