Screenplay Autofill request 2008

Would you consider improving Scrivener’s Autofill feature so it works exactly like Final Draft?

I know – Scrivener is not a dedicated screenplay program. So we have to use Final Draft (or something like it) in addition to Scrivener. Which makes it pretty important to us that typing a scene in Scrivener behaves just like typing a scene in Final Draft. We have to use both programs on a single project.

Here’s a few details in Autofill that would make screenplay writing easier:

Invoke Autofill automagically in all elements. Don’t make us use extra key-strokes to activate it. Bring it up as soon as we type the first letter, in every element except Action and Shot.

Filter the Autofill pop-up to be contextually appropriate in sluglines. Autofill should know the difference between the INT/EXT, SETTING and TIME OF DAY in a slugline, and only offer the appropriate choices for each.

Offer slugline Autofill choices with most common choice first. At the start of a slugline, typing “I” should bring up “INT” at the top of the Autofill. “I/E” currently shows at the top of the list, even though it’s on the bottom of the list in the Settings dialogue.

At the end of a slugline, typing Return on Autofill should also move to a new Action element. I know it’s just another Carriage Return, but it’s like mentally stubbing your toe when you go back and forth with Final Draft.

Automagically build an Autofill list for Character Names. We should also be able to kill names from the list manually.

Automagically build an Autofill list for Settings in sluglines. It should work the same as Character Names.

Remember the previous Character Name, and offer it as top choice in next Autofill. Don’t require the first letter – offer the previous name until a different letter is typed. Many scenes are made of dialogue between two characters. This feature lets you write faster, because Scrivener already knows which character is speaking next.

I hope you’re already implementing these changes in the next version. Please consider them, because they make a big difference to your screenwriting customers.

Thanks as always for your time and consideration.

$1720 Scrivener Screenwriter module?

Special Oscars discount $10.


I’m afraid none of these are likely to make it into Scrivener, at least not in any 1.x release (I never rule out anything completely for the far distant future). These features would take an awful lot of customising of the OS X text engine; they would also mean a lot of time being dedicated to features only applicable for a small subset of Scrivener users; and, as you say, Scrivener is not a dedicated screenwriting app such as FD. I’ve already added an awful lot of cool features useful for screenwriters at their behest (a good number at your own behest, in fact :slight_smile: ). The next update has FD import/export, better CeltX export, and even a pages view to make things easier for screenwriters.

As far as auto-fill (completions) go, these are always alphabetical. That’s how they work in the text system. Typing extra letters narrows down the choices.

There really is no way of Scrivener collecting character names and settings. How on earth would Scrivener do this? It would need a lot of special extra script recognition code. And if I did that, fiction writers would say, hey, we want our character names recognised too! And how would that work? So, sorry, this isn’t going to happen.

Thanks for your suggestions and all the best,