Where Authors Become Pros

Formatting Screenplays

Mac, PC and Linux Users:

There's a great, free program for writing sceenplays.

It's called Celtx, and you can download it here.

 

Windows Users: Microsoft Word Screenplay Template (screenplay.dot)

A fellow named Keith Loh developed a template for Microsoft Word that corresponds closely to the standard Screenplay format generated by programs such as Final Draft. He posted it on his website

I've modified his template to add heading levels for acts and scenes, song titles and song lyrics for musicals, and a few other improvements. I've also used a bit of bold, italic and color, all of which are non-standard but make it much easier to work with the script, particularly in outline mode. You can remove these characteristics with a single operation simply by changing the style before submitting your work, if you like.

Feel free to modify this style sheet and redistribute it.

The template uses a font called Courier Final Draft. This is a much more legible version of the Courier font that comes with Windows. Don't worry if you don't have it, as Word will substitute Courier. But if you want to greatly increase the legibility of your printouts, you can get these fonts by downloading a demo copy of Final Draft from here. (Unfortunately if you uninstall the demo it will uninstall the fonts, but if you're clever you can save them from your C:\Windows\fonts directory before you uninstall, and then put them back later.)

To download an example script showing how the styles are used right-click here and select Save Target As.

For help using Microsoft Word styles, go here.

Here's how to download and install screenplay.dot:

Close Word.

Download screenplay.dot by right-clicking here and selecting Save Target As.

Place it in
C:\Documents and Settings\[yourusername]\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\

(Note that [yourusername] is your account on your local computer.)

When you start a new document, along with other Microsoft Office icons you will be able to select screenplay.dot

Here are some suggested shortcut key combinations. You can set these under Format | Style | Modify :

 Style Shortcut Key
SLUGLINE CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-S
ACTION CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-A
CHARACTER CTRL-SHIFT-C
DIALOGUE CTRL-SHIFT-D
LYRIC CTRL-SHIFT-L
WRYLY CTRL-SHIFT-W

 

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