Is Final Draft Easy To Use? (Fully Explained)

Is Final Draft Easy To Use?

It’s a common question that many people have—Is Final Draft Easy To Use?

Final Draft is award-winning, easy-to-use screenwriting software that has helped professionals and amateurs write their scripts since 1990. Final Draft is easy to use because of its intuitive interface and helpful features for learning, writing, and editing screenplays.

Many people think Final Draft is too complicated and don’t know where to start. But Final Draft is actually designed for both beginners and more experienced screenwriters, so it is flexible enough to grow with your career.

This article will explore how Final Draft is easy to use, and provide examples of how it can make your collaborative screenwriting process easier than ever before.

Top down view of man using a computer for Is Final Draft Easy To Use?
Image by Author via Canva—Is Final Draft Easy To Use?

Why Is Final Draft Easy To Use?

Final Draft is easy to use because of the design and user interface. The Final Draft screenwriting software is designed to be user-friendly for beginners and experts.

The first thing you will notice when opening up FinalDraft is the familiar tabbed interface to which Windows users are accustomed. This makes Final Draft seem more like a word processor than an entirely unfamiliar screenwriting software.

Many of the common formatting options are available in Final Draft, so it’s easy to format dialogue and character names for readability on screen. There are also a number of shortcuts that make Final Draft easier for those with little experience using this type of program.

The spelling and grammar checker is another feature that makes it easy to use.

Final Draft will highlight any misspelled words or grammar errors in red, allowing you to more easily make those changes.

All of these features make Final Draft familiar and easy to use. But there are other reasons Final Draft is easy to use related to downloading the software, learning the software, and writing screenplays with the software.

For the rest of this article, we’re going to look at even more examples that answer the question, “Is Final Draft easy to use?”

Downloading Final Draft Is Easy

How do you download Final Draft?

The Final Draft software is available in two versions, a free trial and the full version. The free trial includes all of the features found in the paid version such as formatting templates, revision history, saving scripts for later use, and more.

You download Final Draft from the website using your online connection.

Once you have the proper files, you can easily save them to a USB flash drive to install it on other computers.

Keep in mind that you need to match the right installers and files to the right type of computer (Windows, Mac, etc.).

Final Draft does not currently work directly on Chromebooks. However, there are alternatives and a potential workaround method to use Final Draft on a Chromebook.

You can also download the Final Draft app on compatible tablets and mobile phones. Although, you probably want to know that the apps for tablets and other mobile devices are separate (albeit related) products.

Learning Final Draft Is Easy

After you download Final Draft onto your computer, the next step is to learn the software.

Thankfully, Final Draft makes this process super easy. There are tons of video and text tutorials so you can get up to speed quickly.

There are also Final Draft manuals, must-haves for new writers of all levels of experience: it starts from the basics and goes into detail about how each feature works. There are also YouTube channels like the one from Final Draft that offers tutorials on using the screenwriting software.

For example, here is a 5-minute quick start guide for Final Draft 12:

Video by Final Draft via YouTube—Is Final Draft Easy To Use?

The help menu inside of Final Draft is very intuitive and accessible. It’s a great resource for those of us who are new to the software, as well as veterans who enjoy quick answers to common questions.

Writing ScreenPlays With Final Draft Is Easy

When you’re ready to start writing your script, there is an easy-to-use formatting guide right in Final Draft. The formatting guide will help you make sure each page starts with its own scene heading and that all dialogue matches up with the appropriate character’s name.

There are also easy-to-find tools for adding and formatting scene numbers, datelines, slug lines, and more—all of which will help you stay on top of your timeline while writing.

The Final Draft software is not only powerful but it has features to make it as user-friendly as possible so that you can focus on the creative process of writing your screenplay.

“Even if you don’t own a computer, I recommend buying Final Draft.”

