screenplay template

I had a screenplay that i was writing in movie magic screenwriter and although i love screenwriter, i couldn’t find a way that i could compartmentalise/block out the screenplay so i could examine the elements and see what needed work, what could be cut and what could be very easily moved.
so i saved it as an rtf and imported it as a new scrivener project with the screenplay template turned on.
the good news is i can now cut /folderise the text so i can clearly segment the narrative. the ‘i wish’ news is that all the text is regarded as general text and for me to apply the screenwriting styles i have to be constantly apple key Y and then the a for action etc. i wish there was a way i could fast track that so a straight apple a would get me action.
apart from that i love the way scrivener lets me manipulate the text so i can really get immediate results on my ‘what if/how can i make this better’ train of thought.

I think Lord Lightning has already posted an format for this somewhere, but basically you need to set up your own script template in Scrivener that matches the RTF formatting in the MMS imported file. See the Help file section on Screenwriting for more information on how to do this. I don’t have access to MMS myself, but if someone put together a Scrivener script template that recognises the elements of an RTF file imported from MMS, I would be happy to included it in the script formats for the next update.
All the best,

Hi Keith,

There are some basic issues that make the conversion difficult.

Scrivener’s Inches are in 8 units to an inch. Screenwriter’s are in 10 units to an inch.

Screenwriter’s margins from 0 (zero) are:

Scene Headers - 1.5" - 7.3"
Notes - 1.5" - 7.3"
Action - 1.5" - 7.0"
Character - 3.5" - 7.3"
Parenthetical - 3.0" - 5.8"
Dialogue - 2.5" - 6.3"
Scene Numbers - 0.8" - 7.7"
Transitions - 5.5" - 7.3"

Screenwriter’s Outline uses
Act - 1.5" - 6.4"
Act Break 1.5" - 6.9" - Centered/Upper Case/Underlined
Sequence - 1.8" - 7.0"
Scene - 2.1" - 6.6"
Scene Heading - 1.5" - 7.0"
Shots - 1.5" - 7.0"
Beat - 1.5" - 7.0"
Script Notes - 1.5" - 7.3"

Would it help if I sent you a script done in MMSCW 6 - PDF and /or rtf?

You don’t have to do it by inches… You can import the RTF into Scrivener, click in the element, and then in the Script Settings panel select “Use current paragraph and font settings” from the “Manage…” pop-up button. Do that for all elements and save, and you should be good to go. But yes, you can certainly send me an RTF file created in MMS - make sure it’s obvious which each element is (i.e. SCENE HEADING… Action Action CHAR NAME etc).

Only problem is rtf is not an allowed file suffix on your private mail.


So compress it in the Finder, and send the resulting .ZIP file…?

Goodness me. I know to do that. Been doing it all along. You have an advantage antony - it is wide awake time where you are. It’s tomorrow here.

Thanks buddy’,

I owe you a sarsaparilla at Christmas.

:blush: (101 KB)

In my version of Scrivener (1.12 beta SK) the Script Settings panel does not show this command.

It was introduced in 1.11, so should be there:

Hi Keith,

You can see the image. It is from v 1.12 beta SK.

Is it possible that this resource was copied over from a previous version?

It just is not there.

I turned up my copy of v 1.11 and it is not there either.



Sorry, when you say “you can see the image”, what do you mean? You didn’t include an image. You can see in the image that I provided that “use current font & paragraph settings” is there. It definitely is 1.11.


In case you think you’re going crazy, I’m also using 1.12 beta SK on Tiger 10.4.11 (on an iBook G4) and I can see the drop down menu item in question.

Something very strange here.

I can see on my browser the file - attached to my last post. It is an image of the panel.

Ca you see that?

Do I need to erase Scrivener maybe - and load it fresh from the dmg?


Oh, I see it. That’s strange. That’s the 1.10 menu. Try re-downloading the beta via the beta page. There was a 1.12 SK beta without it, but that was only sent to one person (who had the initials SK - I forgot to update the beta name when releasing it publicly). Also, check that you really are running 1.11 or 1.12b.


Thanks Keith.

It works now.

With the app showing SK and a missing resource - it is a mystery, but all is well after a fresh download.


I’m on Scrivener 1.11 Demo, so I’m still searching for the screenplay writer’s holy grail - possibly one that writes for me. However, I do have a half written script in MMSW 6 and have imported it to SCR - several times. I’ve tried the suggested method for learning templates, but still all the imported text is of General Text. It looks to be correctly formatted, but it isn’t correct because everything is of the same type.

Am I misunderstanding what import should do?