Final Draft users...

Hi,

For some time script writers have been asking for a better way for Scrivener to integrate with Final Draft and for a direct export from Scrivener to Final Draft.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been in touch with the people at Final Draft, and they have been incredibly helpful and want to know what I would need of them to provide better integration. Before I reply and speak to them in more depth, I would really appreciate some feedback here.

Obviously, this wouldn’t be anything too complicated. Right now, all I’m thinking is of trying to provide a direct export from Scrivener to Final Draft. At the moment, you have to use plain text, and this only really works for screenplays - other types of script will not have their formatting interpreted by FD correctly.

The main idea here is to make it easier to use Scrivener as your first drafting application and then to get your script into FD for final formatting, submission and so forth.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated - I want to get back to the folks at FD within the next couple of days as they have gone out of their way to be helpful so far.

Thanks,
Keith

Well, ideally that it ‘just works’… I select ‘export to Final Draft’, and I get an fdr file to open, on which FD can do its formatting. I’m assuming that once every line has been tagged as Character, Dialogue, Shot, etc, FD will be able to convert it to whatever script format.

I’ve just tried a bit of exporting to FD 6, and it’s fine. My only glitch is to do with typographer’s quotes: instead of a single quote, I get ‘’’ (without the single quotes round it). I’m using Courier Final Draft font. Is there a setting I need to change in Scriv, and if so, should it be part of the ‘Screenplay’ mode?

Ideally, throwing annotations, notes, non-screenplay format bits etc. into Final Draft notes would be great (or including annotations in the body, but highlighted?). I’m guessing that many of us use Scriv’s separate chunks of text a lot, so marking those off with bookmarks would make life easier.

And of course, pulling all those things back into Scriv when someone else has messed with the script and emailed it back, via an ‘import FD file’ would be ideal.

The main thing though for export though is that it just works. From my limited playing round with it, it pretty much works ok as it is now.

As far as typographer’s quotes are concerned, just make sure that you choose to straighten all quotes in the Export Draft formatting tab before exporting to plain text - that will fix your problem there.

Thanks for the feedback. “Just works” is exactly what I’m after…

Best,
Keith

Keith,

First of all, thanks for addressing this!

It strikes me that Scrivener/FD integration is all about one simple principle: formatting for professional collaboration. I think it’s safe to assume that anyone writing a screenplay – and certainly anyone who would move their work from Scrivener to Final Draft – is doing so to make it easier for others to ultimately break down, budget, and give notes on that script.

With that in mind, it seems that adding Scriv/FD integration is a matter of degree.

If all you ever did was add a button to Scrivener that said “Export As Final Draft Documentâ€

Keith,

Possibly, I would like if importing becomes as easy as exporting to Final Draft. If some major reworking is needed to a screenplay, I would be happy to do the work in Scrivener again. For example, automatic conversion of FD scenes to Scriv documents would be nice.

Paolo

Is it possible that they would give you rights to the Final Draft Courier font to add to the scrivener package?

:confused:

Just to clarify, I’m not looking into major work here - just what you would expect of an exporter and maybe an importer, to make life easier.

Track changes is pretty much never coming to Scrivener, as has been discussed ample before. :slight_smile:

Things like importing/exporting attached notes is interesting and useful, thanks.

LL - no, I hardly think they will be giving away their resources to me. :slight_smile: They just want to help as much as possible in making it easy for users of both programs to have a smooth workflow, which is very cool of them. Besides which, to get the FD Courier font, all you need to do is install FD - even if it’s just the trial.

Thanks for feedback so far,
Best,
Keith

Making export to and import from Final Draft seamless would be very nice. This would make the two apps a good combo. Although, right now, I don’t use the script mode while writing in Scrivener. I do the layout in the old typewriter way with tabs, and line breaks for dialog. Import to Final Draft works fine this way.

What do you have in mind for this seamless export to Final Draft? But import to Scrivener would also be very useful. Is it possible for you to do import from Final Draft document and do the correct formatting? How would you read a Final Draft document? It’s not exactly an open format, is it?

John

No, but as I say, the folks at Final Draft are very kindly offering to help make this possible. The project manager even offered to meet me to discuss things (though it’s going to have to be a phone call instead given that we’re on opposite sides of the Atlantic) - that is how helpful they are being.

Thanks,
Keith

If the folks at Final Draft are willing to make this possible, then go for it. I think it can only be beneficial for Final Draft. People like Scrivener as a tool for their Rough or First Draft. And they need an app like Final Draft for the layout, collaboration and revision system. So if they show enthusiasm for your plans, that is really nice. I wish you good collaboration!

John

Keith,

Skype is your good friend. Even if I understand speaking two different languages (English and American) might be a harder problem…

Paolo

There’s no need. Anyone can download Courier Final Draft here for free. You can even email it to people.

Also, about two years ago, Apple updated its Courier, so it is now darker than Courier Final Draft. So use Courier and your scripts will look better.

HTH!

Keith,

Thanks for working to enhance our screenwriting experience with Scrivener.

Good idea. Don’t give yourself the headache. By the time you’re locking pages, marking revisions and generating colored pages, it’s time to use Final Draft.

Attached notes would be a big help for the reasons cited. I wouldn’t mind if there was similar functionality added to Scrivener, so I could add FD script notes into the Scrivener draft while they are looking at the FD printed hard copy. They get an industry-standard printout, I get to stay in Scrivener as long as possible. Then I could export to FD, notes and all.

Another BIG BIG help would be import/export in sections. IOW, being able to highlight a number of folders/documents in the Binder and specify whether they get exported as a single FD document, or a folder of Docs.

Importing that way would be great, too. Best of all would be the ability to import a single FD document as a series of Binder documents contained in a folder. (You could break them apart by slugline/Scene element.) Then it would be just a little work to group the documents in a meaningful way.

It would also be very cool to be able to export Saved Searches as a FD document(s). This would be useful for sending a set of scenes to a writing partner/producer/actor, so they can see all the scene between two characters, or all scenes tagged “action”, etc.

Let me know if I can provide additional help.

Just a quick update:

I had a long and very pleasant conversation with Kirsten Thayer yesterday, Project Manager for Final Draft. At this early stage I can’t say where things will go - if or when I’ll be able to provide a better export option to FD - but what I can say is that I’m very impressed with the way they do business. They seem genuinely interested in helping out the developers of other small software programs that fit in with their philosophy and complement their own product, and in ensuring that their customers have the best options for round-tripping to other software they may use.

Given my recent disillusionment with some of the behaviour from Apple, it was just really, really refreshing to have contact with a company that is the industry leader in its field but still has its feet planted firmly on the ground and with such an open attitude.

So, whilst I can’t say just yet whether anything will come of it in terms of a better Final Draft exporter, I’m very positive about Final Draft as a company.

Best,
Keith