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Final Draft Version 8

by Final Draft, Inc.
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews) 7 answered questions

There is a newer version of this item. See details below, or go to the newer item.
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Platform: PC/Mac Disc
  • Final Draft 8 combines powerful word processing with professional script formatting in one self-contained,
  • Easy-to-use package specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays
  • Television show, screenplay, stage play and graphic novel templates are included to help get you started
  • Have your script read back to you by assigning different male and female voices to each of your characters with text-to-speech
  • New XML file format for compatibility with a wide variety of other products
  • No need to learn about script formatting rules. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards as you write
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There is a newer version of this item:
Final Draft 9 Final Draft 9 3.7 out of 5 stars (71)
In Stock.
Rave review: Calling it "a solid sequel to what has become the industry-standard screenwriting application," Macworld magazine gives Final Draft 8 a rating of 4.5 mice out of 5.

Product Details

Platform: PC/Mac Disc
View testimonials [1mb PDF]
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0023VR1II
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches ; 1.9 ounces
  • Media: Software
  • Release Date: May 4, 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,463 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Product Description

Platform: PC/Mac Disc

Product Description

Final Draft version 8 Prof scriptwriting software


Use your creative energy to focus on the content; let Final Draft take care of the style. Final Draft is the number-one selling application specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays.

It combines powerful word processing with professional script formatting in one self-contained, easy-to-use package. There is no need to learn about script formatting rules--Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards as you write.

Its ease-of-use and time-saving features have attracted writers for almost two decades positioning Final Draft as the Professional Screenwriters Choice. Final Draft power users include Academy, Emmy and BAFTA award winning writers like Oliver Stone, Tom Hanks, Alan Ball, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and more.

New in Final Draft Version 8

  • Scene Navigator
    Manage and view all the important details of your scene in this sortable floating palette

  • Page Count Management
    Now you have even more control about what fits on a page

  • File Format (now XML)
    Outline your script ideas in story development software and seamlessly read them into version 8

  • Scene Properties Inspector (SPI)
    Add scene titles and colors to track your story lines, characters, etc.

  • Scene View
    Outline your script ideas and re-order scenes in this high-level overview

  • Remember Workspace
    No more searching for the correct draft you were just working on

Story Development Features

Scene View

Outline your script ideas and re-order scenes in this high level overview.
With the Scene View you can look at your script from a 5,000 foot view and select, drag and drop one or more scenes to reorganize your ideas as you outline. Insert new scenes easily, and hide or show information important to you such as the scene's action, title and summary. Scene View also displays a scene's color so you can quickly identify one scene from another. Print your Scene View or just view it alongside the script. With a double-click you can sync the script to instantly go to any scene you've selected in Scene View.

Scene Navigator

Manage and view the important details of your scene in this sortable floating palette.
Manage the pace and flow of your story and keep track of up to 9 categories of information related to your scenes. The Scene Navigator is a sortable, customizable floating palette that displays details about your script such as a scene's title, color, page number, length and location, and best of all it syncs with the script with a single-click. As your script progresses you can pick and choose the columns of information that are relevant for that phase of writing.

Scene Properties Inspector (SPI)

Add scene titles and colors to track your story lines, characters, etc.
Track data specific to each scene in this new floating palette such as the scene's story beats that will eventually make up the Action, Characters and Dialog of the scene. Add and edit your scene's title such as 'Villain introduced', and add color to the scene to help you track things like storylines, character arcs, and material you need to get back to later. Like the Navigator, the SPI will display the details of whatever scene you're working on in your script so that you have your summary notes handy as you need them.

Index Cards

Easily outline your story and restructure your script by dragging and dropping multiple scenes at a time
This improved feature has double-sided cards that display the script's scene on one side and the summary on the other. The Summary View allows you to enter ideas directly into the index card such as your basic outline, notes, sequence or act markers, comments, locations, blocking... anything you need to build and organize your story. You can also color your Index Cards to help organize themes, character arcs, A and B stories, etc. Select and rearrange multiple cards at once if you need to re-order your scenes or print your Index Cards directly on 3x5 or 4x6 cards for use in the 'traditional' way if you want to visualize and organize scenes outside of the application. Double-clicking on a card in Split Panel View will automatically sync the scene selected with your script.

