How to Format a Screenplay

So you want to write a script but don’t know how to format it? You’ve come to the right place!

Whilst writing this blog post I stumbled upon an incredible document in The BBC’s Writer Room. It breaks a script down into every element and lays out exactly how a screenplay should look! Amazing right?

Here’s a link to the document as a PDF:

Screenplay Format

So you’ve read the document and you can see how a screenplay is assembled. Now what?

A lot of the scripts I’ve seen have been written using Microsoft Word, which can be okay but really you should be using a script writing program. The benefits of using a script writing program are that it takes all of the hassle out of formatting and makes it really simple!



The top three script writing tools I would suggest are:

Final Draft

Pros: This is the go to in terms of screenwriting. Final Draft is regularly updated and is the industry standard of scriptwriting.

Cons: The only downside to final draft is it is quite expensive, but I would argue, a good investment in the long run!

Final Draft


Adobe Story

Pros: A very impressive writing tool which is included with an Adobe subscription. It intergrates well with the Adobe software package, allows you to create schedules and has a lot of useful formatting tools!

Cons: Since the latest update it’s become a little less user friendly and you will need a subscription to access it.

Adobe Story


Celtx (Free)

Pros: I started writing screenplays using Celtx (I won’t tell you quite how long ago) but it’s a really neat little programe. The free version shows you everything you need in terms of formatting and it’s a very powerful tool!

Cons: Sadly Celtx has also started charging for some of it’s more comprehensive features, it’s up to you if you think you need them.


Hopefully now you feel more confident starting that screenplay.

Stay tuned to our blog for more tips and tricks to achieve your screenwriting and film making goals!


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