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Ever try one of an open-source software for screenplays and other writing needs?  I recently decided to try Open Office (got sick of my half-a-decade old Word for Macs) and have really come to enjoy it.  It’s extremely seamless, particularly for open source software, which can be buggy, problematic and/or support free. And though I haven’t tried to translate any of OO docs back into Word — which of course I’ll soon have to do, because the rest of the world uses Word — I feel like I’m in good hands …

Something about Word was grating on me — whether it was the old school design, the irritating little computer help guy who would come up at the most inopportune times, or the bugs (the program would crash all the time, and even though I save like a madman, I would still lose work from time to time … )  All in all, I love how Open Office works for me so far.

celtxlogoCeltx is another open-source software package, this time for screenplays and even storyboarding and the like.  I’m a big fan of Final Draft, and it seems to take care of all my screenwriting needs.  But Celtx is interesting in how it allows you to create several other sorts of projects:  a play, a comic book, a commercial A/V project.  As a screenwriter, I haven’t really needed any of these other aspects of the software, but the scriptwriting code seems pretty robust.  It’s got essentially the same features that Final Draft does, but without the $250 pricetag.  At that cost, it’s definitely worth looking into …

Right now the landscape for lots of digital things are changing, and the same can be said for free software.  Get productive.

4 thoughts on “Open source software for writers

  1. Have you used celtx before? Jaime and I just completed a feature and the program was invaluable as the AD. The program has a few bugs but I’ve been in touch with the creator and he has been very interested in adding features and improving. Hopefully soon, more then one person can work on a project at the same time.

    Adam

  2. Hey Adam,

    I’ve used it only on occasion, just as a substitute for Final Draft. I like its integrated multiple features, however … I want to play with it some more for sure.

  3. I recently discovered Celtx and I’m a big fan. I particularly love the Index Cards feature and of course the being free part. I really don’t see how FinalDraft has anything over it.

    I have a love/hate relationship with OpenOffice however. There’s a lot of annoying UI quirks that end up frustrating me quite a bit. And it does muck up Word formatted documents a bit when you open them in OO (especially bullet lists). I find myself using Pages more than anything for basic word processing on the Mac.

  4. I haven’t found any problems with Open Office, but it sounds like you’ve worked with it much more than I have … I’m happy to have it, though — Word for Macs is just … bleh.

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