8 Best Final Draft Alternatives for Screenwriters 2024

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Are you sick of writing essays the old-fashioned way? Do you find it difficult to complete the final draft and make sure everything is required? If you want to write more efficiently and turn in a polished final draft, there might be another way.

Writing is an intricate and continuous procedure that frequently calls for several drafts in order to produce a satisfactory final product. Many writers are unable to stop rewriting their work and find themselves caught in a never-ending cycle of revisions. You can avoid wasting time and frustration by using an alternate approach, though.

A number of rounds of editing and revision are part of the conventional process for writing a final draft. Although this approach can be successful, it can also be laborious and mentally taxing. You can simplify your writing process and create a final draft that satisfies all of your wants and needs with less work if you look into alternative approaches. We will discuss this alternate approach and how it can help you on your writing journey in this article.

What Is Final Draft?

A popular program for writing screenplays and editing videos is called Final Draft. Scripts with a professional formatting style can be made with it.

You can write your first script in Final Draft's free edition as well.

Both Mac and Windows versions of Final Draft are available. Though it is incompatible with Linux, the software works with the majority of contemporary operating systems.

Despite lacking an iOS app, Final Draft is also compatible with iPads and iPhones.

What Are the Best Alternatives for the Final Draft?

1. Arc Studio Pro

Arc Studio Pro for Final Draft Alternative

Professionals in the field are rapidly adopting Arc Studio due to its real-time collaboration features, sophisticated story-building tools, and distraction-free design (think Google Docs meets Adobe). Though Arc Studio is a great option for beginners as well as professionals, it was designed specifically for writers' rooms (the showrunner of Netflix's Arcane recently used it).

You can write from anywhere with this screenwriting software, which works with Mac, Windows, iPad, and iOS. It also has a mobile app. The primary attractions of Arc Studio are its wide range of collaboration and outlining tools, which include the ability to color-code beats and rearrange plots by dragging and dropping. These storyboarding features include pre-saved templates such as the 5-act structure and Save the Cat and a user-friendly interface that aids in maintaining focus.

There are three plans available with Arc Studio: The Essentials plan, the Pro plan, and the free plan. The free plan at Arc Studio offers writers everything they need to get started. The Pro plan includes all of Arc's extensive features, such as advanced formatting, outlining tools, and seamless collaboration features, while the Essentials plan is perfect for beginning writers. For a week, you can test out every feature for free. Additionally, Arc Studio is continuously being developed, with new features and enhancements being released.

2. Trelby

Trelby for Final Draft Alternative

Yes, Trelby is available for free download on both Mac and Windows, just like the hat (sort of). It is a free and open-source scripting program. It is based on the Fountain plain text screenwriting markup language and is available for download and contribution to the program's source code.

Only Windows and Linux are supported by Trelby, despite the fact that it can work with a wide range of formats, including Final Draft. It's simple to use and to add to that, and it allows you to write free scripts of industry-standard quality. Trelby differs from the majority of free screenwriting programs in that it is free of watermarks and locked features, so you can use it with confidence, knowing that your script will look excellent.

The capacity to write as many scripts as you like without restriction is another important feature. The majority of free online screenwriting programs only let you write one or two scripts before requiring payment. In addition, your script can be exported as a PDF or a file that you can upload into Final Draft without encountering any compatibility problems. So once your script is in PDF format, no one reading it will be able to determine if it had been composed in Trelby or Final Draft.

Trelby also has tool options that allow you to customize the program to fit your requirements.

3. Celtx

Celtx for Final Draft Alternative

Celtx, usually the next most popular screenwriting program after Final Draft, was once available for free download on both Mac and Windows platforms. Although Celtx has since moved to a cloud-based subscription model with multiple tiers, it remains fundamentally a practical and all-inclusive screenwriting tool.

Additional studio tools from Celtx are available to assist writers and filmmaking teams as they move a script through the various stages leading up to production. These may not be applicable to all writers, but they might be helpful to multi-hyphenates (writer-director, producer-director, etc.).

There are collaboration features in the software. You can get online feedback on your working script with these very helpful features. Online feedback can be extremely helpful in this situation as well, allowing you to see updates as they happen in real-time. Let us say you need input on your script from a producer, director, or script editor.

The primary lesson to be learned from this software is the fact that it is free to use and allows you to write industry-standard scripts without incurring any costs. Celtx is still a great Final Draft substitute despite its reputation having declined over time.

4. Writer Duet

Writer Duet for Final Draft Alternative

Another cloud-based subscription screenwriting service that allows offline working is Writer Duet. Your work will be automatically synced once you go online and are connected again, but it will still be backed up offline.

Although the program offers a free version, the user can only work on a certain number of projects at once. It is, as its name suggests, focused on teamwork and is particularly helpful when writing teams or developing a script. The real-time collaboration feature is very well-liked and useful. It lets you make real-time edits and changes that the other writers of the script can see right away.

