Check Formatting Feature

When screenwriting, especially in long scripts, it is easy to inadvertently accumulate formatting mistakes (blank lines, dialogue using parenthetical, extra spacing, etc.) These errors are easily missed in basic proofreading and can be time-consuming to find. This feature offers a way to find these types of errors easily and quickly.

Definition of items:

  • Dialogue containing () – Parenthetical statements should not be used as part of Dialogue as they do not come across in spoken language. If the detected text should be a Parenthetical note about how the line is meant to be spoken following the Character’s name or Dialogue, then highlight the text and click  ParentheticalButton button, or use shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+3.
  • Dialogue w/o Character – if text has been typed in the Dialogue format but does not have a Character name entered above it, it is an error and will be detected.
  • Character w/o Dialogue – a Character name with no dialogue below it will be detected.
  • Parenthetical missing () – text in the Parenthetical format with no parentheses around it.
  • Character ending with ‘:’ – detects if a colon has been placed after a Character name when beginning Dialogue.
  • Action more than 4 lines – Action lines should be short and sweet. Anything over 4 lines should be edited to a shorter version. If more than one action is being described, separate them into multiple action lines.
  • Character typo – detects words that might be misspelled Character names
  • Similar names – detects names with similar spellings or sounds that may be confusing in a story line
  • Extra spacing – detects unnecessary spacing

Run the Feature:

  1. Tools > Check Formatting
  2. Select potential problems to detect.
  3. Select ‘Find Errors’.
  4. Errors will be highlighted in Pink.
  5. Click on a line containing an error.
  6. A description of the selected error will appear in the ‘Find formatting problems’ window below the check boxes.
  7. Edit the line to fix error.
  8. Scroll down to the next highlighted error or click ‘Find Errors’ to move to next.
  9. Continue until all errors have been viewed and corrected.
  10. Click ‘x’ to close.