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View Full Version : Script length changes with FD-5



nmstevens
02-10-2009, 09:12 AM
This was actually something that happened to me a long time ago that I was never able to figure out. I'd changed computers and found that all of the scripts that I'd written in FD-5 on my old computer, when I opened them on my new computer came out at a different page length. This was even with the identical copy of FD, even with attempting to lock the script.

I never was able to figure out what the problem was. I thought maybe it was because the new computer was defaulted to a different printer but I couldn't ever come up with a solution -- and it never happened again even though I've been through a bunch of new computers since then.

Until now. Because now I've found that, going from FD scripts typed on my older HD desk top computer at a given length, when I open with with FD on my new Compaq laptop all paginate substantially longer -- and once again I am completely stymied.

I can't even blame the printer, because both my old computer and my laptop have the same printer driver and have the same version of Final Draft. Both use Windows XP.

And yet a 98 page script on the former pages out to 111 pages on the latter.

It is just absolutely bizarre.

Plus, just to make things even easier, Final Draft no longer even supports FD-5, so you can't even find any info about it on their web site.

NMS

clockwork
02-11-2009, 05:39 AM
I've experienced the same thing. We used to only have one printer in the house and whenever I needed to print a script, I'd have to schlep it over to the other computer on a disk. Upon opening it up in the exact same copy of FD6 that I had on the other computer, the page count would be wildly different.

It made me question my sanity. Is the script really 99 or 111? I also got quite obsessive over analysing the script on each computer - the changes had to begin somewhere, right? Sure enough, about ten, fifteen pages in, the pages started to drop out of sync. In the end, it did turn out to be a printer issue for me. Apparently your printer settings affect how the script is displayed. I didn't have a printer installed on my writing pc but when I ran the installer for the hell of it, the two became simpatico. I'd try re-installing the printer drivers as a start.

I know you've got FD5 but FD say this problem applies to 4,5,6 & 7.

http://kb.instantservice.com/iskb/SearchAnswer.cfm?NodeID=181498

ComicBent
02-11-2009, 06:59 AM
Okay, I am assuming you have already ruled out various issues, but your description of the problem did not specify much, so I really do not know which of the "simple things" do not apply.

Just using a new installation of the same program does not guarantee that everything will be the same, because of various settings that you need to check.

Here are some things that could cause the problem. The first thing I am going to mention is something that I am not totally sure about, but it could be a problem:

1. Using a different printer. This is the one that I am not sure about, but it could be a problem.

2. Are you sure you used the same screenplay template (the elements in "stationery")? The template would affect the margins of paragraphs like dialogue.

3. Are you sure that the options were the same? If you have different settings for how to break paragraphs at the bottom of the page, it can make a big difference. There are options to break within a sentence or only at the end of a sentence. These options can really affect script length. The same applies for the use of MORE and CONT'D. There are other options that can affect number of pages also.

4. Are you sure that you had the same Courier font? This is often the problem. Were you using Courier Final Draft in both instances? If you go from Courier Final Draft to Courier New, your page count will leap by about 13 percent. It has to do with the default line spacing.

5. Are you sure you had the options for line spacing set the same (Normal, Tight, Very Tight)?

6. Likewise, check the settings for the page margins.

Check those things out if you have not already done so.

nmstevens
02-11-2009, 09:32 PM
Okay, I am assuming you have already ruled out various issues, but your description of the problem did not specify much, so I really do not know which of the "simple things" do not apply.

Just using a new installation of the same program does not guarantee that everything will be the same, because of various settings that you need to check.

Here are some things that could cause the problem. The first thing I am going to mention is something that I am not totally sure about, but it could be a problem:

1. Using a different printer. This is the one that I am not sure about, but it could be a problem.

2. Are you sure you used the same screenplay template (the elements in "stationery")? The template would affect the margins of paragraphs like dialogue.

3. Are you sure that the options were the same? If you have different settings for how to break paragraphs at the bottom of the page, it can make a big difference. There are options to break within a sentence or only at the end of a sentence. These options can really affect script length. The same applies for the use of MORE and CONT'D. There are other options that can affect number of pages also.

4. Are you sure that you had the same Courier font? This is often the problem. Were you using Courier Final Draft in both instances? If you go from Courier Final Draft to Courier New, your page count will leap by about 13 percent. It has to do with the default line spacing.

5. Are you sure you had the options for line spacing set the same (Normal, Tight, Very Tight)?

6. Likewise, check the settings for the page margins.

Check those things out if you have not already done so.


Success -- even though Courier final draft was installed, for some strange reason, the program wasn't able to find it, for some reason, in the Font list. Simply opening up the font list and then going back and opening up the select font window on the program somehow seemed to job its memory and it found the appopriate font and reset everything to its correct page length.

Many thanks all for the advice.

NMS

xhouseboy
02-12-2009, 04:58 PM
This happens quite frequently in my experience.

If I'm sending a script as an attachment, I always number the scenes. Reason being that when the script's then discussed over the phone, we refer to scene numbers rather than pages, as the page length for both copies is almost always different.

ComicBent
02-13-2009, 03:45 AM
If I'm sending a script as an attachment, I always number the scenes. Reason being that when the script's then discussed over the phone, we refer to scene numbers rather than pages, as the page length for both copies is almost always different.

I ought to know, but I don't, just how faithfully FinalDraft attaches the various settings to a manuscript and keeps them when that document is opened on someone else's computer, even if the computer has the same font.

As for the problem that we solved above ... I have found that the usual problem is that the document no longer has the same font. The usual culprit is Courier New. Courier Final Draft is designed to give you six lines per inch (measured from the baseline of Line 1 to the baseline of Line 7); Courier New does not get that many lines in for each inch. For a complete discussion of this matter, see my article (PDF) on my website on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Courier (http://www.rolandstroud.com/downloads/).