Super scripts

Let this scriptwriting tool handle the chores while you focus on the drama.

Practical Scriptwriter is a word processor optimized for scriptwriting. It includes a wide range of script formats as well as tools designed to make it easy to start writing with little or no experience. It can produce results good enough to submit for consideration in TV, movies, and other media, although you must provide the content; it doesn't create characters, plots, or action. What it does do is take on the formatting and housekeeping chores so that you can concentrate on writing.

The program's interface differs from most other word processors, or applications in general, for that matter, with a highly efficient and attractive layout. Wizards, tips, and many extras populate the Tools menu. A pop-up project manager dialog makes it easy to select your project; we chose the sample script, "Little Red Riding Hood." The text display is interactive; clicking a header calls up a Scene Header box that lets you easily reorder and manipulate lines or whole scenes. The Story Outliner is cool; you can drag and place sticky notes with plot elements around a board for a visual display of how the script's elements relate to each other. The online Help file and all documentation are written in this British developer's native English.

This program works in Windows 7, Vista, and XP. The free trial version disables its Print and Export features, meaning you can try everything it can do, but you'll need to buy it to use the results. We recommend Practical Scriptwriter to all dramatists, from dilettante to professional.

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