With Public Beta, 'Highland' Screenwriting Software Steps Up from Converter to Editor

Back in February, John August announced a new Mac app called Highland, a conversion utility allowing screenwriters to move between FDX, PDF and Fountain files. After a few months of private beta testing with his app co-developers Nima Yousefi (code) and Ryan Nelson (graphics), August has announced a public beta of Highland, which takes Highland beyond screenplay conversion and into screenplay editing.

Here's a video from August that explains the differences in this current beta compared with the original beta release:

The big change in the current version is the addition of an editor in Highland. As August points out in his blog post announcing the public beta, his team discovered that making edits to scripts was a crucial element missing from the original beta and going back into the original application to make edits was cumbersome. Now, users can edit screenplays in Highland and export them to FDX, PDF or Fountain formats.

Also, users can now create new files in Highland. This helps when have new content from an email or Google Docs and want to convert it into screenplay format.

And if you missed the original beta release announcement, one of the big deals about Highland is its ability to melt PDFs, making them editable. Screenwriters that use different screenwriting platforms can now collaborate via Highland by exchanging, editing and exporting PDFs in screenplay format.

Highland should also help screenwriters future-proof their work. Highland can convert FDX and PDF files into Fountain files, saving them as plain text in a markup language format that makes them universal and editable in any text editor.

Finally, since this is a public beta, Highland now has a report card feature to help August & Co. learn how well Highland converts users screenplays from the various formats. I particularly like the green bar paper with tractor wheel holes look for the submitted report card - a nice throwback.

So download the beta, take it for a test drive and tell us (and the app developers) what you think.

Links: John August - Say Hello to Highland and Quote-Unquote Apps - Highland

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Your Comment


Their site must be down...

May 25, 2012 at 10:49AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


It better not be!

May 25, 2012 at 11:38AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Site works fine for me! Really excited about this, I have loved what they are doing with Fountain and have been waiting for Highland to go public beta. Fountain makes so much more sense when writing on the Ipad than even the best screenplay app available (still waiting for the certain to be overpriced Final Draft Ipad app...)

May 25, 2012 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Site's been working fine for me! Considering I spent $20 just for the ability to read (and make short notes) on FDX files... yep. I do wonder what the proper writer app will cost.

May 25, 2012 at 12:12PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

So does anyone use Fade in ? Just checked out the feature comparison against final draft and celtix and it looks incredibly solid, in addition to being based on the Fountain format.

May 25, 2012 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I use Fade In and you can't beat it for the price. It's not based on Fountain it did add support for it and Screenplay Markdown before it but it is a cool piece of software and their ipad app is pretty good as well. There are some minor issues with functionality I feel like they can fix in later updates and I'm not sure I like having my screenplays locked into their file format considering there's no telling how long they will be around but importing and exporting to Final Draft has worked pretty well for me so far but I have not waded into the deeper functionality yet.All in all I think it's a great app for people starting out and who don't necessarily need everything Final Draft offers yet.

May 25, 2012 at 4:41PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM