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Archive for the Category "Software"

Final Draft Bug: Search and Replace Apr 18

The Glitch

Final Draft - Find and ReplaceSuppose you need to change a character name in your script. Simple right? In your screenplay editor of choice you simply execute a Find/Replace (Edit > Find…) for the name.

But…

If you’re using Final Draft, and you happen to have dual dialogue (dialogue that’s written side-by-side — used primarily to indicate that two characters are speaking at the same time), for some reason the Find/Replace won’t work.

I found this out the hard way a while back when a director told me to make sure I had changed all of the names in the next draft. For someone like me, who’s a card-carrying perfectionist, that was cringe-inducing.

The Tips

1) If you have Final Draft and you do a Find/Replace for a character name — make sure to check the dual dialogue blocks afterwards to see if it worked everywhere.

2) It’s always a good idea to rebuild and alphabetize your character list.

The second tip was a great reminder from one of my clients who had also encountered this Final Draft glitch and shared it with me (thanks P.H.!).

Rebuilding your character list (in Final Draft: Document > SmartType…), alphabetizing it, and giving it a quick glance (before sending it out to important readers), is a great way to see if you:

– Have misspelled a character name (e.g. Steven / Stephen) and used both instances

– Still have names of characters that have since been deleted or had their names changed

Remember to periodically rebuild your character list

Remember to periodically rebuild and alphabetize your character list.
In Final Draft: Document > SmartType…

Audience Participation

Final Draft recently released version 9 of their software. Any test pilots out there with Final Draft 9 willing to see if a Find/Replace will now change a character name that’s a part of a dual dialogue block?

Note: I’m referring to the CHARACTER NAME that appears above the dialogue of a character, not the mere mention of a character’s name.

If you give it a try, please let me know. It would make upgrading to Final Draft 9 more worthwhile.

The Serendipity of Final Draft 8 Jul 13

Final Draft 8Final Draft is arguably the most popular screenwriting program out there. Recently I upgraded from Final Draft 7 to Final Draft 8. I know, I know… What took me so long, right? I’m a big believer in the old, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage.

Anyway, I eventually realized that Final Draft 7, while not broken, was glitchy. So I upgraded. And there was a surprising result.

In my latest script, I was at the end of page 65 in Final Draft 7. After upgrading to Final Draft 8, I was now halfway down page 64! I had miraculously saved a full page and a half, just by upgrading!

Over the course of a full script, that might work out to 2 or 3 pages in savings. And that’s HUGE! Upon examining my script side by side in Final Draft 7 and Final Draft 8, I noticed that the settings were exactly the same. The only difference was that Final Draft 8 seemed to allow for a few more millimeters of space per page.

A few millimeters doesn’t seem like much, but on certain pages it  allowed for the occasional pushed content to be brought back onto a previous page — which of course caused a cascade of savings across the entire script — without having to cheat the margins.

So if any of you have been putting off purchasing Final Draft 8, you can count, page count reduction serendipity as a great reason to buy.

Hmm… I wonder what my page count would be in Movie Magic Screenwriter (that other really popular screenwriting program)? Anyone have any experience comparing the natural page counts of the two?

Category: Final Draft, Software  | 2 Comments
Logline – Screenwriting Software for the Web Sep 28

Logline AppLogline Application

Here’s a great little web app I discovered at the Screenwriting Expo. It’s called LOGLINE. And while it has absolutely nothing to do with loglines, it has everything to do with writing a script… without traditional software.

This web application allows you to write your screenplay via a web browser. That way it’s available to you wherever you go, as long as there’s a computer you can access.

That means you could sneak in a little writing time at work (only during your lunch break of course), and not have to worry about installing Final Draft on your office computer, or worrying about which version you were editing.

It’s all stored securely online, with instant backups.

Features

The interface takes a bit of getting used to, but there’s autocomplete for characters and scene headings, and a slick drag and drop interface for adding/moving scenes. All the fundamentals you’d expect from your screenwriting software.

I really like how the format allows you to effortlessly go from the outline phase to the screenwriting phase, with a section for Treatment notes. It also lets you have as many “Acts” as you like. I use this system for my sequences, so I have about 8 sequences with about 4 or 5 scenes in each sequence.

You can import your scripts from Final Draft 8, and export to Final Draft 8 or PDF with the click of a button. If you’re lame like me and still haven’t upgraded to Final Draft 8, my understanding is that there may be a workaround for us coming soon.

Also on the horizon is iPad compatibility. I’m told this feature will almost certainly be ready by Spring of the new year.

The other feature I’ve been pushing for is the ability to specify how many line spaces you want between scene headings.

I also wish the app detected when you were writing a scene heading if you start with “int” or “ext” like in Final Draft. Right now you have to hit [enter] and then select “H” for heading. I’m sure they’ll refine this aspect as time goes on.

Right now the guys are working on an advanced versioning/commenting feature set, which will be unveiled some time in the next few months.

Free!… For now

The application is currently in beta testing. For all you non-web geeks, that means the application is stable and working, but needs people like you and me to try it out. Find bugs, report issues, suggest improvements, etc.

During this period, all of the various plans are FREE. Even better, after the beta period expires, any scrips you’ve uploaded will continue to be free to use. So the time to sign up is now.

I’m not getting any type of incentive for this post. I just think it’s a cool application and the guys I met at the Expo were a couple of fellow web geek/screenwriters who’ve spent a lot of time working on this app.

Give logline a try! I think it’s pretty sweet.

Here’s a video that shows you what I’m talking about:

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