Screenplay scene format

Hi, I have just bought Scrivener and I’m in the process of importing the various notes etc I have to begin my screenplay. Can I ask does Scrivener not have a scene format capability? e.g. is there no INT. / EXT. input dropdown or character selection to save having to format the text as I go.

Yes, there is a scriptwriting mode, which you can enable or disable for any document in your project by clicking cmd-8 (or Format > Scriptwriting Mode > Script Mode).

But, before you do anything any else, please can I give you a tip which will help you enormously with getting to grips with Scrivener and which will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long term?

Do the Interactive Tutorial before you do anything else. You can find it on the Help menu – choose Interactive Tutorial and follow the instructions. It will take you about an hour to skim through the tutorial and it will give you the background knowledge to make using Scrivener a lot easier than if you just dive in.

This is because Scrivener is built around a number of core principles and terminology — these are what make it such a step above an ordinary word processor and why you bought it in the first place… They’re not difficult at all, but it’s really helpful to know their names and how they work together.

Once you’ve done the tutorial, although it doesn’t address scriptwriting mode in detail, you’ll be able to make a lot more sense of it. Scriptwriting itself is really easy to use if you don’t need to change the defaults. There’s a whole section in the manual (accessed from the Help menu) and again it’s worth a few minutes skimming through the Scriptwriting section to get the idea.

Essentially, you’ll create a new Project using a relevant Script Template (a project set up with relevant details to get your started on a screenplay). Then you create a new document in a folder, make sure it’s in scriptwriting mode (toggle with cmd-8) and use the Enter and Tab keys to move from script element to script element automatically. All the standard elements (INT/EXT, Dialogue, Directions etc etc are there), either automatically generated, or selectable from a menu. It’s very easy to use.

Hope this gives you a steer on how to start - but I can’t emphasise enough how much time and effort you’ll save yourself by spending an hour or two on the Tutorial first.

Good luck!

Thank you Brookter, very helpful.

Unfortunately I inadvertently deleted some of the Quick Start Tutorial chapters by mistake… any idea how I recall them?

To quote AmberV (one of the terrific Scrivener helpers on this forum):

“All you have to do is remove the copy [or the remains of the copy that you had previously]. It might be in the Finder’s Documents folder if you didn’t put it somewhere specifically. Just delete the whole tutorial folder [which looks like a file but is actually a folder] ending in ‘.scriv’ and now when you try to run the tutorial again, Scrivener won’t find it and will offer to make a new one.”