File Format (now XML)

Other software now works seamlessly with the new Final Draft .fdx file format.
Final Draft version 8, has a new file format that we have shared with a number of technology partners to make the writer's overall experience better. Now you can save to the new Final Draf't file format in a variety of products. Your information can then be opened directly in Final Draft with perfect format and structure. No more reformatting in Final Draft and no more re-typing or lost information!

Final Draft Testimonials

"My entire writing staff uses Final Draft. Even if you don't own a computer, I recommend buying Final Draft."

J.J. Abrams--Writer / Director / Producer

What do other Hollywood professionals have to say about Final Draft? View testimonials (PDF format).

Writing/Rewriting Features

The Panels System

Keeps your script in sync with Index Cards and Scene View
Like most writers, you probably need to keep a lot of ideas at the front of your mind while you're writing. With the Panels System, you can split your screen into separate panels and view your script pages in one panel while you view another section of the script, your Index Cards or Scene View in the other panel. With the Panels System you can compare two scenes' dialog and pacing side by side even though they may be separated by a vast number of pages. If you want an overview of each scene, use the Index Cards or Scene View on one side and the script in the other. A double-click in any scene will keep the panels in sync.


Jumpstart your writing by using one of our built-in templates
Television show, screenplay, stage play and graphic novel templates are included to help get you started. Looking for an old series no longer on the air? The Final Draft Online Template Library is updated regularly and allows registered users to download additional templates directly from finaldraft.com.

Page Count Management

Now you have even more control about what fits on a page
Our new Leading Style in version 8 allows you to adjust the spacing of the entire script or you can select individual sections of text and adjust their spacing to help manage your page count

Built-in Spell-Checking and Thesaurus

Now you have the ability to select an additional language
The vastly improved spell-checking engine comes with English (US) and a built-in thesaurus plus the option to install one of 15 additional language spell-checkers and thesauri. The application provides real time auto-spell check, catches capitalization errors and will assist you in finding synonyms. With definitions for 80,000 plus words from Merriam-Webster and a full thesaurus, you have all the tools at your fingertips. In addition, all the words you added to your user dictionary from version 7 will automatically populate your user dictionary when you install version 8.

Remember Workspace

No more searching for the correct draft you were just working on
It's important if you are working among multiple drafts to make sure that you are editing the correct one. With the new Workspace preference, you can have Final Draft open all the files you had open, in the order you were working on them, the last time you worked in Final Draft.

Final Draft Courier Font

An improved appearance at high magnification helps your eyes during those long rewrite sessions
Having a consistent page count that production companies and studios can depend on to help them estimate their budgets is crucial when working on a script. That's why Final Draft offers its own font that will ensure proper pagination on both Windows and Macintosh. With version 8 we have made the font easier on the eye so you can better endure when you're writing for long periods of time.

Printing and PDF Options

Greater flexibility, more options and improved printing interface put you in the driver seat
Now, not only can you print your script in its entirety, you can choose which sets of revisions you want to print and you can print other views such as the Scene View and Index Cards. We've added the ability for you to print directly on 3x4 or 4x6 index cards and print your script directly to PDF so you can decide whether to send a full script or subset of pages to someone via PDF. The Title Page is also conveniently available as an option to include in your PDF or printed output.

Writing Management

Track your daily writing goals
Use the Statistics Report to check how much content you've completed in a writing session to help you manage your writing goals. You can also track things such as your ratio of Action to Dialog and whether there may be some unnecessary profanity in your script if you're attempting to 'clean it up.'


Keep track of ideas and feedback about sections of your script
These effective pop-up windows hold your ideas, suggestions or scene fragments that you've cut but don't want to toss without taking up space onscreen. Use ScriptNotes to provide feedback on a particular scene when reviewing your partner's script or print your ScriptNotes as a report for easy reference when reviewing your script.

Tab and Enter functions

Simple keystrokes make learning Final Draft a snap
You can install and start using Final Draft within minutes due to the easy-to-use Tab and Enter functionality that helps format all of the various types of script elements to Industry Standards.


Easily track your changes between drafts of your script
Compare two drafts of the same script (.fdr or .fdx) and Final Draft will highlight any changes, allowing you to easily see the differences from one file to the next.

