Formatting Dual Dialogue in Final Draft

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In this article I’m going to show you how to format dual dialogue in Final Draft.

Characters speaking at the same time

Oftentimes in your script you have multiple characters in a scene and they’re not all waiting for their turn to speak one after the other, but they sometimes overlap each other, or speak at the same time. Just like in real life, right?

So, how do you indicate that in your script?

There’s a simple solution for this, it’s called “dual dialogue” and I’ll show you how to format this in Final Draft.

Formatting Dual Dialogue

It’s very simple. In your script, write the dialogue just like you would in any other scene, one character after the other, and then select the lines of both of the characters and go to “Format – Dual Dialoge” or hit Cmd-D on the Mac, Ctrl-Alt-D on the PC.

Dual dialogue in Final Draft - Formatting Dual Dialogue in Final Draft
Dual dialogue in Final Draft

As you see, Final Draft now places the two blocks of dialogue side by side to indicate this is happening at the same time.

One thing you need to be aware of:

Editing Dual Dialogue

You can’t edit your dialogue in dual dialogue form. To edit it you need to go back to the regular format.

Reverting Dual Dialogue to Regular Formatting

To do that either just double click on the dual dialogue, or with the dual dialogue selected, go to “Format – Dual Dialogue” and Final Draft reverts it to regular dialogue formatting.

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