Celtx 0.995

Hi there

Celtx has been updated with a lot of new features.


CeltX seems to be growing in popularity - and the new version looks nice (although I always have a bit of an aesthetic problem with non-native OS X apps; CeltX isn’t Cocoa - I’d hazard a guess that it’s RealBASIC. This is just personal snobbery, though - I just have a personal preference for native apps on a platform).

Looks like the creators are aware of Scrivener, too - with this version they seem to have introduced a corkboard much the same as Scrivener’s (with synopses linked to documents). I’m surprised no one did that before Scrivener, though (to my knowledge).

Someone e-mailed me once bemoaning the fact that Scrivener’s web page was full over hyperbole and sales-talk. I’ve got nothing on CeltX, though: “Celtx is the world’s first fully integrated solution for media pre-production and collaboration.”

Oops, I sound negative. I don’t mean to be. I think it’s fantastic that an app such as this is free, and I’ve heard lots of good things about it. Ideal for scriptwriters who can’t afford FD or the other biggies. And I even see a couple of posts on their forums from people who say they prefer it to Scrivener. Crikey!


I used to write my comic scripts in Celtx, I quite liked it and the collaboration feature (even without version control) was nice. But this was back in the dark ages, before I found out about Scrivener.

I love Celtx’ storyboarding feature, but that’s about it. The interface is a little clunky, and it seems so full of weird features and windows and parts that it overshadows the actual project and makes it hard to wrap my mind around what I’m trying to do. Otherwise, it’s a great app, and it’s incredible that it’s free.

I’m playing with the new version of Celtx, and I find that they improved both features and appearance in a way I like.

Some concepts have been taken from Scrivener, but they result more like additions than foundations of the program. For example, the corkboard is the centre of any work in Scrivener, while it seems a parallel, alternative module in Celtx. Also, the lack of an advanced outliner and an articulate Research section makes the Celtx experience, when dealing with the story development, much poorer.

What is still missing in Celtx is that sense of “flowing”, of “smoothness” so typical of Scrivener. I feel comfortable in writing in a linear way in Celtx, but not in structuring. Index cards can only be seen at 100% (unless it is only a problem with my system), and at this size they are too big to allow enough of them to be seen on the screen. Also, I don’t find them very flexible when jotting down notes.

The main problem with index cards in Celtx is due to the nature of screenwriting blocking: when structuring, a scene does not always correspond to a time and place unit. A sequence is nearer to this basic unit. In Scrivener you can start working with sequences, and expand from there when the story profile is clear. In Celtx you are forced to start with scenes as the basic units right at the beginning.

However, I’m happy of the new version as a screenwriting and pre-production tool. The storyboard feature, that I asked aloud, is what I have been looking for in countless other applications, without finding anything so elegant. There is still a lot to do (for example, is it just me,or the 16:9 format is not yet supported?), but it is even more productive and comfortable than before.

At the same time, I think I will continue using Celtx for screenwriting, after initial structuring in Scrivener. Maybe this is just a matter of habitude, since I’ve not yet started really screenwriting in Scrivener. And the more involuted user interface of Celtx more closely resembles to the classic screenwriting environment we all are accustomed to, so it might make me feel more comfortably home.

Unless the members of this forum will be successful in making me change idea. Scrivener is always tempting for every task we start.


These are two pair of shoes, as we say in German, if someone compares apples to pears, which might be a german proverb as well. I only today discovered Celtx and tried it out, because I am writing an article about tools for creative writing. Celtx is a tool to actually make a movie, you does not only have a tool to write a script but you have tools to schedule filming, manage your time, cast characters, organize your settings and so on.

Oh, I wish I had this tool in the eighties when I made movies. All your complaints about the interface are correct, but Celtx is about to make films, dramas, A/V-productions and radio dramas. You cannot compare it to Scrivener, because I never would write a novel with Celtx.

The question is, would I write a script with Celtx or would I use Scrivener? This isn’t an easy question, because Scrivener has this powerful research tool, were I can just drop pdfs, images and webpages and it has a very usable scripting mode.

If I had to write a script for a film company, I would use Scrivener, because I send them my script and they do the rest. But if I would make the film myself, I certainly would use Celtx.