Text to Speech

Have a 'table reading' anytime you want
Have your script read back to you by assigning different male and female voices to each of your characters. You can even assign a narrator for action and other non-dialog script elements. Powered by the text-to-speech engines built-in to Windows and Mac OS -- it's like having a live script reading in your computer.


Write with other Final Draft users anywhere with an Internet connection
Write, edit and discuss a script with other Final Draft users in real time, over the internet, anywhere in the world. You can transfer 'control' back and forth between individuals so that one person makes changes at a time, ensuring that information isn't lost during rewrites.

Format Assistant

Scan your script for any errors--it's like having a copy editor at your side
This useful tool checks your script for common formatting errors, such as missing dialogue, extra spaces, carriage returns and blank elements. You can set it to run every time you print or only when you want it to.

100% Cross-Platform

Share your script files with Mac or Windows users
Final Draft scripts are identical on both Windows and Macintosh platforms and can easily be exchanged between both.

Script Registry

Direct access for registering your work
Final Draft is a preferred file format and the only scriptwriting software with an authorized agreement with the WGAW online registry service.

Production Features

Final Draft Tagger 2

Break down your script and prep it for scheduling applications
This updated stand-alone application reads any Final Draft script and enables you to "tag" elements within the script [cast, costumes, props, etc.] and export the results into most scheduling applications. Tagger allows you to select text from the script and add any element with a click of the mouse in any category for that scene--or for any or all scenes where that element appears. The element text is highlighted and color coded, and can be customized to suit the way you like to work. Created with the help of veteran Assistant Directors, Producers and Unit Production Managers, Tagger means no more going over a paper script again and again with highlighters.

Revisions/Page Locking

Easy-to-use tools for handling script changes once you go into production
From the ability to omit scenes, lock pages and A-pages as well as set your revision colors, version 8 provides you all the tools you'll need to take your script through production. With version 8, we've created a new feature that will automatically track the page header's revision color so you can issue one set of revisions or all of them as needed. Merging pages that have been cut once a script is locked is also a snap. With new how-to tutorials, you have step-by-step instructions on how to merge pages without affecting your overall page count. Final Draft also includes standard revision colors in each film and television template.

Title Page, Cast Pages and Locations Pages

Cover pages come pre-formatted for industry standards
All of the Final Draft Television Templates come pre-set with easy-to-use information for each series such as the specific cast list and typical sets/locations. Our Standard One-Hour and Half-Hour Templates will also help you get started on pilots by providing what information should appear in the finished product. The added bonus is that the Title Page uses its own numbering for tracking the following pages so it won't add to your overall page count.

Customizable Reporting

Get immediate stats to help you develop your script and keep it on budget
Final Draft offers seven different reports to give you quick facts about your script. The Scene Report, for example, provides a snapshot of the scene's length, cast, starting page number and location. The Location Report will inform you how often a location is used and will group the scenes by INT/EXT. The Character Report includes an 'appearance summary' so you know how frequently one character speaks, versus the other characters, as well as the total word count for the character. Use the ScriptNotes Report to get a quick scan of all the notes in your script based on each scene and page. The Statistics Report will allow you to track daily writing goals by displaying how many words you've written along with details on the types of elements you used and what percentage of the script they make up. Need to cast your characters? You can instantly create then print or email Character Sides for any speaking parts in your script.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
286 of 294 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A necessary semi-evil February 11, 2012
By Dave
Platform for Display:PC/Mac Disc
I see that reviews for this program fall into two categories: (1) Wow, so this is how screenplays are supposed to look! This program automatically formats them. Awesome! I can write screenplays now and make movies! (2) I have to use this program for a living and this program is no more glamorous to me than a plow is to a farmer.

I fall into the latter category.

(Although I envy beginners their enthusiasm for formatting and begrudge them none of their excitement at entering the world of screenwriting -- that phase doesn't last more than a few months.)

If you're a professional screenwriter, especially for TV, then you pretty much have to use this program until someone comes out with something better that fulfills all the professional requirements needed by TV and film production companies. Sad, but true. Sad because, since this is a business of art, it would be nice to have a really elegant program upon which to ply said art. But FD gets the job done.

