Final Draft 7 utilizes a basic set of features as well as another set of what might be deemed "special features." The basic and special features available in Final Draft 7 are those that are expected in any high-end scriptwriting software which include the following items:
· To begin a new project, one can choose from 15 Script Templates, which includes everything from “BBC Screenplay for TV" to "US Screenplay (Spanish)." Six Text Documents, which includes everything from "Manuscript" to "Treatment," and 80 TV Templates, which includes everything from 24 to Without a Trace. While not exhaustive, this provides ample coverage.
· The ability to import files from any word processor and then export to a variety of formats including PDF. This is important because of document protection issues.
· A Format Assistant. This is an option that checks a script for common formatting errors, such as missing dialog, extra spaces, carriage returns, and blank elements. Once it's run, a window opens showing a list of errors that can be easily fixed by simply selecting Fix. This is a nice feature.
· Index Card/Outline/Navigator Panels are available so that instead of editing a script on a standard page, the user can display a script in Index Card format or in an outline. This makes navigation easier and aids in script development.
· A Creative Handbook is included which contains a number of sample contracts from the Writers Guild of America, West. This would fall more in the category of special features, but could nevertheless be quite useful.
· Another special feature would include the “Ask the Expert" option. This allows the user to obtain useful hints about their project.
· Avid XML Export Script. Files can be exported to Avid editing tools for use with Script-based editing and subtitling.
· The CollaboWriter feature allows users to write, edit, and discuss a script with other Final Draft users in real time over the Internet.
· Final Draft has a feature called Voices that can read back a script using a variety of electronic voices that can be modified by the user.
· The Production feature uses pop-up menus to allow an in-production script to be locked and will create pages to help keep the script intact when content is added or removed.
This is a strong set of features and, given a suface look, the program is not missing any make-it-or-break-it features.
Having the features available is one thing; however, using these features is probably not going to be intuitive for the novice. Additionally, while Final Draft 7.1.3 provides a feature-rich environment, there are still at least a couple of things missing. For example:
· There’s no template for a comic-book script.
· The program exports to Avid editing tools but not to Final Cut Pro.
· There’s no introductory demo. The unfamiliar/novice user has to go to the User’s Guide and flip pages while simultaneously trying to construct a script. Thus, it would be better if some kind of demo came with the program.