I am estatic that you’ve included this mode. Montage still has a long way to go and I’d like to use FD for final drafts only.

Two wishes I’d kiss thy feet for:

  1. I am actually a playwright; but for play scripts, dialogue starts at the far left margin. I suppose I can use the action element, but this means an extra space under the character element; and exporting would be a mess. Would it be possible to provide one additional element: Theatre Dialogue?

  2. Are you intending to have the screenwriting mode function in full screen? It appears so…but it doesn’t seem to work quite yet. Please consider this a vote for “yes, it’s very important.” :slight_smile: Cheers!

Heartily seconded, thirded, fourthed, and umpteenthed.

Feeling a bit multiphrenic today.


The screenwriting format is based on formatting I found on the web. Is all you would need one additional element, just Theatrical Dialogue? Is everything else the same? If so, this would be easy to add. But you would also want this to be the default when you hit return after your character, too, obviously.

As for it working in full screen - whoops. This got broken when I was doing other full screen repairs - just a simple broken connection. I have just fixed it, so it will be working in beta 3.

Let me know if the rest of theatrical format would be the same as screenplay, as I’m no expert in this.


Thanks Keith. Yes, yes, and yes. (Of course, the other elements are not quite what theater requires, especially the action element, but the changes above would certainly make scriv good enough for drafting scripts! I am so looking forward to using it for this.)

Let me know if you need any other information on this.


Well, you know, if you can point me towards a website that specifies the general format for theatre script-writing (inches from left, centered or not etc), I could just create a third text mode, “Theatre Script” or some such. That might keep things simpler…


P.S. How do you get scripts into Final Draft that have been created in other programs first? It seems to create havoc with formatting…

The official word on theatre formatting comes from a little booklet that Samuel French (THE stageplay source) distributes. It’s called “Professional Playwscript Format Guidelines & Sample, 2nd edition.” … d=&x=0&y=0

I could have it sent to you if you want. And/or I can send you an example. I’ll contact you via email on this.

The first thing, of course, is to keep it simple: this would only be for drafting; so we’ll ignore things like: mores/continueds, Title page stuff, dramatis personae page, forced breaks before Act/Scene, page numbering, and simultaneous speeches. Here are the essentials:

Characters: caps at 2.5 inches from left margin

Dialogue: runs from far left to far right margin

Stage directions/parentheticals: 1.25 inches from left margin, approximately 2.5 inches wide

Set descriptions: 2.5 inches from left margin

Margins at 1 inch; left margin at 1.5 inches.

The Scene heading you have in screenplay is fine - people differ on this…

Today did some tests with scrivvy (my name for it :slight_smile:) and found that if I just save a file in plain text, and then open it up into a stageplay format in FD, it comes out roughly right. Even for folks who focus on this, it’s not easy to make it translate perfectly. Check out the montage folks on this…

I’ll think more about it tonight. It sounds like Eiron is a playwright too - maybe he might to give some input too?

A playwriting format would also be very useful for me. I think it would be great to have normal, screenwriting and playwriting, not just screenwriting (which I can easily use Final Draft for).

Awpstrike, you probably already know this, but FD has stageplay templates that are fairly good. I plan on using Scrivvy for drafting playscripts - then moving it into Final Draft when I’m near a…final draft. If I was writing screenplays I do the same. I don’t know how you feel, but in my opinion FD is a pain in the *ss to work with. Cheers!

I’m another playwright who heartily endorses Keith’s adoption of scriptwriting format. I’ve heard that Pages has a screen or scriptwriting format that maybe Keith could use. There’s also Celtx and, as noted above, Final Draft.

Here’s an example of script style on the web. … ormat.html … tpage.html[/url]

Hi Brett,

Well, beta 3 has both Samuel French (I think that’s his name) style US state play format and basic UK stage play format too. Bugs aside, that is far as I want to take this, though. There is no way Scrivener can - or should - try to compete with FD or Montage. These features are really only for drafting scripts in Scrivener. For final formatting, you would need to take it to a dedicated program, and even then, there may be export issues.

Just felt I had to make this qualifier - I’m never going to sell Scrivener as scriptwriting software, but these features but it more in line with Rough Draft on the PC as a general writer’s tool.

All the best,

I for one won’t expect you to go much further in the play formatting dept. I’ve quite gotten used to using cocoa styles and fkeys to do my UK format editing and the dreaded Final Draft as an alternate.
Still, it’s nice to see you nod gamely in the direction of us script fiddlers. Just another of the many touches that make me feel at home in Scrivener.



Agreed – beta 3 is more than I expected, and just right for Scrivener, which, as you note, has been intended from the outset as an app to facilitate actual research and writing, leaving final formatting for Word, FD, Pages or whatever. Formatting needs will differ considerably for most writers and trying to anticipate all of them will just make the app. harder to use.

In fact, I think the decision to limit it in that way (along with Apple’s improvements to its text engine) is one of the big conceptual leaps that distinguish Scriv and a few other apps from previous-generation bloatware that tried and failed to be everything to everyone and wound up satisfying hardly anyone. Looks like the trend is to more specific tools that do a few things really well and can be combined with others as needed. That only makes sense as software evolves, and I think Scrivener will be seen as a prime exemplar of that philosophy – designed by a creative writer especially for other creative writers, not everyone who writes.

Of course, if down the line you decide to add more formatting capabilities, I won’t object! There’s no one else I’d trust more. But for now, I think you’ve bit off just the right amount.

BTW, I’ve now completed four major magazine articles (one of which appears today) using Scriv and am finishing another this week – 63 separate sources including interviews and various articles clipped from the intertubes, all organized easily with Scriv. I keep looking for bugs but haven’t found any that haven’t already been reported.

This ‘brett’ is clearly some fabrication. Magazine articles? Appearing today? Nonsense. Everyone knows: no real writers use Scrivener.


So, uh, just how long has unix been doing that?


But I thought Apple innovated UNIX! :wink:

Actually, I’m glad that philosophy is making its way into GUI apps. Plus, I really like how OS X provides a sweet GUI but still lets you at the crunchy unix core if you want!

I came to the mac from a unix background, so I really appreciate having both :slight_smile:

Aye, me too. I would probably still be a Linux geek if OS X had not have come along. I am glad I came by that route though. A lot of things in OS X would make little sense without the background information. Plus, I probably wouldn’t have acquired my LyX fetish. :wink: