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A free-to-use, script-writing program that acts as a good alternative to Final Draft

A free-to-use, script-writing program that acts as a good alternative to Final Draft

Vote: (411 votes)

Program license: Paid

Program by: Celtx

Version: 2.9.1

Works under: Windows

Also available for Mac


Program license

(411 votes)


Program by




Works under:

Also available for



Celtx may have started as a tool for aspiring screenwriters, but it's since become the preeminent platform for online creators and collaborators in a number of different creative disciplines. The focus here is generally on narrative writing, but the tools included in the Celtx suite can be used for everything from plotting out documentaries to scripting video games.

Most projects will start with Celtx's writing phase. Regardless of how you prefer to work, there's likely to be an option that works for you here. The script editors include a number of different templates that can automatically format your script the right way, and there are plenty of story creation tools built in to help you through the brainstorming and development processes. But you can further expand your options through the use of simple plug and play modules. These can provide you with virtual index cards for some traditional scriptwriting work as well as storyboarding for screenwriters with a more visual approach to writing. The storyboarding process can also be used for later-stage production and blocking once it's time to bring your scene to the screen.

But Celtx goes beyond just helping you write a script. It also provides you with the tools you need to shoot your script without difficulties. The breakdown process will comb through your work to identify all the things you'll need, making life much easier for set designers and production teams. Once you've scraped your script for what you need, there's a tool for neatly organizing everything you need in terms of practical shooting. Props, clothing, and even talent are all neatly organized by scene and easily accessible by category or search results. That makes this tool a great choice for larger and more elaborate productions, but it can also be a godsend for smaller productions where crew members might have to fill multiple roles. All of this can be further contextualized through Celtx's budgeting features, which makes use of industry standards to help you get an understanding of how much you can expect to spend and where it will need to be spent.

All of that can be done before actually picking up a camera, but Celtx is even designed to help with shooting. If you used one of the more visually-oriented options for plotting out your scene, Celtx can even provide you with detailed and convenient shot lists that offer full breakdowns of every scene. It's just as easy to turn those shot-by-shop breakdowns into schedules. Not only can you create schedules that break down materials down to the minute, but you can also coordinate them by shooting location. Step a layer beyond schedule creation and you'll find the ability to create specific call sheets for all of your crew members that are automatically populated by the notes written into your scheduling. And since your call sheets are tied into the larger online database, everyone can be confident knowing that all the relevant information will be changed automatically when it's updated, so everyone involved in your production can stay on the same page.

Game design management has taken a lot of steps forward with the recent development of Celtx, and it shows in the finished product. The typical scriptwriting and management system is accompanied by interactive dialogue treats that are portrayed as easy to comprehend flow charts. And deeper level coders and developers can even paste blueprints for their narrative into the script design to unify the perspective of both writers and developers.

CeltX is as much a collaborative tool as it is a directly creative one. Every step of the process is designed with multiple parties in mind, and the interface makes it easy for every member of the team to get the data they need when they need it. Fortunately, you don't need to pay for everything that CeltX offers. With its different monthly plan for video and game production writers, you can get a lean and effective scriptwriting solution that's scaled financially to your needs as a writer or producer.


  • Works for game and video script writing
  • Design makes collaboration much easier
  • Comprehensive solutions from inception to execution


  • Requires a monthly fee to ue

Celtx is a piece of software designed to help screenwriters translate their creative vision into words on a page. Unlike Final Draft, which is the industry's benchmark script editing app, Celtx is completely free. However, it tries to offer as much of the same advanced utility as Final Draft.

In some ways, you could argue that Celtx is ahead of Final Draft. The reason for this claim is that Celtx contains tools that not only help with the actual screenwriting process, but it includes tools for pre-production support as well. By combining scriptwriting functionality with pre-production tools that are filled with media content, the software suite hopes to provide users with a fully comprehensive screenwriting experience.

The software also includes collaboration features that help you give and receive feedback online. If you're working on a script with a partner on the other side of the country, Celtx gives you the ability to share your progress online and even make edits directly in the online environment.

While Celtx is obviously a superior option for scriptwriting over Microsoft Word or other text editors, it really shouldn't be directly compared to benchmark apps in the category like Final Draft. There are some interesting features that are unique to Celtx, but that can't stand up to the powerful organizational and editing tools found in Final Draft.

Of course, Final Draft is prohibitively expensive, and Celtx is completely free. That alone is a highly appealing feature for writers who are struggling to make ends meet. With Celtx, you'll receive automatic help when it comes to formatting, analyzing, and editing your script. Playwrights could also take advantage of the software for a streamlined creative experience, but the software will require slight adaptation to make that work. It's already ideally suited for screenwriters.

One downside to the software is the online collaboration function. While this sounds like an excellent idea, the software doesn't provide any instruction for how to take advantage of those tools. If it were more obvious how to invite users or create shared content, perhaps the feature could be useful. Those who are on a limited budget should certainly consider Celtx if for no other reason than the fact that it costs nothing to use.

In the most recent version of Celtx, a number of updates and improvements have been made. The Cut, Copy, and Paste functions have all been improved so they are much more stable, and you can now use those functions between sketches or inside a single sketch. You can choose to move individual images or several at once with the functions thanks to the newly added ability to select multiple objects on the page. With this ability to group several objects in a single sketch, you can move those objects as if they were a single object.


  • Free Utility
  • Strong Editing Functions
  • Script Breakdowns


  • Ad Supported
  • Confusing Online Collaboration Tools