Originally Posted by ComicBent
...EDIT TO ASK: And, catcon, you have written more screenplays than anybody that I know, except for maybe a couple of pros here. Why are you using Microsoft Word instead of a screenwriting program? Try Fade In
, available at a very reasonable price for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has awesome features. And you do not have to pay for upgrades, or at least there have been no charges for upgrades so far, and I have no reason to think that there ever would be. Kent Tessman keeps the program well-oiled and makes improvements pretty regularly. Give it a try. There is a trial version available.
The biggest reason has really been $$$.
But why Word? Because I'm a power user and to organize my writing/outlining I didn't need somebody else's front-end and macros to get the job done. At least for my specs. I completely understand the value of the specialized toolset available in First (oops) Final Draft et al, especially once the script's getting into production.
But for specs? Even those who only have access to a portable Smith Corona can get by - so long as they have a scanner to move it on-line as a PDF for sending to people!
Here's an old screensnap (2016) I'd put up to show my typical outline document, which is in Word:
Outline for Mister Buttle's Great Odyssey
Note how it's over 60 pages of Q&A and organization and research, before I'd even begin to write the script in my actual script template.
Anyway, you can see my top toolbar of macros that more or less replace anything First Draft (oops, again) has.
In fact, I'd toyed with FD and the earlier versions really really resembled the Word Object (COM) that programmers could take and use as a foundation for their own custom programs. This was big in the 90s, about when FD and others came out, right? I'm sure for the version I saw around 2009 that they've taken it and redone it completely in Java or C++ or whatever, but its menu structure and layout sure were Word-like. Although I haven't seen the latest version, I imagine they've retained that look in order to retain the original customer base.
So as I started out with my writing, being so comfortable with Word I didn't want to lose anything as I strove to put my ideas on the page. Maybe I'd already rattled off my first script or two before I even knew about the specialized programs; I can't quite remember. But certainly, I can imagine somebody who's a two-finger typist really doing well with these pre-engineered writing programs, but I simply didn't need it.
On the other hand, as I get closer to a deal with a buyer someday, I know I'm going to have to pick up their particular program of choice, whether it's FD or Movie Magic etc., at least if I want to take advantage of the collaborative aspects throughout the polishing stages.
Yuck. Not looking forward to that. My crusty old mind doesn't adapt too well to change or learning new things these days!