The best screenwriting software ever. WriterDuet.com is a real-time collaborative screenwriting tool. Just login and start privately writing a script, using our industry-standard formatting and intuitive page layout. Then invite a friend (or two, or three) to collaborate with you. You'll see what lines they're on, and all edits are immediate. Never e-mail someone a script again!
I know the title sounds like hubris, so I want to start by giving my competitor some credit: Final Draft has historically been very valuable to the world of screenwriting. I used Celtx for a couple years (sigh), and upgrading to Final Draft was a relief. It was the best… back then.
But it seems to me like the people behind Final Draft thought they’d “solved” screenwriting software some years ago, and basically stopped improving it. Four years after Final Draft 8, I believe version 9 was an extremely minor update. And they’re missing incredibly valuable features writers want.
WriterDuet does almost everything* Final Draft does, and so much more. Below is a list of the top ways WriterDuet is better than Final Draft, in my opinion/knowledge. You probably won’t care about every single one, but virtually all screenwriters can benefit from a lot of them.
Formatting. Here we’re basically identical, but I should mention it first since so many others fail here. WriterDuet’s default page count will be exactly the same as Final Draft’s in the vast majority of cases. We have the same default line lengths and split action, dialogue, etc. across pages virtually identically to FD.
Real-time collaboration. Any number of writers can video/audio/text chat, outline, and write simultaneously. Conversation-style notes help you discuss lines with writers/readers.
Infinite revision tracking. View changes by date, writer, tagged revisions, tracked edits, and individual lines. Asterisks for printing/PDF, plus you can see the exact added/removed text, and can revert lines to previous versions. Mark/unmark changes, retroactively mark revisions by date/time/writer, track multiple revisions at once, put revision information in headers/footers, lock pages, and much more. You can even search the infinite revision history to find a line you deleted, and the full script as it was at the time that line existed!
Price. Even WriterDuet’s free version does everything most people need to write screenplays in industry-standard format. And our Pro version includes all future Pro updates automatically with your subscription.
Ease of use. WriterDuet is consistently described as intuitive and seamless. A plethora of shortcuts and mouseover instructions guide the simple interface, and subtle features make the core task of writing more fluid. WriterDuet is meticulously fine-tuned.
Compatibility. WriterDuet imports & exports Final Draft, Celtx, Fountain, and PDF files. It even imports/exports notes from the first 3 file types, and is by far the best program at converting PDFs into editable screenplay format.
Cross-platform. WriterDuet works on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chromebooks, iOS, and Android. It gives identical page counts on all devices, and PDFs.
Pasting from other sources. WriterDuet lets you copy text written in Fountain, or other screenwriting programs (Final Draft, Celtx, etc.) and paste it directly into WriterDuet with the correct formatting most of the time (impossible to be perfect).
An amazing outliner. WriterDuet’s outliner lets you organize scene cards into acts and sequences, add (multiple) colors, tag characters (with optional colors/icons to identify them), set emoticons on each scene, and resize/reorder cards. All real-time collaborative.
View & edit specific portions. Select characters to view & edit only their dialogue within the script, or just the scenes they’re in. Select the non-dialogue report to view & edit Action, etc. or the Shots report for a production-shortened version.
Unicode support. Write in Chinese, Cyrillic, Hindi, etc.
Distraction-free full-screen mode. Full-screen works across platforms and is script-centric by default, helping you focus on writing. You can customize other items to be displayed, and make the normal view distraction-free as well.
2 or 3-wide scripts. View prior pages to the left, and pages after to the right. Scroll these pages independently to look up/down without changing the position you’re editing, or scroll them together to read 3x as much.
Grammar checking. WriterDuet will tell you when you likely screwed up it’s vs. its, your vs. you’re, affect vs. effect, etc., along with its regular spell checker. Available in many different languages.
Automatic backups. WriterDuet instantly saves your changes online, so no lost work in the event of a power outage or crash. There are auto-save options for Dropbox and Google Drive, plus your computer, to complement WriterDuet’s cloud storage.
