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Top 15+ Best Script Writing Software for Linux Desktop

Script writing software is designed to play a vital role for writers from different writing sectors. As a newbie, it may not be simple to use. But, after a certain period, it comes in handy for creating scripts for films, novels, and television programs. Linux has to offer a bunch of tools for script writing for both beginners and professionals. There is a wide range of applications that are open source and free. Moreover, if you want to get some extra bit of advanced features, you may need to spend some bucks.

Best Script Writing Software

Like the other platforms, Linux is also enriched with some amazing script writing tools. Today in this article, we are going to show you a comprehensive list of the best 15+ script writing applications. Hopefully, it will help you get the most suitable one with essential features for your project. Let’s go inside it! 

1. Bibisco

Bibisco is a modern and user-friendly Java-based writing tool that aims to help you write stories. It comes with a decent look and many formatting features. Actually, it is the most famous novel-writing tool with a lot of basic and advanced functions to design the structure of the documents. Bibisco is an open source script writing software that is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

bibisco-open source script writing software

Noteworthy Features of Bibisco

  • Provides a full-featured writing environment with the facility of organizing chapters and scenes, managing revisions, and many more.
  • It lets you export your documents to PDF and RTF files. 
  • Using Bibisco, users can track the characters, locations, POVs, etc., including the way of its distributions among different chapters. 
  • Includes the story and character templates and timeline tools, including the story analysis charts.
  • Supports different languages like French, German, English, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and more.
  • Available on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Also, it provides essential tips and tricks to set up the tool in various environments. 

Get Bibisco  

2. Trelby

Trelby is another multi-platform open source script writing software written in the Python programming language. This tool is free to use and released under the General Public License. It is a highly configurable and feature-enriched program with a wide range of element styles like Action, Scene, Dialogue, Shot, and more. Besides this, it generates the exact output on different platforms, including Linux and Windows.

Noteworthy Features of KIT Scenarist

  • Trelby screenplay editor provides correct script format with auto-completion and spell-checking facility. 
  • Let users compare scripts with the previous version to check the changes between them.
  • It supports multiple views, including WYSIWYG mode, fullscreen, draft view, and more. 
  • Able to make reports on location, scene, character, and dialogue. 
  • The screenplays can be saved and imported in different formats like Celtx, Fountain, Fade In Pro, Adobe Story, and more. The export file formats are PDF, HTML, Fountain, RTF, etc. 
  • Includes an excellent PDF generator with custom watermarks that allow tracking shared files.

Get Trelby

3. Fountain

Whether you search for a simple and easy-to-use script writing tool, Fountain comes with great flexibility. It is a markup syntax that helps to write, edit, and share screenplays on any device you want. You can easily learn the formatting in any text editor using Fountain. Also, it maintains the industry-standard formatting procedure and lets you export it to HTML. Thus, this tool is regarded as one of the best script writing software on the web. 

fountain-best script writing software

Noteworthy Features of Fountain

  • An excellent open source script writing software that works on every device without cost. 
  • Let you implement Fountain in several screen writing tools like Emacs, JotterPad, Vim, Trelby, and more. 
  • It includes a lot of features like page breaks, title page, lyrics, and centered page. 
  • Integrated with many apps and third-party plugins to make script writing more flexible.
  • Various extensions are supported for its UTF-8 text files like .txt, .fountain, and .spmd. 
  • The fountain is available on all major platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and Android systems. 

Get Fountain

4. LyX

LyX is one of the most popular and advanced script writing tools featured as a powerful LaTeX document processor. It comes with a convenient graphical user interface that helps to do the writing out of the box. This tool is written in C++ and Qt 5 under GNU General Public License v2. Undoubtedly, LyX is good enough to create structured documents in multiple graphics formats (EPS, XFig, SVG, etc.).


Noteworthy Features of LyX

  • A proper solution for creating mathematical content, academic articles, thesis, presentation, slides, LinuxDoc, novels, movie scripts, and books in a structured layout.
  • Works as an excellent mathematical formula editor that supports Mathematica, Maxima, Octave, and other Computer Algebra Systems.
  • It allows users to insert plain LaTex code anywhere in a document.
  • LyX runs on all the major platforms, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Haiku, and Unix systems. 
  • It lets you import and export documents in several formats like DVI, PDF, HTML, OpenDocument, RTF, Postscript, MS Word, and more. 
  • Also, it provides extensive documentation with tutorials to make the way flexible for the users. 

