beat

A minimalistic and elegant screenwriting app for macOS.
Free and open source.

Beat on Twitter @beatScreenplay   Discord Community Discord
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Version 1.83
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Distraction free writing

No buttons or other useless crap on screen. No popup alerts. No preferences. Toned-down appearance is easy on the eyes and you can concentrate on writing your story.

Plain text

Files are saved using the plain-text Fountain screenplay format. You can export your files to Final Draft and PDF, or even edit them on any text editor.

Night mode

Whether you are a vampire, devil worshipper or undead, Beat offers a pleasant dark mode for all the children of the night.

Outlining

Outline view and scene cards provide a good insight into your story. Add sections and synopses, and reorganize your scenes by dragging & dropping.

Automatic elements

You don't need to format your screenplay. Elements such as scene headings and dialogue are automatically recognized, full with autocomplete for previously entered stuff.

Easy scene numbering

Use automatic scene numbering and never care about it again, or lock and edit them directly in your script. Scene numbering can also be started from any number with two clicks.

Timeline View

Always keep track of where you are in your story. Timeline supports sections, synopses and scene colors and the MacBook TouchBar

Scene Filtering

Easily filter scenes by their location, color or name. You can also highlight only scenes that feature a certain character.

Script Analysis

Analysis tool gives insight into who has the most lines, number of interior/exterior scenes, and also calculates the distribution of lines within genders.

Highlight Changes

When printing or exporting a new version of your screenplay, you can easily include markers to track changes since the last version. Just remember to save your drafts under a different name.

Import Multiple Formats

Beat can read files created by Final Draft, Highland, Fade In and the old Celtx desktop app pretty flawlessly.

Plugins

Beat lets users create their own plugins and extensions. Read the docs to start making your own!

About Beat

Beat was originally created for personal needs as every other screenwriting kind of sucked. Beat might suck too, but at its own terms.

The app is totally free and will remain so, most importantly because free creative software can enable new, aspiring artists from different backgrounds.

If you want to support the development you can do it via PayPal, or name your price for Beat at itch.io.

Beat is originally based on Writer, a Fountain screenplay editor by Hendrik Noeller. The source code is released under GNU Public License, which means it will always remain open and public. And anyone can help with development!

Drop by the Discord Community or follow Beat on Twitter for latest news!

See the source code at GitHub

What is Fountain?

Fountain is a plain-text screenplay format. It allows you to write screenplays in any text editor on any device and because it’s just text, it’s portable and future-proof.

Fountain is designed to "just work" if you simply typed some text that looked like a screenplay. It also has some power-user features, which you won't need in most cases.

Beat has an editable Tutorial to get you started with Fountain!

Read more on the Fountain website.

Questions & Answers

Why can't I run Beat on Catalina / Big Sur?

You need to allow it to run from System Preferences → Security → General. Click on the lock and allow Beat.

App Store version will be available later this year.

How Do Plugins Work?

A detailed guide will be available later, but just drag & drop plugins to ~/Library/Application Support/Beat/Plugins

If you want to write your own plugins, read the documentation.

Will there be an iOS version?

Maybe, and a working first prototype actually exists. Its development is unfortunately paused for now, as I'm concentrating on writing and directing my own films.

Will there be a Windows version?

No. Beat is written in Objective-C and relies on macOS UI elements. The code is open source though, so someone with the time and required skillset might be able to find a way to port it. Actually, do it if you can! Apple is a greedy, hugely profitable company abusing sweatshop workers and disregarding their environmental responsibility.

Something is broken or I have a great new idea

Send a DM on Twitter, join Discord or e-mail me (beat@kapitan.fi). If you encounter a bug, provide an example of your file and explain what happened and where. I'll look into it when possible.

Why is it free? Is there a catch?

Beat is originally based on GPL licensed code, and the creator's background is in non-compromising DIY underground culture. Beat exists to make people happier and more free to express themselves, not to make fuckloads of money for shareholders while using slave labour in subhuman working conditions and ignoring human rights. Fuck you, Apple.

Beat sucks, but I've already written 200 pages on it. Can I continue working in another app?

YES! Beat exports and imports Final Draft files (pretty flawlessly), and Fountain files can be opened in apps such as Slugline, Logline, Storyboarder and Highland. Some writers have already collaborated using Beat and Final Draft.

I have another question

Send any feedback, poems, questions or letter bombs via Discord, Twitter or e-mail (beat@kapitan.fi).