Quote Originally Posted by ComicBent View Post
The best software, of course, is what works best for you.

Yes, this thread is old, but as Derek said, a question about which software to get is a perennial one. I have used the following:

  • Final Draft (all versions starting with 4.x).
  • Movie Magic Screenwriter (including the now antiquated but still most recent version, MMS-6).
  • Fade In Pro (this is what I have been using more recently).

I recommend Fade In Pro for various reasons:

  • It is fast, really fast.
  • It lets you develop your own additional styles (helpful in some situations, especially stage plays).
  • It is Unicode compliant.
  • It imports and exports other formats well. In particular, it will import a .fountain file, which is a text file with minimal formatting and markup. This means that you can write with a text editor and import the file into Fade In Pro, which will store the file in its native .fadein format. You can then export to Final Draft format if you need to. By the way, the .fadein format is really an .xml format, similar to Final Draft .fdx, but the Fade In Pro file is zipped. In other words, .fadein is really a zip file. This is not anything that you have to worry about or even be aware of as a user.
  • You can import a PDF from Final Draft and Screenwriter if the PDF was created with the built-in PDF driver of Final Draft or Screenwriter. (However, PDF files created with other drivers do not import so well.)
  • Fade In Pro only costs something like $49, which is a very reasonable price, especially since the license allows you to use it on all of your own computers.

Again, though, the best software is what works for you. Download the free trials and see what makes the world spin for you.

By the way, sometimes when I go to the Fade In Pro website, I get a malware alert from my McAfee antivirus software. I do not know why this happens, but I just ignore it, and I have been going to the site for a long time without having any problems. If you download the software, be sure to download the Courier Screenplay font also. It may come with the program (I do not remember), but you can download it as a separate download. There is also a Courier Prime font, but I do not see that it offers any advantage over Courier Screenplay, and it has an italic face that I do not like as much as I do the italic in Courier Screenplay.
I tried all sorts of stuff on trials including FinalDraft (which I didn't like actually) and ended up with Fade In Pro. The only time I had an issue, I sent an e-mail to their support and had an answer that solved my problem in less than ten minutes.

The SW is ridiculously easy to use and, at least on my computer, has been bug free.