Final Draft support has been spotty over the last fifteen years I've been using it. Sometimes good, frequently not. They are quite a small company, and management has not always been... "people-oriented," shall we say? Many a show (I work mostly in TV) has suffered through innumerable glitches and crashes over the years, and there are still -- even at version 8 -- some oddly persistent problems:
-- nonstandard Mac interface (for example, pressing the Command and the , keys simultaneously should select Preferences like every other Mac program. It does not.)
-- still has many pagination bugs.
-- still has display issues that corrupt the display of the script occasionally.
-- nonintuitive interface that feels rather Windows 95 instead of Mac OS X.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I was looking for August 26, 2010
Platform for Display:PC/Mac Disc|Verified Purchase
Before reading my review, you should know that I am a beginner screenwriter and don't have any experience with competitive products on the market. With that said, the reason I had always put off becoming a screenwriter was because I was intimidated by the process. I had no idea how to make a screenplay look like the ones I had read. So many rules, so many formats, I didn't think I'd ever be able to learn, so I gave up on my dream without even trying. Then on a whim, I did some research and I bought Final Draft 8. I have only had the product for about two months, but so far, there is nothing bad I can say about it. It's been EXACTLY what I was looking for! When it says "just type," it's not kidding. As long as you are patient enough to read at least the first chapter of the instruction manual, you'll be screenwriting within minutes.

I have read other reviews of this product and people have had some bad experiences that I have not encountered. Some of it could be chalked up to human error though. Unlike Microsoft Word, FD8 does require a little bit of getting used to in order to completely maximize its potential. The learning curve isn't as deep as others have made it sound. It is capable of doing a great deal, but if you're just starting out like me, learning the very basics could not be any easier.

I give this review 4 stars because I haven't had the program long enough to determine whether or not I'm going to experience bugs pointed out by other users, so my love affair with it could end later, but for now, I can't recommend it highly enough. Combine this purchase with a copy of "Screenwriting for Dummies" and you'll be on your way!
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72 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and not user friendly August 14, 2009
Platform for Display:PC/Mac Disc|Verified Purchase
Yes, I know this is the industry standard, but the new version, Final Draft 8, is so complex and convoluted that I have been tearing my hair out over it. First of all, most of my industry contacts have version 7. You'd think converting from 8 to 7 would be easy. Not! I spent 3 hours with an online techie to try and resolve my problems. I ended up having to figure it out myself. And speaking of tech support, what company would expect you to fork over $200 and then provide only 20 MINUTES of phone support before demanding $2.50 A MINUTE for phone support once you've used up those few precious minutes? Convert my Screenwriter scripts to FD 8? Should be easy, right? Again, not. FD crashed repeatedly at the effort. This should be the first line of defense. I finally gave up and haven't tried since.

Other difficulties have cropped up as well. I can't get any answers as to why it's so difficult to find the automatic backups, if indeed there are any. No one seems to know why the caps on the first letter of a sentence are sometimes functional and sometimes not. I could go on, but you get the point. Believe me, if I could go back to Hollywood Screenwriter and make the industry folks happy, I would do it in a heartbeat!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous July 16, 2010
Platform for Display:PC/Mac Disc
As a new writer, I learned of Final Draft from my brother in Los Angeles. I was thrilled about the program and how easily it allowed me to write my first script. Once I returned to Chicago, I immediately ordered my own copy to finish my script. As of today, I am five pages away from completion. I LOVE IT!!!!! I look forward to getting my script copyrighted next week. Anyone who is serious about their writing, Final Draft is critical to their success!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars ... it is a lot to cover/ this is real nice to have
did use it is a lot to cover/ this is real nice to have
Published 6 months ago by Francenna Stewart
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Published 10 months ago by Stephanie
4.0 out of 5 stars I felt like I lost a lot of functionality I had grown ...
I started out using Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 which is a decent software package. But I decided to get Final Draft 8 a try and it took a while for me to get used to Final Draft. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Just4Fun
1.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary evil
Too buggy for words. Every FINAL DRAFT version I've ever owned has been way too buggy. If my car had this many bugs it would be called a Lemon.
Published 11 months ago by E. EDDIE EDWARDS
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic software
great script writing softwear. you can cover to pdf. amazing graffics. great assistance with writing scripts. Read more
Published 12 months ago by candy1
5.0 out of 5 stars helped me become the screen writer I'm today.
I love this program, it almost writes the script it's self. When I got it, it came with no drections, and they must have assumed if you were buying 8, you had the program before,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Brent David Schroeder
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