January 9, 2014

Final Draft 9 Now Available, Save Over 30% Until Jan. 31 at The Writers Store

Final Draft 9 Now AvailableSeveral screenwriting software alternatives have arrived on the market in recent years to challenge Final Draft as the industry standard - or simply to improve upon its shortcomings. Despite its position as the top-selling screenwriting software, Final Draft seems to be playing catch up in certain areas. Now that Final Draft Writer for iPad has been available for quite some time, Final Draft 9 for Mac and Windows has arrived with a new look and new features. Many of these new features are welcome additions to Final Draft, but some new features will look familiar to screenwriters who have sought out alternatives to accomplish certain screenwriting tasks. With this new release, you can now save over 30% off the list price on Final Draft 9 at The Writers Store until Jan. 31.

I've mentioned this before, but I write with Final Draft, not because I love the software, but because it was the only screenwriting software available back in the day when I started to write screenplays. Final Draft also became the industry standard over all those years, so sticking with it made sense. I appreciate that screenwriters now have many screenwriting software alternatives ranging from free to not that expensive, which means Final Draft needs to improve its product continually to keep it relevant. Given its industry standard position, however, Final Draft doesn't update as frequently as many would like.

Check out some videos showing off the new version (there are Windows versions of these videos as well here):

Here's a list of what's new in Final Draft 9:

  • Character Navigator lets you add character arc beats in each scene and add non-speaking characters to the Navigator
  • ScriptNotes Navigator makes ScriptNotes sortable and allows organization by color, name or note type
  • Improved Scene Navigator allows scenes to be filtered by keyword
  • Watermarking scripts is now available for PDF and print
  • Full screen mode (Mac only)
  • Character highlighting
  • Cast List element can now be custom ordered
  • Non-speaking characters can be added to Cast List element
  • Thesaurus accessible through contextual menu
  • Improved spell-checkers that automatically include SmartType list words
  • OSX dictation support (Mac only)
  • Include non-speaking characters in Character Report
  • Revision page colors now added
  • Enhanced revision mode to streamline changing revision sets
  • Retina display support (Mac)
  • Updated look and feel of buttons and menus to match Mac and Windows styles

Now through Jan. 31, 2014, the full version of Final Draft 9 is available for $169.99 from The Writers Store, a 32% discount from the list price. Upgrades are available for $79.99, 20% off list price. Academic versions are available for $99.99, 23% off list price.

Will you be buying or upgrading to Final Draft 9? What do you think about the new features list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Link: Final Draft 9 Now Available - The Writers Store

Your Comment

28 Comments

With version 9 Final Draft is hands down the most overpriced and over-hyped piece of software on the market. Seriously we waited 5 years for nothing more than a spit polish and half arsed patch job? Do the devs operate in complete isolation from the rest of the world and screenwriters at large?

How could they not have been paying attention to the evolution of screenwriting and features that their competitors have implemented at a fraction of the price?? No fountain support? ARE YOU F@#KING KIDDING ME?????

Its 2014 and their UI still looks like a 1980's dogs breakfast with ZERO innovation on offer. Hollywood needs to pass on this out of touch dinosaur and get behind a developer with half a clue!

January 9, 2014 at 7:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Peter

Fountain markdown language is how I write. Wouldn't go back if Final Draft 9 were free.

January 11, 2014 at 1:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jon

Movie Magic is no better. Fountain is probably the default future for first drafts though it's not particularly production friendly.

The problem is that the market for dedicated screenplay software is tiny. We spend all our time in the software so it feels as important as iOS stuff but man is it not in the scheme of things

January 14, 2014 at 1:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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grayzip

I agree - Movie Magic has an even WORSE interface than FD. Its just as outdated and a complete dogs breakfast not to mention distracting as HELL. FD and MMS are meandering dinosaurs plodding along completely unaware that they have already been declared extinct by the majority of writers with half a clue.

January 14, 2014 at 1:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Peter

The answer is Fade In Pro. Final Draft 9 is a lame duck in comparison to a superior product less than 1/4 of it's price. Even the upgrade discount isn't enough to get me to go back to FD. I once contacted Fade In Pro with a bug, and got a personal response... and they had it fixed in TWO DAYS. You wouldn't even get a response from the FD people, let alone a fix. 2014, and FD9 just now gets full screen mode and editable character names? Why subject yourself to such disregard for their own product?

January 19, 2014 at 9:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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M W

$79 for an upgrade isn't bad. And full price used to be like $250 in the mid-to-late 90's...

Not a big deal for the industry standard where they could charge double that, knowing certain people will definitely buy it anyway.

And the iPad write costs $30. Buy a Bluetooth keyboard and have almost the same thing and save a bunch if every penny (of the cheap software) means so much.

I'm getting this as soon as I get paid again. I've had FD since version 3.

January 14, 2014 at 7:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

What's just as off-putting is their customer support / company philosophy. Their draconian and buggy copy protection forced me to call them to activate my purchased copy. The woman I spoke to acted like she was doing me a favor for "helping me with MY issue".

I've held a grudge ever since.

January 9, 2014 at 7:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Herb

This is definitely a hold over from the old software era and the 3.5" floppies that contained "key discs" and all that. I've had to call them several times over the years when computers die or get sold off. It used to be a hassle but they were nice about it. Now you rarely have to talk to the, in person and authorization works pretty quickly thru the webz.

January 14, 2014 at 7:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

Still too expensive to just write...
And I've tested many writing softwares, Final Draft is far from being a good one.
Movie Draft and Celtx are just what most people need...

