Category Archives: Features

Introducing WriterDuet 2.9!

Hello Writers,

The WriterDuet Team has had all eight hands and four paws on deck for the past months creating our newest release: WriterDuet 2.9! This upgrade has involved a number of major infrastructure changes that allow for much greater flexibility and efficiency in creating new features and customizations in the future. Building from these, we have implemented the following new features already:

Free users:
1) Dual Dialogue can now be multiple lines long and include all line types.
Use Command or Control plus the number for each Line Type (e.g. Cmd/Ctrl+3 is a new Character line) to create new lines in your script without leaving the left or right column that you are in! Hit Enter to return to a normal, full-width line.

2) Copy, Cut, Paste, and Text-Select Operations are smarter.
Check out this video for details.

PRO users:
1) Shared Folders in the Portfolio!

Folders in your portfolio now have sharing options, controllable with the plus sign in the top left corner. Once created, any script that is added to that folder will be automatically shared to each collaborator with the permissions that you set. If you don’t have permission to share the script, a share request will be sent to an administrator, who can accept or deny the share request.

2) Two New Templates: UK Stageplay and Stageplay Compact!
Along with the new Audio/Visual and Virtual Reality templates (available for purchase here), we have a new UK Stageplay template and Compact Stageplay template (designed to look like a published play) available to all Pro users! Both feature the “CHARACTER: Dialogue” format on a single line; give them a try!

These changes will be in effect the next time you open WriterDuet.
Thank you and enjoy!

Sincerely,
The WriterDuet Team

Announcing WriterDuet Premium!

WriterDuet Premium is the ultimate package for your fully integrated screenwriting experience. In addition to all of the amazing features of WriterDuet Pro–limitless collaboration, mobility and revision tracking supported by powerful security and analysis–Premium benefits include these awesome enhancements and plugins:


Premium Support
With a direct line to WriterDuet’s development team, your questions, thoughts and ideas will be heard and dealt with as quickly as possible.

AutoTranslate
Translate your script into any language in a matter of seconds,
and then edit each script separately to perfect it. View as separate scripts or side-by-side.

ReadThrough
Bring your script to life by sharing it with voice actors, or by listening instantly with text-to-speech performance from a full cast of computer voices.

MultiColumn
Compose audio and video in side-by-side chronology, write scenes in parallel, or even write in our Virtual Reality template!

Subscribe to Premium here for the full power of all things WD.

And then get back to writing 😉

Sincerely,
The WriterDuet Team

P.S. If you’re more interested in our standalone plugins, each is also available for separate purchase. Just click on their links to learn more.

WriterDuet update

There’s been a lot of development the past few weeks in preparation for something big. I’m careful to try to keep everything working right, but be on the lookout for any unusual behavior, and please e-mail me if you see anything wrong. Not that I expect it, but you never know.

This update includes new font options including two new Courier fonts, and several variable width fonts. Variable width is highly non-standard in US screenplays, but is used in other countries, and can be a nice alternative while writing your script if you’re sick of seeing Courier every day. To keep things consistent, at the moment all fonts will result in identical page counts on any device and PDF, but I do not guarantee that will always be the case. I’ll gauge feedback on that first.

There are a lot of subtle changes and minor bug fixes that came up during the big new development. You might not notice much difference in behavior, but scripts now load quite a bit faster, and more improvements to that may be on the way.

Anyway, this is just a heads-up post. Be sure to let me know if you encounter a bug, so I can squash it right away. And enjoy the improvements!

WriterDuet reports

Unlike other screenwriting programs, WriterDuet Pro’s new report system shows and lets you edit specific parts of a script. For example:

When you’re cleaning up a draft, it’s often important that your characters speak consistently throughout the script. WriterDuet’s dialogue report lets you pick any character(s) to view, edit, and print/PDF just their dialogue. Or if you want to review only the scenes wither certain characters in them, same thing: it’ll show you those scenes and hide everything else. (That’s how you generate actor sides, by the way.)

Another report the other guys seem to be missing is one that prints script notes inline with the rest of your script. Final Draft lets you print just the notes, but without context that seems useless.

Another report WriterDuet offers is the ability to view & edit just the script’s non-dialogue (e.g. Action), plus a Shot list for when you’re writing a production draft. And the most entertaining report of all: WriterDuet’s time lapse feature lets you watch your script get written from start to finish, with custom colors for each writer.

WriterDuet reports are a great way to review and edit portions of your script, as well as sit back and watch the work you’ve done fly by.

WriterDuet is better than Final Draft

I know the title sounds like hubris, so I want to start by giving my competitor some credit: Final Draft has historically been very valuable to the world of screenwriting. I used Celtx for a couple years (sigh), and upgrading to Final Draft was a relief. It was the best… back then.

But it seems to me like the people behind Final Draft thought they’d “solved” screenwriting software some years ago, and basically stopped improving it. Four years after Final Draft 8, I believe version 9 was an extremely minor update. And they’re missing incredibly valuable features writers want.

WriterDuet does almost everything* Final Draft does, and so much more. Below is a list of the top ways WriterDuet is better than Final Draft, in my opinion/knowledge. You probably won’t care about every single one, but virtually all screenwriters can benefit from a lot of them.