Format checking. Finds 9 (optional) common problems in scripts, including typo’d character names, missing character/dialogue lines, () in dialogue, similarly named characters, action lines greater than 4 lines, extra spacing, etc.
Script shortening. Finds orphaned words wrapping onto the next line, lines which can be shortened by removing a few letters, and places where it can cheat a margin to save lines. All with customizable thresholds.
Hide scenes you’re not working on. Select a scene or range of scenes, and all others disappear from your view.
Editable dual dialogue. To edit dual dialogue in Final Draft you must convert it back to sequential dialogue, make your change, then go back to the first character’s name (not their dialogue) and convert it to dual again. With WriterDuet, just edit and move on.
Notes in PDF report. Put notes inline with the rest of the script, including customizable colors (by type and writer) and content (name & time).
Typewriter mode. Keep your cursor vertically centered, so your eyes don’t have to follow the cursor up/down while you write and scroll. A speed-reading trick, for speed-writing.
Screen mirroring. Automatically follow a partner or reviewer’s position in the script.
Embedded multimedia. Directly link in images, audio/video files, YouTube videos, and SoundCloud audio on individual script lines. They’re hidden by default, with an icon to expand in the margin.
Music player. Many genres preloaded, no need to switch programs or tabs to get your tunes.
Dictation. Using Google technology to add words by sound and context, speak your lines with voice commands to move to the next line and set its type.
Time-lapse viewer. Watch a sped-up version of your script being written, with custom colors for each writer. You can also select any section of the script (or the entire thing) to look back in time and export a prior version.
And I’m just listing the big ones, there are plenty more. You certainly don’t have to use every feature to be an effective writer, but any of these could save you minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. And when you add them all together, along with all the features WriterDuet has in common with Final Draft, you’re left with one thing:
A superior product, at a much better value.
The world of screenwriting software has changed. Final Draft is still the industry standard, but that’s largely because of inertia, not because they have the best product.
So if you’re looking for software to improve your screenwriting process, I highly recommend you try WriterDuet: the next industry standard.
*There is one thing I know of which Final Draft does better than WriterDuet, and there may be others. Please let me know, so I can add them! There used to be more missing features in WriterDuet, but I constantly add features as routine updates, so that list is shrinking. They still have the edge on:
Additional templates. WriterDuet only has screenplay, multi-cam sitcom, single cam sitcom, stageplay, UK stageplay, compact stageplay, book, Audio/Visual, Virtual Reality, and Right-to-Left Screenplay templates. Final Draft has dozens more, and we’ll likely add to the list in the future. But because WriterDuet has customizable margins and line formatting, you can make what you want. And we import the Final Draft template files, if you have them handy.
In WDv5, we obliterate the concept of a totally linear writing process, because that's nonsense. We still enhance your focus on the specific script, page, and line that you're on; But now we offer you faster, more intuitive access to the specific tools and supporting documents that you need, when you need them.
As is characteristic of our brilliant dev team, WDv5 (WDVV??) is a truly major technological update. On the feature side, here are some highlights:
REVAMPED OUTLINING Scene cards in the sidebar are now editable, and are literally the same as the cards in your Card Outliner. In fact, the Card Outliner and your Script are one and the same too! Everything is just a different filtered view of the same content, in document form or cards form. We're also introducing the Skeleton Outliner, which is a hierarchical version of your scenes and outline lines. So if you prefer outlining in the document itself while your collaborator prefers corkboard-style outlining, that's great! You can collaborate in real-time despite looking at completely different displays of your content.
WD has always been highly accurate in displaying the script just as it would appear in PDF, even as you write in real-time. However, things like text size, margins, and headers weren't always perfectly exact in every single edge case. Until now! What's more, this update allows us to easily implement variable fonts and font sizes (coming soon), inline images (here now!), and totally straightforward margin customization (try turning on the ruler under Customize > Format. Use it to accurately adjust a line's margins, or hold Shift to adjust an entire line type).
