FD8 – Need it or just want it?

I have used the new release of Final Draft on and off for a couple of months now and I am reasonably satisfied  with it.

I have installed version 8.0.0.,  the latest available version at the time of writing.

Because I work with clients who use a variety of software, I often find myself converting and exporting between platforms. In this area, FD hasn’t improved much since FD6 (from which I upgraded). That said, a typical screenwriter may not need to convert that often.

PRO:

– The overall feature set has improved.
– The layout is slightly more pleasing to the eye than before.
– Scene Navigator is a cool feature.
– Not too many bugs (See below: Cons).
– The top toolbars can be customised to contain a range of commands.
– The page count manager. (don’t think you’re allowed to use it, though!)
– FD can be active on two computers; installed on as many as you like.
– An ever improving knowledge base on the FD web site.
– Upgrade is only $99.

CON:

– FD8 saves as .fdx by default, even for imported FD7 scripts.
– Copy and paste between documents has resulted in crashing.
– No good solution for tracking changes.
– Cost: $249 (To compare: MS Word is $229).
– The interactive troubleshooter on the web took forever to launch.
– Key Shortcuts: if you select text and change the style, the text is deleted.
– Chat support times: for OZ writers this support closes at morning tea.
– Phone support is free only for 3 months and for 20mins only.
– The format assistant could have been improved.
– Importing from .rtf resulted in blank pages with “(CONT.)” here and there.
– No competitive upgrade offer to be found on the web site.

If you’re earning money writing for the screen, you should have Final Draft. If you’re not, I believe you can find better value alternatives.

– The new features are more pleasing to the eye than I was used to
About the Author

Karel Segers

Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in international movie rights acquisition, script development and production. He has trained and consulted to filmmakers all over the world, including award-winning screenwriters, and Academy Award nominees. Karel founded this website, as well as Logline.it!, ranks among the most influential people for screenwriting on social media, and speaks more than a handful of European languages (which should come in handy in his present hometown of Sydney, Australia).

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