[LH543/LH846] Scriptwriting Mode

The Script Mode is still in development, right?

I tried to import a script from Fountain and even write a scene from a blank script and the format doesn’t look right.

We’ve begun .fountain support but it isn’t fully baked yet, so we’re aware of some bugs, particularly with import. Please go ahead and report anything you do come across, though, so we can be sure it’s on the list. Regarding the formatting, it would be helpful if you could also include the ruler in screenshots and let us know if you’re using the Fixed Width editor (set in Options > Appearance > Main Editor). I’d avoid using Page View at the moment, but once that has had some bugs worked out it would be great to get feedback on working with it and script mode.


I don’t think it’s an import Fountain problem because it also happens when writing a screenplay from scratch.

The “fixed width editor” is on, the box is checked.

I was not using “Page View”. That’s how my normal view looks like. Wasn’t it supposed to look like that?

Here goes the screenshot with a ruler.

And yeah, once the formatting is normal, I’ll be sure to give feedback on the script mode!

We’re talking about the buggy way the text is wrapping on the right edge, yes? Are you getting that in a fresh blank project, switching into script mode (screenplay) and typing?

No, no, it looked like fixed width, I just wanted to throw in the advance note about page view. Sorry for the confusion.

I was actually also talking Indent, Line length and Spacing, but I’ve been playing in the settings and I think I can change that. I assume the stable version will come with the standard screenplay measures as default, right?

If you don’t mind me showing you a screenshot from another program to better explain what I mean.

Ok, so I did some testing and the wrapping of the text only appears on the imported Fountain files. The blank project just has the wrong indenting, etc…

I think part of the issue here is the difference in the way the indents work. Scrivener’s editor, in this wrap to editor mode, is measuring out from the inside of the left margin, so where it’s showing 1.5" on the ruler, when you compile using a 1" margin, that’s the same as 2.5" in the other view that’s starting with 0 as the left edge of the page. This comes from Scrivener’s methodology of separating the drafting from the formatting and layout; since the compiled product may be formatted differently from how you work in the editor, the editor doesn’t represent a physical page.

Understandably, the formatting in scriptwriting vs. a novel or such is much more structured and how it fits on the page is important for time estimates, so this is the main purpose of the Page View feature we’re in the process of implementing. While Page View won’t necessarily mimic the final compiled output, for something like scriptwriting, where the formatting used in the editor is typically exactly what you want to output (without changing font face or size or such), when you set up Page View with your paper size and margins, it will give you a closer visualization of what your end product will look like. That will then more match what you’re showing in the second screenshot.

The script settings are all customisable, but the intent is to supply some useful defaults, such as standard screenplay formatting. If the spacing or such is not matching what you expect, could you provide a specific example and reproduction steps, and a link to the formatting specs you’re referencing? Whether it’s a bug with how text is displaying in the editor or an incorrect setting in the script format, we’ll want to check it out. I do know that some of the script formats need to be reset, so I’ll add any notes you have. Thanks!

First off, every time I try to change the Script Settings, Scrivener crashes so it’s been a bit hard to test.

I think the extra “margin” you mentioned doesn’t factor into this since it’s not a compiling / printing problem but a view problem in the editor.

I tried to change the Script Settings to comply with the standard but even though the metrics are the same, it doesn’t look anything like the standard format. Compare the screenshot below with the one I took earlier from Fade In.

Even though the action lines start from about 1.5 inches to 7.5 inches, in Fade In the text “We’re underwater, watching a fat catfish swim along” fits in the line (like the PDF of the script using the standard formatting), while Scrivener cuts the line off at “fat”. The width is not the same. I don’t really understand why. The font size is the same. 6 inches should be 6 inches everywhere.

