For those of you who like to work with Pages on a MAC or iOS there are free screenwriting templates available online.
Fabrizio Fracas, a swiss writer and director, has put them together and offers them on his website as a free screenwriting resource.
Using the Templates
After downloading them just unpack the zip file and you’re asked to add the templates to the template chooser of Pages.
Open Pages and you’ll find them under “My Templates”.
There are two versions:
• Cole and Haag template
• Warner templateq
The F-keys (F1 – F7) serve as formatting shortcuts:
• F1: Scene Heading
• F2: Action
• F3: Character (named “Character Cue”)
• F4: Dialogue
• F5 Parenthetical
• F6 Transition
• F7 Shot
Although the well-known TAB-and-ENTER writing style doesn’t really work here for obvious reasons, it’s still pretty straightforward to jump from one formatting preset to the next.
You just need to get used to when you have to select the formatting manually with your F-keys and when it is selected automatically.
E.g. hitting ENTER after the scene heading (which is automatically ALL CAPS by the way, the same with character names) brings you straight to the action format. Or, after typing a character’s name you jump right to the dialogue.
But some of the formats have to be chosen manually, like “Character” after an action line. Your TAB key doesn’t help you here.
What you also get is an automated scene index with the page number at the end of the script, which is kind of nice. It somewhat replaces the scene list in the navigator of Final Draft in a more simple way.
Should you start your script in Pages and then move it to another software you can do so, albeit not with a necessarily very straightforward workflow. What you have to do is:
• Export the script to pdf • Import it into Highland • Export it from Highland to Final Draft
According to the author the templates should adhere to common screenplay formatting standards. But since there is no absolute version of screenwriting format rules, there are two different templates to choose from:
Warner Template vs. Cole and Haag
The two templates are almost identical. As far as I found out there are just two little differences:
- Character: In the Warner template the character name is further on the right, just a little bit
- Dialogue: The Warner dialogue space is a bit narrower, which will result in more pages if it adds up.
Whereas the templates are great for writing, be aware that you cannot just copy/paste in correct screenplay format from another application.
If you copy from one template to the other Pages will recognise which formatting preset you are using, but the ones that are different (character and and dialogue) will be marked with an asterisks and used with the “wrong” formatting.
If you copy/paste from an outside application to Pages the result depends on the application you’re pasting from. I tried it with Scrivener and Final Draft. Final Draft pasted everything as action formatting (indented left), whereas Scrivener pasted with indentations but Pages could not recognise the formatting as such.
These Pages screenwriting templates give you a great way to quickly get started with writing a script. They are really useful and they don’t cost you a penny.
If you don’t need any other special features this is a great way to write a screenplay.
However, there are a few limitations, but since Pages is included with every MAC this is a great way to save you money. When your script is finished and printed (or in pdf format) no one will see the difference.
In the end, it’s all about the quality of your writing, isn’t it?
Have you tried Pages for screenwriting? What is your opinion? Are you missing something?
Feel free to drop me a comment below…