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Screenwriter is...

  • easy to learn. You'll be writing your first script in under 10 minutes.
  • easy to use. All you need is the Tab button and the Enter (PC) or Return (Mac) key.
  • professional and powerful. With the newest production tools in Movie Magic Screenwriter 6, you'll wonder how anybody ever made movies before.
  • backed by free technical support. Free Phone Support. Free Web Support. Free E-Mail Support. For as long as you use Movie Magic Screenwriter.
  • made by the only company to win an Academy Technical Achievement Award for screenwriting software.
  • supports more...

What's New

  • Adds back the Compare Documents command that has been updated to work on all supported versions of OS X
  • Critical bug fix for those working with production scripts
  • Feature / cosmetic adjustments


Mac OS X 10.5 or later

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Screenwriter User Discussion

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Lord-Lightning Member IconReview+304

I tried this again after four years of ignoring it because it drove me nuts and the registration issues were never resolved. I have deleted it again from my computer but the search took me to Fade In. Fade In from The General Coffee House Film Company does twice the heavy lifting that either Final Draft or ScreenWriter Pro can do for less than a quarter of the price ($50 if you are quick). It is prettier and more responsive and based on the "the Open Screenplay Format: a straightforward, application-agnostic XML-based file format for saving your scripts, providing maximum accessibility, compatibility, and future-proofing. " Far superior to the pricey heavyweights in every way.

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Lev Member IconReview+456

Been using Screenwriter for many years and v6 is a big jump ahead of the previous version (Screenwriter 2000). It's not without its frustrations but I find it a more robust and congenial tool than its only real rival, Final Draft. (Celtx and Montage are both coming along, but I'd not yet trust real live work to them. Yet...)

Screenwriter's strengths are, first of all, in its transparency. The only point of a screenwriting app is to get out of your way. Swapping fretting about formatting styles for fretting about your writing app is obviously no progress at all, and my experience is that Screenwriter is a bit less noticeable in use than Final Draft. Of course, Final Draft devotees may say the same thing about FD; it's maybe what you're used to that counts.

Screenwriter's foolishly-named "NaviDoc" is actually a very useful, very powerful outliner with total control over what is visible, what prints, and so on. Move the outline item and the script passages associated with it move too. The nearest comparison is the Mellel outliner. Screenwriter seems more robust, too. There's not that faint walking-on-eggshells I get with FD. Purely subjective but there it is.

Screenwriter is also much better at making sense of cut-and-paste or imported RTF files, which may or may not be of use to you. ***CAVEAT***: both FD and Screenwriter get completely confused if you import/paste anything using the SHOT element. Lord knows why. Final Draft 8 has the "FD Exchange format" which solves the problem; unfortunately Screenwriter can't export to that (though the brilliant Scrivener can).

On the downside, Screenwriter is less "Mac-like" than FD 8. Every time I fire it up (most days) I think: Lord, but this is fugly. But it's like an old Land Rover: may look crufty on the outside, but you forget about that once you're one the move and, instead, just enjoy its reliability. Screenwriter isn't as good as FD for reformatting -- going through an (imported, perhaps) script making sure all the elements are properly assigned. Creating a new element (I'm working with a LYRIC element a lot at the moment) is less intuitive with Screenwriter. And, like FD, it won't let you rename standard elements -- which can be a pain, frankly. Stage plays use "internal" and "external" direction, and it would be nice to be able to call your elements by those names instead of trying to remember that ACTION is now being used for INT DIRECTION.

FInal Draft is touted as the Hollywood "industry standard". Not really true, and shouldn't really be a major factor in your choice. PDF is the most usual way of transferring stuff, and if you get to the point where a producer/director wants a script in the other format to the app you have, there are plenty of ways around it.

For a standalone writing environment, then, Screenwriter, for me, wins easily. For a fine working combination, preliminary work in Scrivener and "final draft" in FInal Draft is probably hard to beat. I hope we'll get the same level of interoperability between Scrivener and Screenwriter one day.

In the meantime, it's worth remembering that obsessing about formatting minutiae is probably a displacement activity. (I'm as prone to it as the next guy. We're tool-using animals, after all.) The truth is, no screenplay which tells a good story and tells it well is ever going to be rejected because the Transitions are 5mm too far from the right margin...

In short, there's no screenwriting app which does everything. All of them have weaknesses; all of them have irritating "strengths" where they'll try their hardest to impose their will on the hapless writer. But for a robust heavy-lifting app with good production features and good links to scheduling apps etc., Screenwriter takes some beating.

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Mjkphoto Member IconComment+109

This release has been available for a long time, so for me it is not an update. I agree it is nice to see it listed. Perhaps this is foretells a new update soon.

Movie Magic Screenwriter is an excellent screenwriting program. I've used it for years. The scene outline feature, index cards, and notes are very helpful. Technical support is is readily available at no cost. I've always received quick and useful replies from my tech support requests.

There a still a few bugs in the program, such as printing scripts. Depending upon your printer, it may not allow you to take advantage of printing features, such as duplexing or collating. My work around is to export a PDF and print from there. This allows me to print double sided, multiple copies that are collated properly (printed from an HP OfficeJet 6480).

There's another bug that causes the program to crash. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it does, data is lost since the auto save feature doesn't catch immediately entered text (unless you just saved your file). When the program crashes, I am able to open a timed backup, and then recreate what was lost. Still it would be nice if the program didn't crash.

Those two issues aside, Screenwriter remains my screenwriting program of choice on my Mac. And the free tech support is a great benefit - not only because it is free, tech support is very helpful.

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frail47 Member IconComment+41

Glad to see this program finally listed on here. My favorite of all the screenwriting programs available for OS X. My only complaint with the current version is that I can't add words in all caps to the custom dictionary. Right-clicking to add to the custom dictionary does not remove the spellcheck underline and will remain marked when revisiting the document. The only solution I could find is to spell the word in lowercase and then add it. Other than that minor issue this program is solid. Would like to see a GUI refresh in the next version. Current version still looks too much like a port of the Windows version.

Reply1 reply

I fully agree with Carlos85. It's great that I don't have to go digging around on the Movie Magic site for updates.

However, I should point out that they do have a ton of video tutorials on their site for anyone looking to get a handle on this app.

I also agree about Screenwriter's UI. It's very dated, and could use some serious updating. Regardless, it's currently the app to beat.

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Current Version (6.x)


Downloads 3,291
Version Downloads 679
License Demo
Date 21 Jan 2013
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price $199.95
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