I can send you some formatting links:

AMPAS formatting guide:
oscars.org/sites/oscars/fil … sample.pdf

A guide with some measurements
screenwriting.io/what-is-standa … ay-format/

A shooting script with industry standard formatting

I think the ideal screenwriting environment on a program like Scrivener doesn’t necessarily include “Page View” (though that’s a really nice tool too). There are things you don’t need when writing a screenplay: scene numbers, page numbers and page breaks. Some will disagree about the last one - the ideal writing environment is obviously not the same for everyone. I prefer to break my screenplay in sequences and only worry about page breaks after finishing a draft.

The current metrics don’t work because it’s hard to write with such narrow width. A larger width would attenuate that problem but the standard format would be best because you need to get a sense of how words fit on a page for a variety of reasons.

And thank you for your trouble!

I disagree. For me (and I think the majority of working screenwriters), page breaks and accurate page counts are absolutely necessary.

FWIW, Final Draft took over the market back in the day because it was the first app to provide WYSIWYG screenplay formatting, including page breaks and page numbers. Prior to that, people wrote in a continuous scroll in a word processor, and then fed the file to a screenplay formatter to see their page breaks and counts.

Also, you don’t need scene numbers until there’s a UPM breaking down your script. Your draft should be migrated to Final Draft, FadeIn or some other production-ready app for that.

And that is exactly why I wrote:

If you want page breaks, that’s what Page View is for. I prefer writing in normal view and use Page View as a preview.

Fortunately, Scrivener can accommodate us both.

Yeah, but L&L has such a small sample size for screenwriters, I don’t want them getting the idea that your preferences represent the market at large. Page breaks and page count are features that the majority of screenwriters want and need.

Sorry for the delayed reply here! RLeal, thanks for the follow up with the screenshots and further explanation–I see what you’re talking about now, and yes, actually, this is a general character-per-inch display scaling issue that we’re working on resolving. You’ll find unfortunately that how it wraps appears differently depending how the editor is zoomed or how the Windows display scaling is set, and of course this is most noticeable in script formatting. Thank you also for the additional formatting links. :slight_smile:

The hang occurring when converting script elements (occurring when script text already exists in the project) is also filed.

Jennifer, I’m glad you found the problem! Thank you for your hard work.

Can’t wait to use Scrivener to write my screenplays!

I agree with the above poster. PAGE NUMBERS NEEDED! When you’re just free writing and catching a rhythm you don’t really care, but if when you need to get a teleplay down to sub 60 pages or a screenplay down below 120 then knowing where your scenes are page heavy is critical! Scrivener now makes you have to go back in and view each individual scene you’ve written, mentally or physically copy down the page numbers from a preview and then add and then go where you need and start cutting. It’s a really bad revision method imo. Page numbers in the summary view would be EXTREMELY helpful imo even as an estimate they’d be very very valuable.

Any update on this formatting bug? Its been a while and nothing seems to be happening to fix it.

Below is a splitscreen pic - top is how Beta 13 throws it all over the page and bottom is how it should look

Another screenshot of how FD formats it which is the same as FADE IN and about every other script writing app you can name.

Just want to make sure this is on the list as a fix.


EDIT - not sure why its posting the images twice and all over the place, hopefully the FD example at the end is obvious. One problem at a time :-s

This bug’s got a number so I guess it’s on their list. There’s more about it here. Also this bug, which makes screenplays completely unreadable, does not yet seem to be fixed.

I’d really like to try out some of the new features, but until these are fixed I can’t even get started.

Same here. Just tried Beta 14 to see if I could start writing scripts with Scrivener but no dice.

Just wanted to get some news on screenwriting.

It’s been almost 2 years, we’re one week from the target release date and all the problems with screenwriting all seem to be there.

There is another thread on this very problem and sadly the news from the source is not promising. Really hope they pull the finger out and get this sorted by release date but as you say…its been 2 years…not sure what a week is going to do to magically fix this.

We live in hope…

I honestly put all my trust on them, they said that Scrivener will be released when completely fixed. My guess is that they are going to postpone the date to a couple of months from now.

Thanks for the replies guys. Nothing to do but wait.