For screenwriters in Hollywood and elsewhere, the usual software tool for writing that million dollar screenplay is Final Draft. The software has been around for years, is used by most every TV and film production, and currently sits at version 8.0.
Of course, now that devices like the iPad are so popular, many writers (myself included) are wishing for a version of Final Draft that will run on it. I’m pretty sure that piece of software is coming. The pent up demand is there, it’s just a matter of time before it’s satisfied.
In the mantime, the makers of Final Draft have seen fit to release the Final Draft Reader application for the iPad. And while it isn’t a fully-featured screenplay writing app, what it does do, it does quite well.
Final Draft reader does pretty much what you would think. It allows you to read Final Draft formatted screenplays on your iPad. This may not seem like a big deal until you throw in the added benefit of being able to make notes on said screenplay that also, when the file is opened in the full version of Final Draft, are right there with the rest of the script.
This is great for those writers (or other production people, agents, actors, etc.) who like to take a few scripts home (or to a local coffee house) read them and make notes. Then, once the files are opened in the full version of Final Draft again, those notes can be incorporated into the script itself. Or, as is sometimes the case, discarded completely.
The other nice feature of the app is that because it reads the native Final Draft file format, scripts are exactly paginated as they are in the full version of the application. This is especially important when scripts are broken down for production purposes or when revisions have been made. The app preserves and displays proper script revisions in their respective colors such as blue, green, yellow and the infamous goldenrod.
Some of the apps other features include the ability to search an entire script for names, key words, or any text fragments, automatic bookmarking so you can pick up right where you left off and character and dialog highlighting. In addition, the app allows users to email script directly from the app, import and export scrips using Dropbox, print wirelessly using AirPrint (if supported by your printer) with page, number of copies and double-sided printing available and support for fourteen different languages.
While this app isn’t a fully featured screenwriting application, it does deliever exactly what it promises and does a good job while doing it. It allows you to read Final Draft formatted screenplays and keep things exactly as they should be, format-wise, so the rest of the production team doesn’t come after you with torches and pitchforks when you mess things up.
Final Draft Reader is available in the iTunes Store for $19.99 and works with all version of the iPad running iOS 5 or later.