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The Final Draft Screenwriting Software Review

Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Emmanuel

Through the Final Draft screenwriting software review, we will share a platform used by all 95 productions in the entertainment industry.

You, too, can use this software to format and screenplay your work and abide by the submission standards of this industry.

Without much talk, let’s go straight to the point and see what the Final Draft Software is, its key features, and its pros and cons.

Moreover, we will see how much this software costs if you want to use its premium tools to the maximum.

The Final Draft Software Overview

Ownership Final Draft, Inc. 
Release Date Founded by Ben Cahan and Marc Madnick in 1990.
Headquarters Burbank, California. It also has other offices in Canada and across the U.S.
Used asSoftware for writing and formatting screenplay.
PricingFree for 30 days and $199.99 or less.
Customer Rating8.8 out of 10.   

What Is The Final Draft Screenwriting Software?

Ben Cahan and Marc Madnick founded the Final Draft software in 1990 to help film and television producers in their different work.

The idea came after the two partners found a lack in the Hollywood US film industry that could automatically format scripts according to the industry’s stringent standards.

Since then, this software has become so successful that it is one of the leaders in the industry and is used by more than 95% of television and film producers.

You can also use this platform if you are a newbie or seasoned screenwriter, director, or industry executive.

Ben Cahan and Marc Madnick also update this platform regularly to meet the new demands of the market. They are currently at version number twelve.

Moreover, the two partners have made this software an utterly online platform providing free and exclusive educational resources to screenwriters.

If you are in this category, it will help you in every step of your screenwriting journey until you reach your goals.

You can, for example, learn how to pass interviews with professional screenwriters, make podcasts, how-to articles, and many other tech tips in the industry.

Besides that, the owners hold regular events where screenwriters meet to share their experiences and updates about the latest industry trends.

The following video will help you better understand what we have discussed in this section.

The Final Draft Features

In this part, we will base our review on Final Draft 12, which is the most version of this software.

The Final Draft 12 release date was April 2021, and given that it comes with too many features, we will only review the most popular, but we will also show you how to check and learn about the others.

Story Planning and Telling

This feature includes poweful tools to plan and tell your stories as you would like to hear from other film and television professionals.

Your stories will captivate your audiences’ attention, and they will be happy to listen to them repeatedly without getting tired or bored.

You can brainstorm, outiline, report, visualize, tag, and customize your creations. You can even use these tools to collaborate with others you wish and make your life easier.

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Enhanced Beat Board

The Beat Board is another of the best features of this platform. Many users have made it a favorite.

It has unlimited space to organize and customize your ideas like never before.

Moreover, the beat board includes the tools designed to plan set pieces, store character research, stylize your text and images, send beats directly to your script, and lots more.

This feature is also easy to use; you don’t need prior technical skills to take advantage of it.

All you need is to define the number of beats you want to incorporate in your story and use the Beat Board like a fluid scrapbook for your ideas.

As your creative ideas develop, you will drag and drop more elements, such as chunks of text, sketches, photos, or anything else you want.

The story map will also enable you to color-code your beats after creating them, insert icons of the same color, etc. The sky is the limit.

The Final Draft Screenwriting Software Review

Outline Elements and Editor

Within this feature, you will find tools designed to transfer your beat board to the outline editor and make compelling outlining as a true professional.

The other essential tools are the “outline elements,” which automatically send your outline to the script.

Depending on the goals you want to achieve, you can also use multiple lanes to organize your screenplay’s structure.

Just take advantage of the outline editor to adjust the size of beats and make your scripts of bird’s eye view.


This platform also integrates “the Scripnotes,” enabling you to add comments to your script as more ideas come.

According to other users’ testimonies, adding script notes and making them appear as flags on the pages you like allow easy reference.

The process to use this feature is straightforward; you will only need to click on the flag and open it.

Once done, you will find a pop-over to edit notes and new flags showing the number of messages you can add per paragraph. That’s all, my friend.

The Final Draft Screenwriting Software Review

Writing and Editing Tools

In this feature, you will find the tools and templates designed to write and format your stories and characters the way you like.

We can name among these tools the “title page templates” you can easily modify and customize in one click.

Other essential tools are the Tab and Enter Keys, designed to help you write your script as quickly as possible, and the reformat tool to speed your reformatting process.

Moreover, the automatic file backups will enable you to protect your work against unforeseen events.

Agile Production

The last feature we want to discuss is “Agile Production,” enabling you to review your scripts and make the necessary changes before taking them to production.

You can, for example, use it to revise colors, lock pages, add, edit or remove some scenes in your scripts, etc.

Now that you know how to use the Final Draft 12 software, let’s move to the next section and see its pros and cons.

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The Final Draft 12 Pros and Cons


  • This screenwriting software has led the industry since 1990; over 95% of people involved in the entertainment industry use it.
  • You will find the features and tools you need for all your screenwriting work.
  • It will automatically paginate your script to the formats required by the entertainment industry.
  • You can customize more than 300 templates for your screenplays, comics, graphic novels, and teleplays.
  • You can use this software on Windows or Mac or the Final Draft Mobile app for iPad and iPhone.
  • The prices are affordable compared to the benefits you will get.
  • There are many positive testimonies from satisfied users.


Honestly, we don’t have much to say about the cons of this software except that some people say it is somehow expensive.

However, I can’t entirely agree with them because we are in the business. You will get what you have paid for.

Otherwise, you can go for a cheap option that will make you look like an amateur or unprofessional who doesn’t know about the stringent standards of this industry.

The Pricing Structure

You can download this software on one of your devices and use it for free for 30 days to see how it works.

If you decide to keep using it at the end of this period, you will upgrade your account to one of the following paid plans.

  • The Final Draft 12 full license: $199.99
  • We are upgrading to version #12 of this software: $79.99.
  • The teacher or student option costs $99.99.

Note: All purchases are final; there are no recurring payments.

Which is better, Celtx or Final Draft?

Final Draft is suitable for solo writers needing a more traditional screenwriting experience, while Celtx offers the writers the tools to collaborate or work together on various scripts.

The Final Words

Let us end the Final Draft screenwriting software review here; I hope this information will help you significantly.

As we have seen, this software offers too many benefits. You can now download it on one of your devices, start using it and see live how it works.

Indeed, 95% of individuals and businesses in the entertainment industry use it, and you will agree that they can’t all be wrong.

Thank you for reading this review. You can ask questions or leave a comment at the bottom of this page. I will reply as soon as possible.

2 thoughts on “The Final Draft Screenwriting Software Review”

  1. I was looking for screenwriting software and stumbled upon this review of the final draft software. However, this software seems too complex, but I would assume the owners provide their clients with some tutorials on how it works

    I find it compelling that the Final Draft software is well established, meaning the people behind it know exactly what they are doing. 

    • Thanks for your comment but I don’t think they provide tutorials on how to use this software. They assume that you are already a professional who knows what to do.


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