With its outline and revision modes, Writer Duet can import a wide range of files, including Final Draft files. You can export files to Final Draft (and a few other screenwriting programs), and your work produced with this screenwriting program will be correctly formatted. If you have to work with multiple software programs (for example, one writer on a team may use Final Draft, while another may use Writer Duet or Celtx), this can be especially useful. It's also useful if, at some point, you find that another screenwriting program better suits your writing requirements or that you have to switch from one screenwriting program to another.

What you Should be Aware of:

  • This screenwriting program is only available online.
  • The free edition only allows you to write three scripts.
  • You can import and export data in various formats, including Final Draft.
  • The scripts you write adhere to the professional industry standard script conventions and are free of watermarks.

5. Fade In

Fade In for Final Draft Alternative

Fade In has mobile apps for iOS and Android and is cross-platform, providing the same experience across all operating systems. It has tools for group work, writing without interruptions, a customizable navigator, reports, and revision modes.

Files from many different formats, including both new and old Final Draft files, can be imported. You can test the screenwriting software's features and functionality by downloading the free demo version. There is a paid version as well to utilize and enjoy the functionality of the program fully.

The demo version frequently includes purchase reminders, but it functions exactly like the fully paid version. A watermark has also been added to the PDF version of your script. This is a minor drawback.


  • Despite being more economical, it has many of the same features as more costly programs like Movie Magic Screenwriting and Final Draft.
  • Coordination in real-time.
  • Characters can be highlighted, and plot points can be color-coded in your script.
  • You can edit the format of your screenplay.
  • It features a SHOW DON'T TELL TOOL, an action-to-dialogue calculator.

6. Highland

Highland for Final Draft Alternative

Highland, the screenplay software from occasional programmer and screenwriter John August, was originally designed to “melt” screenplays into PDF format, making them editable. This is useful if you lose the original file or it is in an old format that you can no longer open. The Fountain file format ensures that the screenwriting software is compatible with many other screenwriting programs and that the writing you do in this format will not be altered if you copy it to another program, like Google Docs, etc. The current version of the program still has that feature, but it is now a fully functional screenwriting program in its own right, handling all of your formatting requirements without requiring you to make manual adjustments.

Its interface, which is free of distractions, is its key selling point. This screenwriting software is currently only available for Mac, so Windows users are not able to use it. Additionally, screenwriters and novelists can both use the software. It functions as a sort of all-purpose writing tool, facilitating writing regardless of whether you are formally writing your script or just outlining ideas.

7. Amazon Storywriter

Amazon Storywriter for Final Draft Alternative

As sleek as you might anticipate, Amazon offers a screenwriting service that is also hosted on the cloud. Additionally, if you have an Amazon account, it is free.

It might be simple; for instance, there are no settings for offline operation or dual dialogue columns. Nevertheless, it can function in a pinch. Sharing read-only copies with other people is another option.


  • You can send Amazon Studios your script directly for evaluation.
  • Like most software, including Final Draft, it formats your script automatically for you according to the appropriate professional industry standards.
  • It features a toolbar on the side of the page that assists with structuring and organizing your script, including dialogue, action, character names, and transitions.

It is worth checking out this screenwriting software if you have an Amazon account since, as previously mentioned, it is free for account holders. It's a decent choice if you are looking for a screenwriting program that is less expensive than Final Draft.

8. Scrivener

Scrivener for Final Draft Alternative

Scrivener was designed and is still mostly used by prose writers. Independent novelists especially like the tool's ability to publish into widely used eBook formats. It also features a helpful screenplay mode. For screenwriters who find themselves mired in detail halfway through a project or who want to examine a story map/beat board, the corkboard view allows you to drag and rearrange a document like a series of index cards.


  • Documents can be exported from Scrivener as PDFs, Final Drafts, or Fountain formats for additional editing.
  • Your work is automatically outlined.
  • You are able to write screenplays, novels, articles, brochures, and flyers.

You can fulfill practically any writing requirement with Scrivener. You can use a corkboard (to highlight a beat board or story map, for instance) and read documents side by side in addition to setting goals and monitoring projects. Once more, Scrivener is software for writers of all stripes, just like some other programs like Highland. Because of this, it works out well and offers plenty of opportunities for writers who are not limited to screenwriting. In this regard, it provides a suitable substitute for Final Draft, albeit with a unique offering.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you are a screenwriter looking for a cost-effective alternative to Final Draft, WriterDuet is definitely worth considering. With its collaborative features, cloud-based storage, formatting tools, revision history, and affordable pricing, it provides everything you need to bring your scripts to life. Give it a try and see how it can revolutionize your screenwriting process.

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