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cmeffa
01-11-2017, 09:25 PM
Hi. I have read so many conflicting things about formatting microsoft word for screenwriting. Is it doable or is there another way ( i.e. free software, etc)? I have wordpad 2013 and am curious if there is a relatively simple and effective way to go about formatting it for screenwriting? Thanks in advance.

dpaterso
01-11-2017, 09:46 PM
What's your hardware and software platform?

Is there anything in the screenwriting tips (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24087) sticky thread that might help you? Screenwriting programs are listed.

Before I got a screenwriting program, I used Word for a couple of years, it was actually pretty simple to make up styles for each element, and also to add keyboard shortcuts, e.g. whenever I tapped Alt-C the current line switched to the Character style I'd set up, correctly indented, and when I hit Enter after typing the character name the style switched from Character to Dialogue, etc. So it was useful, and if you held a gun to my head I could do it all over again, I'm sure. But with free screenwriting software available, why go to all that trouble?

-Derek

cmeffa
01-13-2017, 02:15 PM
Hi. Thanks for the reply. I don't mean to ask a stupid question, but what do you mean by what is my hardware / software platform? Do you mean software / hardware that would be applicable to screenwriting or what capacity my computer has? I will have to look more thoroughly through that link when I get a moment. Thanks again for reply.

Bacchus
01-13-2017, 03:27 PM
or what capacity my computer has

^I would suspect this - ie is it a Windows PC, an Apple laptop, or Raspberry PI running a bespoke operating system written by a nerdy college friend etc. etc.

Some software runs better on certain platforms (or runs at all!)

There is a wealth of info on the thread that DPaterso linked to; I have used a free (downloaded) version of Celtx which I found extremely easy to use.

Centos
04-27-2017, 12:44 PM
Hi. I have read so many conflicting things about formatting microsoft word for screenwriting. Is it doable or is there another way ( i.e. free software, etc)? I have wordpad 2013 and am curious if there is a relatively simple and effective way to go about formatting it for screenwriting? Thanks in advance.

It would be easier to download the free Trelby screenplay software (http://www.trelby.org/) providing you're using Windows and it still works with your version (Trelby is getting kind of long in the tooth) Trelby is kind of ugly, doesn't support fancy fonts, but it's a very solid screenplay formatter.

Instead of WordPad, you might want to consider using NotePad and writing in Fountain format (the way I'm going). Fountain is a markup language that allows you to write a script in plain text and then copy or read it into a Fountain interpreter -- online ones are available at https://afterwriting.com/ or https://youmescript.com/.

For example ... in NotePad you write ...

------
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

JOHN NONDESCRIPT, the right height for his weight, is sitting on his couch watching NASCAR.

JOHN
(laughing hysterically)
Lookee at 'em go!

He passes out from all the beer he's been drinking.
-------

Just straight text. After importing it into afterwriting (which can only save to PDF or Fountain) or youmescript.com (which can save to PDF, Fountain, Text or Final Draft (fdx) you get this ...


INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

JOHN NONDESCRIPT, the right height for his weight, is
sitting on his couch watching NASCAR.

JOHN
(laughing hysterically)
Lookee at 'em go!

He passes out from all the beer he's been drinking.

The beauty of Fountain is that you can use any text editor (afterwriting has a built-in text editor -- and you can download afterwriting and use it offline in your browser).

Here's a page with the Fountain text format (it was developed by John August and another professional screenwriter).

https://fountain.io/

Or you could just use one of the online script writing services (like youmescript.com). The advantage there is that it looks like a script as you type it.

Sorry to ramble -- I do that.