Is Final Draft worth it?

Table of Contents

The Final Draft software boasts of being acknowledged as one of the top-rated and most popular screenplay writing software tools on the market. Again, if you are thinking about using the Final Draft be ready to spend because it’s so expensive as compared to other screenplay writing software tools. The high price tag has made several potential users switch to other alternatives such as Doug Ellin and Guillermo Del Toro.
The Final Draft is still recognized as the number one selling software in its category. You will notice that many high-level writers, directors and producers prefer to use the Final Draft software. This is because it works perfectly for them. With the highest price tag, it’s okay to be concerned if Final Draft will be worth your money.
I hope you will enjoy reading this article.

Is Final Draft worth it
Is Final Draft worth it

Final Draft Overview

How long do you think the Final Draft has been in exsitence? Well, this software boasts of being in the market for the last 30 years. It all began when its co-founders Marc Madnick and Ben Cahan decided to fix the urge of a dedicated screenplay software. These people knew how much the industry needed to maintain extremely high Hollywood standards.

Within these 30 years, this software has undergone tons and tons of perfections and improvements. You will notice that currently, it’s on its 11th official version, and still, new and more improved features are being rolled out during each update.

Many people will tell you that Final Draft is the most professional screenplay writing software available in the industry. The only major drawback to many is the price. In this article, we are going to discuss the main features of this software and also some of the improvements that it has undergone.

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Final Draft Software Features

Final Draft boasts tons and tons of features, tools, and abilities. All these are put in place to help you with any given screenplay with so much ease and efficiency. Some of the main features of this software are:

· Formatting

· Templates

· Index Cards

· Character Features

· Writing Management

· Final Draft Student

· Final Draft 11 New and Improved


Final Draft is designed to enable you to easily format your script to meet industry standards. Just like several other screenplay writing software tools, it has similar tabs and even the enter functionality. The tab and enter options will help you to easily follow the right format as you work.

You can also alternatively choose to make a quick selection from the format menu and select the type of line you prefer to enter next. Just to discuss further, Final Draft also comes equipped with a formatting assistant used in advanced formatting checks. It will help look for:

· Missing dialogues

· Carriage returns

· Blank elements

· Other common formatting mistakes

You should also bear in mind that you also run it manually at any time, or even make it easier by making it run automatically any time you print. This will save you from having to go back and print again when you forgot to run it.

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You will be able to enjoy a few standard templates when you choose to buy the Final Draft. Many people always like using templates since they help them stay on track.

If you find the templates available are not enough, you can freely download more from a library that comprises more than 100 classic TV shows, movies, stage plays, and even graphic novel templates.

You will always find these templates can help you immediately choose the right direction of your script because they will be so useful. You should also keep in mind that unique templates will help you write exactly whatever you’ve set out to write. This may not work for some writers who do not want to feel too confined whenever they are writing.

Are you after a helpful but also a straightforward template? If so, then the Final Draft is the right pick for you.

A screenplay writing template will always be right at your disposal when you want to structure your story and also want to ensure that you add all the elements needed in the screenplay.

Index Cards

Index cards will always appear to be a primary feature when it comes to writing software tools. You bump into several different versions, but you should know that they all work in the same way. Again, virtual note cards can always be arranged on the screen and look exactly like the cockboard.

Another thing that is worth noting is the Final Draft index cards features.  They are double-sided. You will be able to write or outline the scene on one side.

You will find a summary on the other side. You can even decide to flip them around based on whatever you are working on. That can be creating an outline, working on the plot, and rearranging some parts among several others.

With Final Draft, you are able to print these notes on the standard 3*5 or even on the 4*6 cards whenever you prefer to visualize your story to appear much more physical or more of real life.

Character Features

What will always make the better part of your story are your characters. These characters usually appear several times throughout your script. There are two key character features that will always let you keep your character development more organized and efficient.

Firstly, you have the ability to change the character names globally. This means that you can change the character names in a different location, dialogue, action and parentheticals, among several others. All these can be done at once. You should know that the name will always retain the right casing throughout. This is mainly to help you save some time when you opt to change a character’s name.

Secondly, you should also know about the character highlight feature that lets you highlight every character’s dialogue using a different color. This will be ideal when you are after a table reading. This will also keep you informed if one of the characters dominates so much in conversations or only slightly talks.

Writing Management

Writing management is mainly used to track all your progress and allows you to check it each time you need to with the statistics report.

Additionally, it can also help you track specific things, such as how much a character interacts with another. This will help you in creating and maintaining balance throughout your story.

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Final Draft Student

Are you a student? Worried about how expensive the Final Draft is? This is mainly for you! If you are a student, you can walk home with the Final Draft at a reasonable price. You will be given a good discount. The only thing that will be demanded from you is proof that you are enrolled at an academic organization. You will have to fill in some documents to help with the verification.

Upon doing this, you will be much more privileged to grab this software at a lower cost when compared to a normal buyer.

Final Draft 11 New and Improved

All the above-mentioned features have always remained the same since Final Draft was designed, but there are several different features that have been improved in each of the Final Draft previous versions, while others are also brand new.

Some of these features include:

· Collaboration

· Beat Boards

· Story Map

· Image Support

· Tagging

· Night Mode

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Real-time collaboration is listed among the top features of this software for those who prefer to work together. You will enjoy several tools that make collaboration extremely easy and very effective. Some can’t do without collaboration.

Beat Board

Are you looking for a place where you can layout all that you need? The beat board is the right place for you! Beats are not limited to characters and plot points. This can also be used to design the storyboards.

Some of the major improvements in the Beat Board are the ability to:

· Insert images by mainly dragging and dropping

· Dragging content to and from your script as you maintain the format

· Color code beats with new available custom colors

· Export beats to PDF

Story Map

If you are thinking about planning your story in both a linear and visual way, then you need to find the story map. With the latest Final Draft version, you can put the images in the story map. This will make the story map more dynamic and helpful whenever you want to plot or get a fast overview of all that you have completed.

Image Support

This was added to the beat board, title page, and also the general script. Visualizing the story is considered to be a plus for all types of writers. With the upgrade, you can do it in almost all places in the software.

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Tagging is another interesting feature that will help you organize and sort everything in your project. You can also use the tags to track and then report story elements that you decide to customize.

Night Mode

Are you among the nocturnal family? If so, I believe you will love this simple but interesting feature.


Where should the dice land? It’s now upon you to decide whether the Final Draft is worth your money or not. Good luck!

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Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.