January 9, 2014 at 7:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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There are SO many great cheap alternatives to this software. Even at 30% off it's a ripoff.

I write in Fountain, a free screenplay markup language that saves everything as readable text files. I use Highland, a 10 dollar app in the Mac App Store, to format to PDF. It's HELLA fast. If for some reason you don't like it or need to switch, you still have txt files you can read so you don't lose any work to a proprietary format. Highland can also read Final Draft and PDF files and convert them to Fountain txt. I encourage anyone who wants to focus on writing and less on format to check Fountain out at http://fountain.io

January 9, 2014 at 8:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I've been so happy with Highland since I bought it. I've written an entire first draft of a screenplay in it. I'm only planning on using my Final Draft (8) to give me an industry standard page count when I've finished re-writing. If I buy another screenwriting app this year it will be Slugline. Fountain is so simple to use... it actually makes me more productive; pasting scenes straight into Highland from my iPhone Notes app, and having it automatically convert to screenplay format seamlessly, has been a minor revelation.

January 9, 2014 at 10:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mak

I've been using Final Draft 8 for a while. I won't upgrade until I have to.

January 9, 2014 at 9:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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moebius22

I was the same way and then came across Fade In Pro. Seriously, check it out. Don't subject yourself to FD torture any longer than you have to.

January 19, 2014 at 10:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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M W

I have used Montage for 8 years now and I think it's great. Does everything I need it to do, plus it's only $50. I have wanted to try Final Draft, being industry standard and all, but I never found the motivation to make the switch. https://www.marinersoftware.com/products/montageapp/

January 9, 2014 at 10:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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It's a decent product, but the company feels like it's locked into a tech business model circa 1998. I've transitioned into using the Adobe CC's Story Plus and won't be upgrading Final Draft until they catch up.

January 9, 2014 at 10:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Marc B

I had the Final Draft back in the day. Way, way, way overpriced. I've used the defunct Cinergy and now Celtxt (which formats and converts to PDF). Both are free, though both have (had) paid, more feature laden options. Hypothetically, having opened the Fountain's text page, I wish Hollywood just opted for that. If you look stage plays, most are available as booklets in a normal text type. The simpler, the better.

January 9, 2014 at 5:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I received Final Draft 8 as a gift and was immediately shocked at how much "Santa Claus" paid for this archaic-looking software. Of course, I didn't say anything and was happy to receive it, despite the 1990s user interface. Furthermore, it was very rarely updated. As rank amateur screenwriter is does work but I would never pay for an upgrade and when it is no longer supported I will consider one of the other (much cheaper) apps mentioned in the comments. Slugline looks particularly appealing.

January 9, 2014 at 6:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The update -- even with a discount -- is $30 more than the full price of Fade In, which I switched to (from FD8) a few months ago. Not perfect either, but allows me to import/export in nearly any format, and I have found the Fade In developer very congenial vis-a-vis feature suggestions.

January 9, 2014 at 9:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I used FD back in the day but agree with others on it's outdated UI and clunky operation. Although it does provide the functions i needed for formatting I made the switch to Movie Magic Screenwriter...few bucks more but worth it when i also integrated with MM Budgeting and MM Scheduling.

January 9, 2014 at 9:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Russell

I started on FD 7 with FD AV, Upgraded to 8 it doesn't work with OSX 10.9, so if I want to use it I have to upgrade to FD9. I like writing in Scrivener the best, so won't upgrade. I like the Mariner products too.

January 10, 2014 at 12:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Hari Har

Does it support Cyrillic now?

January 10, 2014 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Alek

I bought final draft .5 in the blue box for my macintosh... they were going to give me final draft 1.0 for free if they made their release date... they did not... I then paid $49 I think for the upgrade to 1. I only had pirated copies since then but I am buying 9.... sad truth is I haven't finished one screenplay yet. Hope to finish first one by May 1. Please send me your karma and good thoughts so I make this goal... I am getting old.

January 10, 2014 at 5:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Bryan V

Bryan, just write one page a day and by the end of the year you'll have finished three drafts. Just get some pages done.

January 11, 2014 at 1:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Fallacy

Marshal all of your shortcomings, neuroses, fears about ageing, disappointments about not finishing screenplays etc and use them as fuel to make yourself write. It may not be the most mentally healthy form of motivation, but it definitely gets words down on pages.

January 12, 2014 at 2:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mak

The watermark feature is a great idea. Now when the next big film gets leaked, it can show who leaked it if each copy is individually watermarked.

January 14, 2014 at 8:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

If you are going for finest contents like myself, just pay a quick
visit this site everyday since it gives feature contents, thanks

April 9, 2014 at 6:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I imagine the reason FD is still so clunky is that they have huge licensing contracts with L.A. studios, kind of like the government licensing contracts Microsoft has with governments all over the world. With those contracts, they only have to kiss up to a very small number of people to make most of their income. They only have to respond to those few when any issues come up. And since almost every single in-studio license is likely used for reading scripts rather than writing them, there simply are no issues from that quarter. Bottom line: If the studios ever realize they can get demand PDF submissions and everyone can and will comply, FD is going to be in serious trouble.

April 14, 2014 at 2:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ron

I have been struggling with the decision if I should buy FD9 or not. I have their iPad app and I think is the best one of its kind. But we so many options I wonder if being the "standard" is good enough reason to buy it. I have been using Celtx but with their move to subscription based turned me off. Based on the many comments here I tried Fade In pro and so far I am really digging it. I think is one of the best options out there to Final Draft 9.

August 16, 2014 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David Medina