Get LyX

5. KIT Scenarist

KIT Scenarist comes with a powerful and highly configurable application that aims to create screenplays. It is an open source script writing software with a very intuitive interface. It provides a friendly environment in both the desktop and mobile platforms, from installation to implementation. Undoubtedly, it’s a great tool to store all the research documents in one place for the best use of your creativity.

KIT Scenarist

Noteworthy Features of KIT Scenarist

  • It allows the complete production reports, including several statistics for action duration, scene duration, characters count, and many more. 
  • Besides managing the lists of characters and locations, it can create new ones with descriptions and images. It also lets you rename and organize the properties using this tool. 
  • KIT Scenarist provides dark and light themes that can be used in different environments (day and evening) regarding your suitable time frame. 
  • It lets users export scripts in various formats like PDF, Fountain, FDX, and DOCX. 
  • Besides Linux, it also runs on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Furthermore, it provides mobile versions for Android and iOS users.
  • It also contains active communities on different platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Done Deal Pro forum, and more.

Get KIT Scenarist

6. Manuskript

Manuskript is another open source script writing software that is written in Python and PyQt5. It lets you organize and plan before you start writing. You can write directly into the app, where the chapters or topics are summarized in the individual sections. This feature-enriched tool is free to use, which is licensed under GNU General Public License v3. 


Noteworthy Features of Manuskript

  • It contains a pre-made sample file to let the user know the whole process from installation to implementation, including the functionalities. 
  • Let’s organize your thoughts and components hierarchically. You can play with your files according to your plan. 
  • Manuskript provides a feature as ‘Frequency Analyzer’ to check the frequency of any part within the document. In short, it helps to find or replace a word or phrase. 
  • It allows writing in distraction-free mode to set up word count and time before leaving the text editor. 
  • Includes the features of spell checking, markdown highlighting, and tracking various items within the files. 
  • Manuskript exports files in various formats like ePub, PDF, OpenDocument, DocX, HTML, and more. 

Get Manuskript 

7. Fade In

It’s an excellent tool for writing, rewriting, and revisions in the industry of television, radio, motion pictures, video games, and more. Using cloud storage lets you save your valuable scripts and the facility to access them from anywhere you want. All in all, Fade In is a complete package to get professionally-written motion picture screenplays. 

Fade In-script writing software

Noteworthy Features of Fade In

  • Fade In is available in most platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android systems. 
  • Provides standard screenplay styles with customizing facility. Also, it lets you control all the components of your documents in a simple manner.
  • It lets you save valuable time by providing autocomplete suggestions. The autocomplete list consists of scene times, scene intros, and more. 
  • Allows organizing screenplays with themes, characters, plots, significant sequences, and many more.
  • Fade In can generate industry-standard script breakdowns with complete and detailed production reports. 

Get Fade In 

8. Screenwriter-mode

Screenwriter-mode comes with the universal solution for writing screenplays in various platforms. It is a free plugin under an open source license for Emacs, a modern text and code editor to produce plain text files. It deals with the simplest keyboard shortcuts and provides an easy-to-use interface for the users. Besides this, it allows extracting location names and characters with a complete report from the screenplay.


Noteworthy Features of Screenwriter-mode

  • Screenwriter-mode is available on all major platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, GNU Linux, BSD, Solaris, and other Unix systems.
  • It lets users generate a formatted title page to create and save it with a capitalized and centered title. 
  • Allows generating a detailed report of unique locations, INT. locations, and EXT. locations.
  • Users can create a single-document screenplay from the individual scene using the screenwriter-mode plugin without having page or scene numbers.

Get Screenwriter-mode 

9. Ghostwriter

Ghostwriter is a distraction-free script writing software that uses Markdown language (text markup format) to create documents. It is also an open source tool under General Public License v3. It comes with an easy-to-use and clean interface with built-in dark and light themes. No doubt, it will let you feel an excellent writing experience in different environments. 


