Using Final Draft as a Scrivener printer driver

Hi all,

I have been using Scrivener for screenwriting for a couple of years now. I tend to stay in Scrivener for as long as possible, but once I export a draft to Screenwriter, it stays there. Too much hassle going back and forth.

Given Scrivener’s new compatibility with Final Draft, I was wondering if it is now feasible to use FD as a glorified printer driver for Scrivener? Ideally I would do all my work in Scrivener, and only invoke FD at print time. Would such a workflow still require human intervention (i.e. touching up the formatting in FD) or is the FD export totally bulletproof?

I use and prefer Screenwriter over FD, but if this workflow is feasible it would almost make a switch worthwhile.

That’s an interesting idea. In theory could one set Automator to watch a folder for .fdx files, then open them in Final Draft and print?

I’m the last person to ask, since last time I tried Automator I wasted four hours of my life achieving nothing whatsoever and not even understanding where I was going wrong. But then I don’t like reading instructions so it’s probably just me.

As far as the export / import is concerned it’s pretty robust as far as I’ve tested it and only fails if you use the kind of weird unicode characters that have no purpose being in a screenplay anyway, so that part should be fine.


Thanks, sounds promising. I guess I’ll take the FD demo for a spin.

As for Automator, I have never tried it, but it sounds like something I could easily waste a few hours on myself. :slight_smile:

FWIW I have just tried this, and it works really well. Here is what I did:

[]I made a folder in “Documents” to hold my exported drafts.[/]
[]I opened Automator and selected “Custom”.[/]
[]I dragged the action “Print Finder Items” into my workflow.[/]
[]Then I chose “Save As Plug-in” and selected “Plug-in for: Folder Actions” from the drop down list. I chose a name for my workflow, and attached it to the folder I created earlier.[/]
(You may have to start Folder Actions Setup and make sure that Folder Actions are enabled.)

Now, whenever I export a Final Draft file from Scrivener into my predefined folder, Final Draft launches straight into the print dialogue. I get to stay in Scrivener for my writing, yet I get perfectly formatted output with a minimum of fuss. :mrgreen:

Thanks Robin for the excellent idea of using Automator!

That’s awesome. I’m tempted to have a go at setting that up. Thanks for the instructions.


Curious. When you write a screenplay draft has the lack of page count hindered you? And when you export it to Screenwriter or FD and finally see the pages what has that been like?



We now have several threads on this topic, thanks to cross-postings by a new user. :open_mouth:
So you’ll have to search around to get all possible responses.
As I recently wrote, my Scrivener draft had several errors that FD 8 helped to fix.
The Scene Navigator pointed out incorrect or inconsistent Scene Headings.
FD 8 auto-fixed many formatting errors. It gave accurate page counts.
I’d say it’s a mistake to do all your work in Scrivener.
Its strongest feature is the ability to export in .fdx format
So, my advice is start in S, but finish in FD8.
See also … atures.php