beat

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

Beat on Twitter @beatScreenplay
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Version 1.3
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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

You can either use automatic scene numbering and never care about it again, or lock and edit them directly in your script.

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, 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.

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!

See the source code at GitHub

Follow Beat on Twitter for latest news!

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?

You need to allow it to run from System Preferences → Security → General. Click on the lock and allow Beat. This won't be an issue once Beat is submitted to the App Store, but it has its costs. Waiting for that sweet Itch.io money!

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 question about Beat

Send a DM on Twitter or e-mail me (beat@kapitan.fi). If it's a bug, provide an example of your file and explain what happened and where. I'll look into it when possible. Questions, poems and feedback are welcome too!

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.

Can you add this super cool feature I came up with?

Send a DM on Twitter or file a feature request on GitHub and let's see. Some requests have been implemented, others disregarded, and some are beyond my programming skills. Beat is developed on spare time, so don't be too disappointed if your feature doesn't make it into the app. Also, please do report any bugs you might encounter.