Noteworthy Features of Ghostwriter 

  • Includes the feature of live HTML preview where users can copy the HTML file from an existing document and set a custom style. 
  • Ghostwriter allows exporting files in several formats like HTML, PDF, ODT, Word, and more. 
  • It enables highlighting a particular sentence, paragraph, or line using Focus mode. 
  • Besides the built-in themes, you can also create a custom one according to your flavor. 
  • It provides document and lives session statistics with words, characters, paragraphs, percentage of complex words, reading time, and more. 
  • Ghostwriter is entirely free to use and compatible with both Linux and Windows systems. 

Get Ghostwriter 

10. Pago

Pago comes with a powerful screen writing script that allows using Vim as an excellent software for creating screenplays. This plugin supports all the major formatting components properly regarding the specifications of a screenplay. It runs on different platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac systems. There are several versions out there with proper guidelines to know in detail. 


Noteworthy Features of Pago 

  • A feature-enriched terminal-based plugin with a simple PDF generator helps to have a simple output text file to a formatted PDF file. 
  • You can easily distinguish between the writing sessions using this tool.
  • It helps to retain the previous scenes, actions, and lines that are stored in the archives. It also includes a complete report of the elements. 
  • Provides command-line abbreviations to make the best use for its users in a flexible manner.
  • Using the basic keys (Left, Right, Up, Down, etc.) lets users access all the screenplay elements. It doesn’t need any complicated or technical commands for this. 

Get Pago

11. Barefoot

It’s not about a complete package of script writing software this time. In this section, we are going to let you know about a tiny utility, Barefoot. This tool helps to convert .fountain screenplay files to formatted plain text. Barefoot is used as a shell command and built with the C++ programming language.


Noteworthy Features of Barefoot

  • Barefoot is an open source script writing software or utility released under GNU General Public License v3 or later version. 
  • Besides converting screenplay files, it also allows printing to paper or PDF format from a Unix shell. 
  • Although the compiling process is not a complicated issue on the Linux system, Barefoot doesn’t need to be compiled. 
  • It supports Linux and Unix-based platforms like BSD and Illumos. 

Get Barefoot 

12. Celtx

Celtx is an advanced and modern script writing tool that aims to create screenplays, auditions, movie scripts, novels, and many more like these. It works like a simple word processor and media pre-production software with a lot of features, including the facility of collaboration with other authors. It has both a free and premium version, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License v2. 


Noteworthy Features of Celtx

  • Celtx is a cloud-based platform that can be accessed from anywhere from any device. 
  • It allows importing the existing scripts with a complete report in both PDF and HTML formats. 
  • Includes industry-standard editor along with the power of creating stripboards, shooting schedules, and production calendars.
  • It is featured with scene management, pagination, spellchecker, embedded notes, printing, and many more. 
  • Celtx is available on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac oS, Android, iPad, and iPhone. 

Get Celtx 

13. Scribus

Scribus is one of the essential and popular script writing tools at present, with an intuitive user interface. It is an essential desktop publishing software with many free programs and extensions. You can make the best use of this tool in writing brochures, newsletters, books, posters, and more. It also provides internationalization support in different languages, including English, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, etc. 

scribus-script writing software

Noteworthy Features of Scribus

  • Scribus is an open source script writing software under GNU General Public License 2.1, written in C++ language.
  • It supports many publishing features like ICC color management, color separations, PDF creation, etc. 
  • It allows for creating animated and PDF presentations with forms using this tool. 
  • Scribus is available on all major platforms, including Linux, OpenBSD, Solaris, Debian GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, Windows, and more. 

Get Scribus 

14. Screenplain

Screenplain is another command-line tool that allows writing screenplays using the Fountain format. This application is written in Python program by Martin Vilcans and released under the MIT license. Besides having a command-line toolkit, it also can be implemented as a library. You can easily change or modify the plain text using Screenplain on different types of devices. No bindings at all! 


Noteworthy Features of Screenplain

  • Screenplain converts the plain text in both HTML and Final Draft FDX formats.
  • An open source program that supports all kinds of manipulation software and produced simple text files.
  • It keeps the files in an easy and standard format for the producer, director, story writer, and more. 

