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.