  • Formatting. Here we’re basically identical, but I should mention it first since so many others fail here. WriterDuet’s default page count will be exactly the same as Final Draft’s in the vast majority of cases. We have the same default line lengths and split action, dialogue, etc. across pages virtually identically to FD.
  1. Real-time collaboration. Any number of writers can video/audio/text chat, outline, and write simultaneously. Conversation-style notes help you discuss lines with writers/readers.
  2. Infinite revision tracking. View changes by date, writer, tagged revisions, tracked edits, and individual lines. Asterisks for printing/PDF, plus you can see the exact added/removed text, and can revert lines to previous versions. Mark/unmark changes, retroactively mark revisions by date/time/writer, track multiple revisions at once, put revision information in headers/footers, lock pages, and much more. You can even search the infinite revision history to find a line you deleted, and the full script as it was at the time that line existed!
  3. Price. Even WriterDuet’s free version does everything most people need to write screenplays in industry-standard format. And our Pro version is significantly less expensive than Final Draft, and include future updates at no additional cost!
  4. Ease of use. WriterDuet is consistently described as intuitive and seamless. A plethora of shortcuts and mouseover instructions guide the simple interface, and subtle features make the core task of writing more fluid. WriterDuet is meticulously fine-tuned.
  5. Compatibility. WriterDuet imports & exports Final Draft, Celtx, Fountain, and PDF files. It even imports/exports notes from the first 3 file types, and is by far the best program at converting PDFs into editable screenplay format.
  6. Cross-platform. WriterDuet works on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chromebooks, iOS, and Android. It gives identical page counts on all devices, and PDFs.
  7. Pasting from other sources. WriterDuet lets you copy text written in Fountain, or other screenwriting programs (Final Draft, Celtx, etc.) and paste it directly into WriterDuet with the correct formatting most of the time (impossible to be perfect).
  8. An amazing outliner. WriterDuet’s outliner lets you organize scene cards into acts and sequences, add (multiple) colors, tag characters (with optional colors/icons to identify them), set emoticons on each scene, and resize/reorder cards. All real-time collaborative.
  9. View & edit specific portions. Select characters to view & edit only their dialogue within the script, or just the scenes they’re in. Select the non-dialogue report to view & edit Action, etc. or the Shots report for a production-shortened version.
  10. Unicode support. Write in Chinese, Cyrillic, Hindi, etc.
  11. Distraction-free full-screen mode. Full-screen works across platforms and is script-centric by default, helping you focus on writing. You can customize other items to be displayed, and make the normal view distraction-free as well.
  12. 2 or 3-wide scripts. View prior pages to the left, and pages after to the right. Scroll these pages independently to look up/down without changing the position you’re editing, or scroll them together to read 3x as much.
  13. Grammar checking. WriterDuet will tell you when you likely screwed up it’s vs. its, your vs. you’re, affect vs. effect, etc., along with its regular spell checker. Available in many different languages.
  14. Automatic backups. WriterDuet instantly saves your changes online, so no lost work in the event of a power outage or crash. There are auto-save options for Dropbox and Google Drive, plus your computer, to complement WriterDuet’s cloud storage.
  15. Format checking. Finds 9 (optional) common problems in scripts, including typo’d character names, missing character/dialogue lines, () in dialogue, similarly named characters, action lines greater than 4 lines, extra spacing, etc.
  16. Script shortening. Finds orphaned words wrapping onto the next line, lines which can be shortened by removing a few letters, and places where it can cheat a margin to save lines. All with customizable thresholds.
  17. Hide scenes you’re not working on. Select a scene or range of scenes, and all others disappear from your view.
  18. Editable dual dialogue. To edit dual dialogue in Final Draft you must convert it back to sequential dialogue, make your change, then go back to the first character’s name (not their dialogue) and convert it to dual again. With WriterDuet, just edit and move on.
  19. Notes in PDF report. Put notes inline with the rest of the script, including customizable colors (by type and writer) and content (name & time).
  20. Typewriter mode. Keep your cursor vertically centered, so your eyes don’t have to follow the cursor up/down while you write and scroll. A speed-reading trick, for speed-writing.
  21. Screen mirroring. Automatically follow a partner or reviewer’s position in the script.
  22. Embedded multimedia. Directly link in images, audio/video files, YouTube videos, and SoundCloud audio on individual script lines. They’re hidden by default, with an icon to expand in the margin.
  23. Music player. Many genres preloaded, no need to switch programs or tabs to get your tunes.
  24. Dictation. Using Google technology to add words by sound and context, speak your lines with voice commands to move to the next line and set its type.
  25. Time-lapse viewer. Watch a sped-up version of your script being written, with custom colors for each writer. You can also select any section of the script (or the entire thing) to look back in time and export a prior version.

And I’m just listing the big ones, there are plenty more. You certainly don’t have to use every feature to be an effective writer, but any of these could save you minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. And when you add them all together, along with all the features WriterDuet has in common with Final Draft, you’re left with one thing:

A superior product, at jut over half the cost.

The world of screenwriting software has changed. Final Draft is still the industry standard, but that’s largely because of inertia, not because they have the best product.

So if you’re looking for software to improve your screenwriting process, I highly recommend you try WriterDuet: the next industry standard.

 


*There are a few things I know of which Final Draft does better than WriterDuet, and there may be others. Please let me know, so I can add them! There used to be more missing features in WriterDuet, but I constantly add features as routine (free) updates, so that list is shrinking. Here are two kind of important ones where they still have the edge:

  1. Additional templates. WriterDuet only has screenplay, half hour sitcom, and stageplay. Final Draft has dozens more, and I’ll likely add to my list in the future. But because WriterDuet has customizable margins and line formatting, you can make what you want. And we import the Final Draft template files, if you have them handy.