Get Screenplain 

15. Afterwriting

Afterwriting comes with a command-line tool that allows dealing with several screen writing applications. Using node.js, it can generate PDF from the fountain script. Also, it provides the statistics of page balance, location distribution, and more. This tool is free to use and released under the MIT license. 

Noteworthy Features of Afterwriting

  • It can be run from the terminal and track basic screenplay components like pages, action, dialogue, etc.
  • Afterwriting lets you open screenplays that are written in Final Draft and Fountain format. 
  • It also lets you specify headers, watermarks, and footers using the PDF generator
  • It provides the facility to load and sync with Google Drive and Dropbox in the online version.
  • Lets users display the number of pages, scenes with or without dialogue, and also the characters. 
  • Includes an “auto-save” feature that saves your documents automatically rather than saving them each time after any writing session. 

Get Afterwriting 

16. Drama Queen

Drama Queen is a modern and feature-enriched script writing software that aims to develop, analyze, visualize, and rewrite your writings. It comes with a flexible and professional environment to deal with complex characters. It lets you use the free version of Drama Queen with having functionalities like Celtx and Final Draft. You can also use it on different platforms like Linux, Windows, and Mac. 

Drama Queen-script writing software

Noteworthy Features of Drama Queen

  • Allows exporting documents smartly into Final Draft, TXT, RTF, and PDF formats. 
  • Includes a great layout with the formatting options for many components like line spacing, headers, footers, etc. Also, it shows detailed reports and statistics for this. 
  • Drama Queen provides an auto-completion feature to make the process faster in typing characters and locations. 
  • Also, it lets you use the full-screen mode, including the facility of checking grammar, spelling, and style.
  • It provides a user-friendly interface and deals with storylines, structure models, character profiles, guidance, and many more.

Get Drama Queen 

17. GitBook

GitBook comes with a complete solution for documentation and script writing using Markdown and AsciiDoc. It was built as an open source tool to create a book, enterprise manual, thesis, research paper, etc. It is a command-line toolkit with a fast and secure writing solution. Being integrated with Slack enables searching and sharing the documentation through this. GitBook runs on the most popular platforms like Linux, Windows, and Mac. 


Noteworthy Features of GitBook

  • It provides the facility of convenient editing in the GitBook format with many fruitful features like auto-completion, drag and drop, shortcuts, and more. 
  • Using math plugins like Katex and Pathjax, you can include math symbols and equations in your document. 
  • It provides a powerful text editor, WYSIWYG, with several markdown shortcuts to make the process flexible.
  • Allows tracking various components like traffic, content quality, rating, and more.
  • Using Git technology lets you manage the versions of your file, including the power of control over the markup. It always inspires users in collaborative writing. 
  • Also, it allows keeping your documents private for you and your team as well.

Get GitBook  

Wrapping Up

Script writers from different industries always seek the most suitable tool to do their job. In this article, we have tried to pick up the best and featured-enriched script writing software suitable for the Linux platform. Most of the mentioned tools are open source and free to use. Hopefully, this list of script writing tools will help you find the proper one. Do you have any other preferences besides our choices? 

Then, please let us know your findings to enrich our list. If it seems helpful, share this content with your community. Finally, thanks for your valuable time.

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.


  1. Drama Queen is no longer supporting Linux platforms for several reasons (not least of which they claim that there were nearly no paying Linux users), so that should not have been included on the list. I found this from a response Drama Queen sent to a person who questioned why they couldn’t find the link to the download. That was sent in July 2021, and this article looks to be from September 2021. Somebody couldn’t have just checked to make sure that as they were writing this, they knew what they were talking about? And I concur with the other posters. C’mon, folks, let’s do better. We can’t trust your opinions when they are executed so sloppily.

  2. From what I can see, Bibisco is a Novel writing application. It doesn’t support writing screenplays. Why is it included here?

    Also, Fountain isn’t an application at all; it’s a markup format. You need conversion software that turns it into a script, which is harder to find on Linux than other platforms. But Fountain itself is not software.

  3. I am looking for a stage-play writing software. NOT screenwriting. Trelby is an excellent 32 bit program, but I need 64 bit stage play writing software.

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