TABS You can now open different tabs within your workspace! Keep all of your docs just one click away, but also, out of the way until you need them. Tabs can be for more than just multiple projects; Different drafts of your script, ghost mode copies, or even specific scenes, outlines, or treatments can live one click away. These were called Branches, but are now called Docs, and they live under the Docs tab.
Enhanced comments and notifications, revamped title page, tagger, graveyard and personal notes, interface and performance improvements...it's all so v5.
You can log in to try out v5 at https://v5.writerduet.com/script - let us know what you think!
BUGS Here is a list of existing issues as of Nov 13th, 2018:
You may have heard that a different screenwriting program recently changed their free version to include a watermark saying "Created using..."
WriterDuet doesn't do that. We let you import and export from tons of formats for free, with no unprofessional indicators of what software you used. Why? Because we trust that our free users will enjoy writing with us so much that they will ultimately upgrade. And sometimes they don't, which makes us super sad.
But we don't try to convince writers to pay by making our free experience unpleasant. We do it by constantly making our paid version better! Because that's a lot more fun for everyone.
You have just watched the most amazing movie. Or maybe the worst you’ve ever seen. Either way, you feel inspired. Great! The only problem: You aren’t totally sure how to go about writing a screenplay. Don’t worry. These eight steps will help you stride confidently through the entire writing process, from initial spark to final product. Paired with WriterDuet, the ultimate writing software, you won’t ever feel lost again!
Have an idea. Before you begin writing a script, you need to have an idea. Take time to brainstorm several ideas that tell a story, preferably one that you are itching to tell. Look for inspiration in your everyday life, politics, and other creative works.
Flesh out your idea.Is there a specific message that you want the audience to take away from your story? Think about who your characters are, where they live, and what their relationships are with each other. Conduct research about specific characters, settings, and any historical context. Further develop your ideas by outlining every scene, which will allow you to visualize your story. With our tool, Outliner & Scratchpad (located in the Tools menu), you can easily outline your story, rearrange scenes, and develop characters.
Understand the anatomy of a script. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, knowing the format of a script before you start writing is essential. Scripts are comprised of scene headings, action lines, character lines, parentheticals, dialogue, transitions, and shots. By using WriterDuet, you won’t have to worry about manually formatting your script. Sign up for free to access our formatting guide, which can be found under Help > Script Examples > Formatting Guide.
Write and don’t look back...at least for now.Now that you have a well-thought-out idea and a solid outline, all you need to do is write your story! This can sometimes be the hardest part. Writer’s block is no joke. To prevent procrastination and to overcome writer’s block, just write. Write and don’t look back, until you’re completely finished. The first draft is not going to be your last, so write what you can, and edit later.
Take a vacation. Or maybe even several. Congrats, you’ve finished a script! Now take a vacation and celebrate. No seriously, taking a break will allow your mind to rest, igniting new ideas. After writing your first draft, don’t look at your script for at least two weeks. Don’t even think about looking at it! When the two weeks are up, take a look at your script. You’ll be surprised how some lines, the ones you thought were of absolute genius, don’t make sense. Taking breaks is really important, but don’t take too many, or you may find yourself on a permanent vacation.
Know that writing is revising.If writers stopped after the first draft, your favorite movies never would have made it to theaters. After your first draft, go through your script, and make thorough and necessary revisions. If you filter to a single character’s dialogue, is their voice consistent and distinct? Do the actions they take make sense in the world they live in? Use script statistics to view the balance of screen time and action dialogue. Is it what you expect? Utilize the Graveyard (Drafts > Graveyard) to save ideas that you might use later on. Make a third, fourth, and fifth draft. Changes are always being made, so as a writer, be flexible.
Share your script.Acknowledge feedback, even if you don’t end up implementing what others suggest. You’re writing a story that you presumably would like people to read, and eventually maybe watch on the silver screen. Ask for feedback, both positive and negative. And don’t just ask your friends; consult total strangers. It sounds scary, but some of the best feedback you will receive can come from complete strangers. And who knows, those same people might end up in the theater with a bucket of salty popcorn ready to watch the movie that YOU wrote.
