John August and Co. Release Final Draft Script Reader for iPad

Screenwriter and blogger extraordinaire John August has released a very handy app for screenwriters (and script readers) called FDX Reader. In my limited experience I've found that the iPad is the perfect form factor for reading scripts in PDF format, but to date it hasn't been able to read industry-standard Final Draft files. FDX reader solves that, and apparently works great with my file-synching utility of choice, Dropbox. Here's a video of the app in action:

With the recent news that Final Draft for the iPad has been delayed until a "later date," FDX Reader fills an important niche for filmmakers who need to read (not write) .fdx files. John is a stickler for fonts, and as a result the app looks very nice. FDX Reader was co-developed by Nima Yousefi and Ryan Nelson, and retails for $7.99 in the app store.

Link: FDX Reader

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Your Comment


Will it run on iPhone as well, or only iPad?

May 24, 2011 at 12:20PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Just the iPad.

May 24, 2011 at 12:21PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

for iPhone/iPod users u can download "DocsToGo" it could read any format, and u can edit the scripts...
the Courior font is still supported, i like this app, i use for reading the scripts on my iPod, u can still using it for writing/editing the scripts, but i do prefer my personal computer, and the free script software "Celtx" u must try it.. its full free, works on Mac and Pc.
Celtx is available for iPhone/iPad/Mac/Pc

May 25, 2011 at 4:29AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Looks like a slick app, though for as long as it's read-only then it doesn't have significant advantage over asking for a PDF (easy from a Mac), or one of the read/write FDX apps in the app store. If it allowed script revisions on FDX files I'd buy it without thinking.

May 25, 2011 at 5:17AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Or just use Celtx.... Not a single purpose reader but a complete screenwriting app for iPad with desktop/server sync and costs the same. I dont understand the appeal or excitement for an FDX reader. If I want to just 'read' a script then I'll load up a PDF. If I want to markup a PDF script then I'll use the superb GoodReader. If i want to actually write and review a script then Celtx is the solution. An FDX reader feels like a bandaid to an avoidable problem.


May 25, 2011 at 4:13PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


As long as Final Draft (the company) takes forever to develop their own full software, this app will be making some money to its developer. Celtx is free and great, but among professionals, Final Draft is the only tool in town. It's the 'Photoshop', the 'Quark Xpress', the 'Illustrator' of Hollywood. Those in the industry will gladly spend $8 for the ability to read FDX.

As for Celtx, desktop version of it is free, but the mobile version costs $5. It is still superior to what we have in the Final Draft world, as you can edit your script (not possible on FDX reader). I have to say, unless you are full-time pro, working for a studio, and can ONLY use Final Draft, you should try and switch to Celtx. It has all of the essential script formatting features, plus pre-prod tools (script breakdown, scheduling, storyboarding, etc). While mobile version isn't free, it is still cheaper than this FDX reader, and it has better features.

May 26, 2011 at 12:38PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Wow. That would have been easy from a programmer point of view. FDX files are XML, all you need is a web browsing engine (Webkit is what safari and chrome use) that does XSLT processing and then all you need to do is supply the browser with an XSLT filter to convert the XML into HTML... there's your "reader"!

May 29, 2011 at 5:54AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Can the script's font size be changed for a person to read at approximately ten feet from the iPad?

January 22, 2012 at 6:14PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM