Apple is running an Explore Your Creativity promotion in the Mac App Store. That means for a limited time, you can buy several screenwriting apps at 50% off their regular prices. If you're looking for more minimalist screenwriting tools, now would be the time to check out Highland or Slugline. If you've wanted to pick up Final Draft 9, but stayed away because of the sticker shock, 50% off may be the right price for you. You can even pick up Scrivener at half off. The Explore Your Creativity promotion in the Mac App Store is only for a limited time, though, and Apple is playing coy with the deadline.
I've used Final Draft extensively, but I plan to use Slugline in conjunction with Highland for my next screenplay because I'm looking for a more streamlined, minimalist approach as I write my first draft. Personally, I need a little more formatting than just a plain text editor. As much as I like the concept of Fountain as a markup language, I still appreciate some automatic formatting on the screen, and I like Slugline's intuitive approach to identifying screenplay elements as I write. Highland will work nicely when I decide to migrate the script from Slugline to Final Draft to use production tools. Check out our previous NFS posts about both Highland and Slugline to learn more about both of these apps and their features (like Highland's ability to melt PDFs into plain text and convert screenplays to different file formats, including Fountain, PDF, and Final Draft .fdx).
I've heard that many screenwriters appreciate Scrivener for organizing their story ideas. While it's not technically a screenwriting app, if you're in the market for a broader writing app that you can also use in conjunction with your screenwriting tools, Scrivener at half-off its regular price may be the solution you need.
During the Explore Your Creativity promotion, all four of these screenwriting apps are 50% off. That means you can buy Highland for $14.99, Slugline for $19.99, Scrivener for $22.99 and Final Draft 9 for $124.99. But remember, this is a limited time only promotion at the Mac App Store. And we have no idea how limited that time will be.
- Highland in Mac App Store
- Slugline in Mac App Store
- Final Draft 9 in Mac App Store
- Scrivener in Mac App Store
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I can really recommend Scrivener. Great software and it really helps me keep on top of projects the way you can instantly jump between all the documents your working with on multiple projects.
July 20, 2014 at 7:09AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Scrivener is the best thing ever for organizing ideas and structuring content, but it's pretty tedious to actually write and format a screenplay in it.
July 20, 2014 at 7:57AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
So, I'm definitely a fan of old fashioned 3x5 cards when it comes to collecting ideas and then arranging them into a story. I prefer the tactile analogue approach here. Is Scrivener still something I would want? Your thoughts and insights would be appreciated.
July 20, 2014 at 8:21AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Scrivener is my best friend and worst enemy.. both because it's great for storing semi-connected snippets and ideas that would otherwise get lost.
July 20, 2014 at 9:45AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Honestly, if using physical note cards really works for you, then I don't think Scrivener, or any piece of software, can truly replicate that experience. And like I mentioned before, it's a bit of a hassle to actually format screenplays inside of Scrivener. With that said, you can use Scrivener strictly as an organizational app - the corkboard view really is great - then use another program to actually write and format the screenplay. If you've got two monitors, you can fill one with your writing app and the other with the Scrivener corkboard. That's what I've been doing for the past few months, and it really works for me.
Also, if you do any other types of writing other than screenwriting, then Scrivener is a no-brainer. It's really the most fully featured writing program out there.
July 20, 2014 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Thanks Robert. I'm kind of torn. I love tech and making it work for you, but lately I've been finding that actual pen and paper is just so natural. I'm a big todo app person but I have just gotten back to a simple written list lately and have found it super effective. I think I'll probably stick with the notecards, but every tech neuron in my brain wants me to get Scrivener, it looks so fun.
July 20, 2014 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
I like scrivener. I use Scrivener to collect ideas for all my scripts. I also find it useful for other miscellaneous stuff like house/interior design ideas. I am even writing the business plan for my new company in scrivener. As for screenplays, I write the first few drafts in scrivener, and i find it easy. Planning to do the final draft in final draft, due to production features which are not available in scrivener. So, i might get final draft, and 50% off is tempting.
July 21, 2014 at 2:54AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Can anyone tell me why I'd want Slugline over Highland? Seems like they do the same thing, make formatting easy and create a minimalist approach to writing. Is there strengths of either that I should know about?
