Slugline: The Low-Cost Alternative to Final Draft

Slugline is a great low-cost alternative to Final Draft. It only costs $39.99, compared to Final Draft’s $199.99.

At one fifth the cost, Slugline has everything you need to write a screenplay, including some features Final Draft lacks, such as integrated outlining, built-in Courier Prime, and simultaneous dialogue that doesn’t make you stabby.

Slugline offers a great writing experience, and prints gorgeous, industry-standard PDFs. This is all powered by Fountain, the free and open screenplay format that somehow Final Draft doesn’t support yet. But the family of apps and services that do support Fountain is big, and still growing.

For example, if you need to convert your Slugline screenplay to Final Draft’s FDX format, you use Screenplain, a free web app that converts Fountain to FDX, HTML, and PDF.

But if you require more powerful file conversion, you can buy the wonderful Highland for $29.99. It converts Fountain to FDX and back, and can even convert a PDF screenplay into editable form. With Slugline and Highland together, you have a screenwriting Bat-belt, and you’ve still only spent $70 total, well under Final Draft’s cost.

If you want a deep, complex screenplay app that takes on Final Draft feature-for-feature, our recommendation is that you take a look at Fade In (which, unlike Final Draft, imports and exports Fountain with ease). But chances are you don’t need a full-featured screenwriting app. Chances are (in our totally objective opinion), you’d be better off with Slugline, which offers the most productive, streamlined writing experience.

But let’s just say you went crazy and bought Slugline, Highland, and the $49.99 Fade In. You’ve spent $120 for a veritable screenwriting arsenal, and you still have $80 in your pocket that you didn’t spend on Final Draft.

You have more left over than you spent an any one of these three awesome apps. Go buy yourself a nice sushi dinner.

Don’t get caught up thinking that any one app holds the key to Hollywood. All that matters are the words you put on the page. When you choose Slugline for writing those words, not only are you treating yourself to a sleek, writer-focused experience supported by a host of compatible tools — you’re also saving some real, sushi-grade money.

Stu Maschwitz