Final Draft - The Scriptwriting Software

Final Draft is a word processor software that has become an industry standard over the last decade (since 1990). In 2013 it was awarded a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award. Its primary purpose is to write and format movie scripts to fit the industry’s standard formatting of movie and TV scripts.

The Bottom Line

Let me start with the bottom line, it’s excellent software, but it is also pretty expensive. I wouldn’t recommend it for amateur writers, but if you write every day, the Final Draft will make your work a lot easier, leaving more room for creativity. This software has fantastic tools for each step of the writing journey. It is very comfortable and easy to use even if you co-write with others. It is suitable for many industry-standard formats.



As said before, Final Draft makes it easy to follow the formats standards of your industry. Working with Final Draft 9 is like having a personal scriptwriting guide throughout your scriptwriting process. The Final Draft 9 software has more than 100 templates that guide you through the script’s structure. Again, you can focus on the story and stop pounding your head about script structure.

The main features you should know

Here are some of the best features in the new version of Final Draft:
  • SmartType – SmartType is a small but helpful feature that allows you to change scenes easily and contains a library of words. It means that Final Draft can auto-complete some of the script elements such as characters, VO, Scene Intros (Int. or Ext.), Times and Transitions. So the process of writing is more fluent. The SmartType is very useful when re-writing your script.
  • Focus Mode makes the Final Draft full screen, so you won’t need to deal with distractions.
  • Tags Mode is a tool that writers use for breaking down a script. It simply tracks elements in your script, like locations or characters. The Tag Mode is a great tool to track the character’s emotional arc or other character’s arcs.
  • Track Changes is a great tool that helps you and your co-writers make changes on the fly. Each of the changes you make will be displayed on the script, so you can decide if you want to accept the change or not.
  • You can even import and work on a PDF file.

The very Cool Features

These are essential tools every screenwriter must-have during the screenwriting process. In Final Draft, you can move around them simultaneously while writing your script or even print it if it’s more comfortable. Let’s go through a few of them.


  • Scene view beat board, story map – You can lose your corkboard for scene board and beat board. It’s all digital now. The very organized Beat Board and Story Map in Final Draft are excellent. The story map and beat board will bring you a high-level look at your script with all the main plot points and beats.
    These tools make Final Draft an essential tool also for directors, producers, art designers, and more.
  • In the Scene View, you can… well view all your scenes, but you can also highlight the critical information in them and categorize each scene with a different color for each category. For example, you can have a category for scenes that move forward the storyline, or you can categorize by characters, conflict, and so on. Many producers and film directors use the Final Draft software to categorize the scenes by locations, time of day, or by characters, etc for their breakdown script. A cinematographer can categorize scenes by indoor and outdoor scenes, so it is a handy tool.

  • The Characters List Tab – Every script has its characters list. It’s a known fact that the problem most writers have is keeping up with the small changes they are doing to their characters. The characters list is a productive and easy way to keep up with the changes you make to your characters. You can also highlight the characters in the script to find them easily.

  • The Script Notes Tab is a pretty obvious but important one. You can write the script notes and then stick them into the script so that it is still hidden if you don’t want to see them. The best part of this tool is the ScriptNotes Navigator, which helps you track and categorize your notes easily.


The most crucial advantage of this software is the time this software can save you. It also helps you focus on your story and leave out all the technical stuff that makes many screenwriters quit. In this product review, I’ve only mentioned the software’s significant features, but there are many more. Let me know if you have any more questions. I know many filmmakers (not only writers) in Hollywood, Broadway, and even outside USA countries are using it, and I know it helped many writers that were not able to deal with all the formal script writing demands.

How Much Does the Final Draft Cost?

Final Draft cost a one time payment of $249.99, but I recommend checking on the website, as they have discounts sometimes (at the time of writing this article it costs 199.99$) and for each time you upgrade, you might need to pay more.


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