July 20, 2014 at 8:16AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Slugline has an intuitive GUI that figures out what type of screenplay element you are typing as you write based on Fountain, so it formats as you go. If you like writing in a plain text editor and can learn how to use the Fountain markup language, Highland is for you. If you like an app to do the formatting for you but still want something clean and simple so you can focus on your writing and not the screenplay formatting, Slugline is worth a look.
You can download a free demo of Slugline from their website and see for yourself: http://slugline.co/
Highland is also more than just a text editor for screenwriting. Highland is useful for melting PDFs of your older screenplays that you may want to rewrite or archive using Fountain, plus you can save screenplays in Fountain, PDF or Final Draft .fdx formats all from Highland. So, you could bring a script from Slugline in Fountain format into Highland and save it as a Final Draft .fdx file to take advantage of Final Draft's production tools (or to meet a producer's requirement to deliver it in .fdx format).
July 20, 2014 at 9:12AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Hey Christopher. What are your thoughts on Movie Draft. You guys did a write up on that software a while back but I don't see it mentioned here. i guess it's not grouped in with the discounted apps mentioned, but how would you compare it with Scrivener and Slugline?
July 22, 2014 at 8:59PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
I love Highland. Highland gets it done. I didn't feel like I needed to "learn" anything although I suppose I did learn Fountain merely by using it. It has made me write faster. The PDF melting is a killer feature. Can't recommend it enough.
I looked at Slugline and tried to ask myself what it has that Highland doesn't already do, and I couldn't figure it out - real time formatting, I guess, but who needs that?
July 20, 2014 at 10:06AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
July 20, 2014 at 1:33PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Out of curiosity, what is it that you use the PDF melting for, and why is it so useful?
July 21, 2014 at 2:45PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
If you wrote a script in Final Draft or CeltX or something else you can export it to PDF and then import it into Highland. Really every screenplay program can export PDF, so Highland is an easy way to convert everything you have to Fountain, which is basically text files and can be read in anything by anything.
July 21, 2014 at 7:36PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the response.
July 22, 2014 at 12:07PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
I've been using the free desktop version of Celtx. It may not have all of the tools some of these other programs have, but as a straightforward writing application it has been amazing. The note cards and minimal features it does have work perfectly for me at this point. I'd suggest it to anybody getting their start or even experienced writers, who are looking for a change.
July 20, 2014 at 10:57AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
I would like to buy Highland, but at the moment I write in italian. So, my question could be stupid: If I write in italian, Highland will underline my text as an error (red lines)?
July 20, 2014 at 2:10PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
You should be able to write in any language in Highland because it's basically a text editor, but Fountain as a markup language has a few English specific markers that it uses to identify elements, such as INT. and EXT. for a scene heading, and transitions end in TO: as in CUT TO:
Other than those two specific instances, I think everything else would work the same. You can learn more about Highland at Quote Unquote Apps: http://quoteunquoteapps.com/highland/
Also, John August and his Quote Unquote Apps team are really responsive to questions and requests on Twitter. You should tweet at them with your Italian language request: @johnaugust @qapps -- they may have already received similar requests from screenwriters in other parts of the world and made adjustments to Fountain and Highland accordingly.
July 20, 2014 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Christopher, thank you so much for your answer. I'm going to find others news on quoteunquoteapps.com.
Congratulations for your work on No Film School, I really appreciate your articles!
July 21, 2014 at 9:10AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
I bought Slugline for screenwriting and Scrivener for all other writing under this promotion, and I'm pretty stoked about getting them both at half price!
July 21, 2014 at 2:52PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Well, i just finally decided to buy both Slugline and Highland because they were so cheap. Went to the app store… CRAP! The sale just ended today!! That was the shortest sale I've seen. no more than 4 days!! It's not even the end of the week! Super irritated now.
July 24, 2014 at 9:34PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Not one of these Apps appears to be available in the UK App store
Searches for Scrivener, Highland and Slugline yield no relevant results
July 25, 2014 at 3:37AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
Love Scrivener. I wish they had an ipad app, but it's the best for organizing all the notes I have in one managable location. I stopped using Final Draft a while back and only write in Fade In Pro, which is so much better and cheaper.
August 9, 2014 at 4:20PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM
You can download plenty good software for your iPhone and Mac from aptoide store at https://aptoideios.info/
October 29, 2018 at 2:46AM