—JJ Abrams

Some of the features that make Final Draft easy to use:

  • Final Draft has a 300-template library for screenplays, teleplays, comics, immersive storytelling, graphic novels, and stage scripts.
  • Final Draft automatically paginates your screenplay to the industry-standard formatting.
  • Final Draft allows you to customize your screenwriting environment for brainstorming, outlining, and collaborating with others.
  • Enhanced beat board to quickly organize your scenes.
  • Multiple level (and column) outline editor to keep track of all story elements.
  • Speech to Script allows you to write screenplays with your voice (this can dramatically increase your production speed).
  • SmartType is a predictive text tool for screenwriting. The tool auto-fills the character names and words you use the most.
  • The Alternate Dialogue tool allows you to write multiple possible lines in a single scene. You store the options for later review.
  • Final Draft formats the title page for you.
  • Formatting shortcuts allow you to quickly structure dialogue, description, transitions, and more.

Editing Screenplays With Final Draft Is Easy

Another reason Final Draft is easy to use is the availability of industry-standard editing tools.

“I’d … like to acknowledge the debt I owe to the Final Draft software, without which I’d still be using Wite-Out® on the shooting script for A Few Good Men.”

—Aaron Sorkin

The Format Assistant helps writers with formatting and pagination, plus it gives a clear overview of your entire document.

The Scene Navigator helps you find any scene in seconds by sorting scenes alphabetically or numerically. The easy-to-read layout lets you get back into writing mode without getting lost in all your content. And when something needs tweaking, there are extensive editing tools that allow for style and formatting changes with a couple of clicks.

Fade in, Fade out? Final Draft has it covered.

The software lets you create professional transitions from scene to scene like fade-ins and fades-outs or simply crossfades between scenes. Those are just some of the many editing tools available at your fingertips.

Other editing tools in Final Draft:

  • Screenplay templates for various genres.
  • Autoformat dialogue to create a professional screenplay.
  • Export as PDF, DOCX, or Final Draft XML file formats.
  • Automatically delete scene numbers.
  • Delete an entire scene without messing up the formatting of the script.
  • Tag mode allows you to track and create reports for nearly any element of your script (visual effects, locations, props, characters, etc).

Final Draft’s many built-in editing tools make it easy to edit scripts and format them with style and professionalism while still being quick and efficient. The intuitive interface of the software makes organizing and revising your script almost effortless.

Final Draft Makes Screenplay Distribution and Submission Really Easy

When you complete your screenplay, you can easily distribute and submit your screenplay with Final Draft.

You can print or export your script with a watermark to protect against plagiarism or copyright violations. You can also convert your script into a PDF with industry-standard color markings.

You can save a Final Draft document like any other Windows or Mac file.

However, Final Draft offers an additional way to back up your screenplay. There is an option in the software to automatically save a time-and-date-stamped copy to the location of your choice.

What Other Screenwriting Software Is Easier Than Final Draft?

Not everyone wants or needs all of the features bundled into Final Draft.

Some writers just want to write the screenplay without the bells and whistles (and costs). In that case, you might want to check out the screenwriting tools in this chart, organized by cost.

Screenwriting SoftwarePriceLearn More
StoryWriter$-$$$Learn More
Fade In$$Learn More
Slugline$$Learn More
Scrivener$$Learn More
Writer Duet$Learn More
AfterwritingFreeLearn More
Screenwriting alternatives to Final Draft—Is Final Draft Easy to Use?

Conclusion: Is Final Draft Easy To Use?

As you can probably tell, Final Draft is a very intuitive and versatile software—that’s probably why 95% of of professional screenwriters use it.

Screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin, Jon Favreau, Robert Zemeckis, and JJ Abrams, to name only a few. These highly acclaimed screenwriters can’t stop praising Final Draft for a reason.

If you haven’t already, try out Final Draft with a free trial.

However, if you still feel like Final Draft is too complicated, try out the other options in the table I provided in the last section. What matters most is that you find the screenwriting software that works for you.

Thank you for reading!

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