Apply the finishing touches. You’ve revised your script several times, and may have taken too many breaks, but you have a well-written script in your hands. Go through once more and edit it. Make sure that you use proper punctuation and grammar. Do an automatic check for any common script formatting issues. Present progressive is not a common verb tense in screenplays, so be sure to scan for that as well!
And there you go! You’re now ready to start writing your story. And when you go into production, whether it is slated for the big screen or filmed for fun, you can utilize the Production menu as you rewrite your script some more. Now get back to writing!
You don't go from small startup to international sensation overnight. For us, it took almost two weeks.
Okay, maybe two years is more accurate, but now WriterDuet is stepping onto the global stage with translations into over 20 languages and specialized defaults and settings (e.g. right-to-left screenplay format for Arabic and Hebrew). We're going to continue to refine our international products, so please let us know anything we can do to help support WriterDuet in your language!
If your browser's default language is something other than English, we'll automatically detect that and provide WriterDuet in your preferred language if available. You can also set the language in WriterDuet under the menu Customize > Language (or perhaps Individualisieren > Sprache).
And if you have any translation improvements to suggest, please e-mail email@example.com with the incorrect phrase and the corrected version to replace it with. If you're really interested in helping, we can share translation documents to let you dive in and make some edits yourself.
Wir sind hier, um WriterDuet zur besten Drehbuchsoftware der Welt zu machen.
Parce que les scénarios sont la langue dans laquelle les films sont écrits.
Entonces, desde donde sea que esté, esperamos que escriba su próximo guión de película en nuestro software.
O WriterDuet é um software de roteiro que une o mundo.
Here are some of the awesome things to look out for in the new version:
Total design overhaul. As you can see below, we have a new layout designed around maximizing the amount of the page that is visible at any one time. Without sacrificing simplicity, we’ve also gotten sleeker on menus, modals and everything else.
Faster performance. All scripts should be faster and write smoother, whether they are one page or one thousand pages.
Better portfolio. The portfolio is now just a popup, with way faster load time, shared folders, search, and easy click-and-drag.
WriterSolo mode. For Pro users who have the desktop application, WriterDuet files from your computer open in this new, strictly offline mode instead of opening a new WriterDuet project. If you already used Save within WriterDuet to save a project file to your computer, then double-clicking that file will still open the existing project in WriterDuet. This same rule applies to using File > Open File in the WriterDuet desktop application. If you want to save a new file to the cloud, open WriterDuet and then use File > New and File > Import from there to import the file. Note: There is no need to download the separate WriterSolo app, as WriterDuet already has that built in.
Lots more! Simpler auto-save, new templates (books, plus right-to-left scripts), Adobe Story import, and a new notification system, to name a few. And as always, the groundwork for a future of endless creative possibility!
Other than that, things should be pretty familiar! We’ve moved a few things around the menu, but you can still find them with the feature search under the Help menu. If you’re looking for some guidance on the new layout, our new Quick-Start Tutorial is on Youtube.
Everything you write and everything you have written for a project is stored in a WriterDuet file (the .wdz filetype). This file is kept on our servers, in the WriterDuet cloud. Data is added ~constantly (note: added, not replaced) based on edits made by you and your collaborators. This enables real-time collaboration between writers and devices, as well as access to any point in your script’s history.
You can export WriterDuet project files under File > Export > WriterDuet, but that creates a copy of the file. Instead of living in the WriterDuet cloud, that file is sent to a location of your choice, where collaborators do not have access to it. To access the original file on the WriterDuet server–the one that updates in real time–one must go to the WriterDuet web portfolio (accessible under File > Open). The only exception to this is if there is a WriterDuet project being saved to the computer with the Save function. For those using the desktop application, double-clicking that file–or using File > Open File–will open the associated WriterDuet project, unless a new Save As action from that project has begun saving the project to a different WriterDuet file.
So what happens, then, when you open a WriterDuet (.wdz) file that has been exported to your computer, or a cloud location like Google Drive or Dropbox?
