Final Draft for Mac provides the means for professional script writers to create, edit, and format their work. This premium software is universally recognized by media companies and strikes a good balance between customizable options and ease of use. Some options to note are the predefined script elements, such as Scene Heading and Action, and the ability to color code and add notes to scenes.
Following an installation that requires an administrative password, Final Draft for Mac presents you with its interface, which is relatively clean, consisting of a toolbar, a navigator side window, and a main window for typing. The app features an alternative view where your script is broken down into separate index cards, each containing a scene. Each scene can have a title, summary, and a color code, which will not appear on the script, itself, but may provide valuable context while writing. Other features of note include script locking to prevent edits to specific parts, character tracking, revision support, title page creation, a names database, and a format assistant. Scripts can be saved in a proprietary format or exported as PDFs.
If you're an amateur or professional writer and want your script to be considered by an established media company, Final Draft for Mac can help. While it comes at a price, this writing software provides all the tools needed to plan out and keep track of your script, while remaining relatively easy to learn.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Final Draft for Mac 9.0.2.
From Final Draft:
Final Draft, the number-one selling word processor specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays, combines powerful word processing with professional script formatting in one self-contained, easy-to-use package. There is no need to learn about script formatting rules. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards as you write. Use your creative energy to focus on the content; let Final Draft take care of the style.
January 08, 2010
Version: Final Draft 8.0.1
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. 7 was buggy beta. 8 is much improved. keep up the good work and please incorporate more into the window w/ improved dictionary/thesaurus/spell check. almost excellent and no bugs.
September 13, 2006
Version: Final Draft 7.1.2
By Lord Seth
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I got Final Draft back when it was 7.0.X (can't quite remember the exact version number that was X). Given that some people had complained about how it was buggy, I was a bit nervous about it, but it caused very few problems for me. I quite enjoyed it.
Then 7.1 came out. This fixed essentially all the bugs I had to deal with and added some new features.
And then there was 7.1.1, the update that just completely screwed up the application, and is the source of most of the complaints that I see in the reviews. It wouldn't export in some of the formats I wanted without crashing, if I tried scrolling down using the cursor it left these weird lines behind (not in the text itself, but on the document). It also sometimes wouldn't refresh correctly, leaving deleted text apparently on it even though it was deleted. Fortunately, I contacted the support and got something that returned it to 7.1, so I enjoyed using it again.
Well, now it's up to 7.1.2.
The good news: The bugs I had to deal with in 7.1.1 are gone it seems.
The bad news: This update requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. It seems that anyone who has an earlier version and had to deal with 7.1.1 can't update to this. Am I the only one that has a problem with this? What's the point of releasing a buggy version, then (after a while, that is, not quickly enough) releasing a version that fixes the problems, only to only let SOME of the users who have the buggy version update?
Fortunately, I have Tiger, so I can use 7.1.2. But if someone has something earlier than Mac OS X 10.3.9 they're in some real trouble. Best advice I can give is probably to contact the technical support via the web and ask for help.
Overall, I quite like Final Draft. I find it quite easy to use; it seems to have the best "feel" of the screenwriting software I've tried so far. I wish the price was a bit less, but I really haven't had any problems with version 7.1 or 7.1.2; it was 7.1.1 that almost ruined the application. In any case, releasing a version as bad as 7.1.1 is something that a company really should not do, and they should have released a fix much quicker, and had said fix work on all the machines that 7.1.1 did.
Then again, I don't have an Intel Mac, so I can't comment on the stability of that. All I can say is, if you're a Final Draft user, don't upgrade to anything above 7.1 unless you have Mac OS 10.3.9 or higher. If you're stuck with 7.1.1 you may be able to revert to 7.1 by contacting the technical support like I did (though they really should have it as an easy option to get from their site). I really do like the product, but the high price, the terrible 7.1.1 update, lack of an easy way to revert to 7.1 without having to contact them, and the fact that the fixed 7.1.2 is limited to the later Mac OS X's forces me to give this a four star instead of a five; it may work fine for me, but some users are still left in the dark. I would've given Stability four, maybe five stars, if not for 7.1.1.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. An utter joke, filled with bugs. I only wish I could have my 5.0 version back. I'd run OS 9 to use it.
Can't refresh text as you type.
Can't zoom because it corrupts it's sytle (element) sheets.
Consistently mis-applies styles
Loses track of hard and soft carriage returns, causing style reformatting.
Can't work with a file for more than a few hours, because the software automatcially corrupts it.
Horrible, pay by the minute, customer service that refuses to admit this buggy, pre-beta realease junk doesn't work.
February 13, 2006
Version: Final Draft 7.1.1
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. This used to be the standard, but now it's not even close. I really hope montage is good, because I'm desperate for a good screenplay program. Final Draft still doesn't draw correctly, meaning if you scroll a page, it becomes all garbled text. It was like this in version 6, but it's WORSE in version 7. I mean come on, what are they doing over there in CA? They seem to be more worried about copy protection and charging money for support, then they are about making a good solid product.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. iÃ‚Â´m looking forward to montage. but in the meantime here is a good joke for us all: they want to set up a telephone support that costs money.
well, i donÃ‚Â´t know how it is in america, but international customers donÃ‚Â´t get service at all. you donÃ‚Â´t even get an answer to your mails.
iÃ‚Â´m also looking forward to cannes film festival this year. and i hope the final darft guy who sold me this brilliant software will be also there...
September 09, 2005
Version: Final Draft 7.1.1
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. - Final Draft doesn't react to standard OS X keycommands like alt-backspace to delete a word etc.
- Lots of polish missing. Like this: the reformat palette opens at the wrong position (obstructing your stuff), and when you reposition it, then close and reopen it, it's again at that very same wrong position.
- There's this "SmartType" concept that should help you write stuff. The concept is "it suggests, but it doesn't interfere if you don't want it to". Well bullshit. Have a list with several characters, all starting with L, and make one "Lloyd". Then type a character and type two L after each other. Instead of selecting Lloyd, FinalDraft incorrectly scrolls through the list and selects any name with an L at the beginning, but most likely not Lloyd.
- Killer bug: Imagine that you've just written this killer paragraph. You select it and choose "insert ScriptNote" and guess what: your killer paragraph is irrevocably gone. This feature replaces your stuff with a ScriptNote and there is no undo whatsoever. The only way to go to your stuff is by reverting the whole document - but if you haven't saved right before this step: too bad, FinalDraft just ate your paragraph.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. Saving in 7.1 and then sending out to others who have earlier versions of Final Draft does not always work. I have no confidence in this company of losers.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I am on a Dual 2.5ghz and this POS takes well over a minute to launch, lags when I type and is just an inexcusable abomination -- how dare a company release this? At least version 6 works, more or less. Stay the !#$%@$# away!
PS Apologies from developer are moot - thankfully these people are insane enough to allow you to demo this joke of an app, so try it for free and save yourself the money and the grief.
December 20, 2004
Version: Final Draft 7 0.0.54
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. this is an absolute joke. why is it that two moronic products have a monopoly, this and MS Word? Can't some comp boffins weedle away in the night to create writing tools that aren't hopelessly buggy and inadequate? Wouldn't they get rich? ugh.