Final Draft is a highly rated scriptwriting software used by professional playwrights today. It’s the most preferred app for writers and screenwriters in general. Final Draft has data formatting features like auto-suggestions, character lists, and location scene compilation that make writing easy to use and improve writers’ flow.
For many professional scriptwriters, production companies, and filmmakers worldwide, Final Draft is the recommended industry-standard writers tool. This is because Final Draft makes it pretty easy for scriptwriters to format their scripts to industry standards.
Over the last 30 years, the Final Draft software has continuously improved with necessary modifications to meet the rigorous industry writing standards. With newer versions and updates released, Final Draft 11 was recently released, and it has exceptional new features.
In this article, we’ll talk about Final Draft, in detail and why you should consider using it for your scriptwriting needs.
Final Draft 11 has an appealing broader base to most writers and not just screen and TV writers. It resonates with different writers by including various professional templates (TV, musical theatre, novel, etc.) with the use of diverse writing formats on its platform.
Check out some of its cool features below.
Final Draft has a wide range of abilities designed to help you write your script effortlessnessly and professionally. Even though there are numerous helpful features, there are several that stand out. That’s what we’ve picked for you.
1. Over 100 professional templates
Final Draft has an extensive database of professional templates that writers can choose from. These templates are structured in a way that helps writers navigate the writing process with a flow of ideas and technical scriptwriting process.
Besides the inbuilt templates, you can import scriptwriting templates (novel templates, TV show templates, stage play templates, etc.) from their vast online libraries.
2. Real-time collaborating with other writers
For co-writing collaborations, Final Draft has incorporated a real-time feature where the writers interact easily. Co-authors who are not in the same room can chat with and comment on different areas of the scripts you’re working on. This virtually saves a lot of time and eliminates the need to have a separate chat application, such as slack and skype.
Even though this feature is a blessing to many writers, it has a few limitations. First, all the writers’ collaborating must have Final Draft software installed. Secondly, script editing is limited to one writer at at a time.
3. Use the beat board to plan your content
The beat board is a fantastic feature for writers trying to get their thoughts and ideas in order. Beat Board allows you to have all of your story content in one place so that you don’t have to switch from Final Draft to MS Word or Chrome.
You can use The Beat Board to conveniently track your script’s overall narrative and place dialogue scenes in context. It’s easy to use and has unlimited space for tons of ideas. Final Draft has an upgraded version of beat board features by including functions such as:
- drag and drop feature to add images
- has different colour codes to differentiate characters, scenes, etc.
- You can also export your beats to a PDF file
- move content from your script and still maintain the original format
4. Voice to Text feature (Mac Only)
This incredibly helpful feature is available only to Mac users, as its functionality is integrated with the Mac’ inbuilt dictation feature. This time-saving tool gives you a hands-off experience like no other. Just like using your smartphone, this tool can essentially translate your speech to words. It works amazingly, especially if you are familiar with screenplay formatting.
5. SmartType feature
Writers appreciate small features like the ability to duplicate repetitive words like character names throughout the scripts. Final Draft does that for you so that you don’t have to type out the full names as you write your script draft. This feature allows you to manage your characters by auto-saving them. Then you select the names from a dropdown list instead of having to type out as you move along.
Final Draft: Pros and Cons
- It is well crafted for Screenwriters
- It is easy to use
- It has different types of writing templates
- Its supports real-time collaboration with other writers
- Extensive development tools
- Instant formatting to industry standards
- Collaboration is limited to 1 person at a time
- Costly compared to other software
- Users must be signed in on the platform and work from there
Price and Platform
Final Draft is available on Windows, Mac, and iOS. You can use this software for life at the cost of $250 (one-time fee). New upgrades for this software come with additional costs. Below is a full breakdown of the cost of buying Final Draft software.
- Final Draft 11 software (latest version) – goes for $250 for a lifetime’s license
- Final Draft Upgrade — $99 upgrade if you already have the software
- Final Draft Students — $129, on condition that you provide proof of studentship
- Final Draft for iPad and iPhone — $9.99 it’s a useful tool for scribbling notes and adding to projects on the go.
The desktop version is not cheap compared to other desktop software out there; however, it’s important to note, you can install Final Draft on two machines with a single purchase.
Installing this software is pretty simple. You can download a trial version online and use it for 30 days, after which you will be required to buy it. Once you have purchased the software, an email containing your license code is sent to you.
Is Final Draft Worth it?
For any regular writer co-writing with other writers and needs their project finished faster, then yes, by all means, this software is worth every dollar. For new writers, this is a must tool to have as it is easy to work with.
Final Draft is a cutting-edge application that is rapidly evolving and improving—some of the best professional screenwriters have used it for ages, and with a good reason. Final Draft is versatile and detailed in all aspects, from its exceptional features to its unique abilities. It works well for professional writers as well as co-writers doing projects together.