It opens in WriterSolo mode, our file-based (rather than cloud-based) mode, which is also available as a separate purchase for non-Pro users (for Pro users, it is already built-in). Since it is an offline application, the only saving that happens is manually done by you, to a specified location (computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud). It still has all of your history if it’s a WriterDuet file, but the file is wherever you keep it, rather than in our WriterDuet cloud.
If you want to open a file on your computer, but use it in WriterDuet (to collaborate on it, have it in the cloud, etc.), you can do so by opening WriterDuet, and then go to File > New, and File > Import to import the file to a new project.
DO YOU SUPPORT MOBILE DEVICES? Yes! You can find the mobile app in your respective app store or access WD via mobile browser at writerduet.com.
IS WEB-BASED SCREENWRITING VIABLE FOR PROFESSIONAL SCREENWRITERS? Absolutely… with WriterDuet. Other screenwriting websites gave web apps a bad name, falling far below the standard serious writers require. WriterDuet changes that, with a browser-based experience that surpasses traditional (i.e. old) desktop software. If you love the interface but are desperate for the traditional, totally offline, file-based desktop software experience, check out WriterSolo under Help > Buy WriterDuet Plugins.
WHAT BROWSER DO YOU RECOMMEND? Many browsers are supported by WriterDuet, but Chrome is by far the best in terms of speed and features it supports.
ARE PAGE COUNTS THE SAME ON ALL DEVICES AND IN PDF/PRINT? 100%. We hate inconsistency.
DO YOU SUPPORT TV FORMATS AND STAGEPLAYS? Yes! You can change the script template under Format > Script Template, and customize it further under Customize > Format.
ARE SCRIPTS PRIVATE? WriterDuet uses SSL security, and generates random access codes to share with collaborators you choose. Scripts are not shared except through your requests & guest codes.
CAN I GET MY SCRIPT OUT? All users can export scripts in many formats under File > Export. You can also import those (even PDF and Word docs).
DOES WRITERDUET OWN MY WRITING? Definitely not. You retain your rights, and simply grant WriterDuet permission to share and perform (on ReadThrough) scripts as you request. We don’t have any ownership of your work, and only share your scripts in ways you request.
HOW ARE FILES SAVED? We auto-save all changes on our servers, and you can backup copies to Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and your computer.
DOES WRITERDUET WORK OFFLINE? Yes! With WriterDuet Pro, you can seamlessly write with or without an Internet connection. When you’re online, your script will automatically sync.
CAN I GET REVISIONS WITH *s? Absolutely! View changes via the calendar icon or revision list, then print or download a PDF.
ARE THE PRO & FREE VERSIONS COMPATIBLE? Totally. Pro writers will have access to more features within a script they’re collaborating on versus a Free user, but Pro and Free users can seamlessly collaborate. Only Pro users can send invites, but anyone can join a script invitation link.
MAY I ASK A QUESTION? Sure! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once upon a time, there was no good way to collaborate with your screenwriting partners. Several screenwriting programs advertised collaboration, but they were extremely limited. I wanted something that let any number of people seamlessly write at any time, instantly seeing each other’s changes.
It took me a few months to build a simple beta, and that’s when I realized there was a bigger opportunity. Plenty of things had annoyed me about existing screenwriting software, and I set out to do things right. I wanted to create the best screenwriting program ever.
I designed WriterDuet to be intuitive and powerful, so it would be loved by professionals and first-timers alike. I made sure it could do almost everything (important) that the main competitor did, including matching their default line lengths and page breaking, and I added dozens of features that they don’t do. These features range from ground-breaking (real-time collaboration) to time-saving (automatic infinite revision tracking) to super-convenient (importing/exporting Final Draft, Celtx, Fountain, and PDF files). All fit in with the overarching mission of WriterDuet: to make the process of screenwriting simpler and more enjoyable.
And to give credit where credit’s due, what’s made this possible is the immense amount of feedback I’ve received from writers, for which I am extremely grateful. WriterDuet is developed by a writer, for writers, with input from writers.
I think you’ll love WriterDuet, and please e-mail us (email@example.com) if you have questions or suggestions!