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April 6, 2021

Download Your Free Screenplay Template for Microsoft Word & Google Docs Today

Want to write your screenplay without downloading expensive software? Did you know that you can start writing a screenplay with Microsoft Word or Google Docs FOR FREE? No need to purchase expensive software like Final Draft.

We have a convenient free screenplay template for a movie or a TV show for you to download here. You don’t even have to change the font, spacing, margins, or style rules — you can just download our perfectly formatted screenplay template and then open it in Microsoft Word or upload it to your Google Docs account and start writing your screenplay. This is great if you are planning to write a screenplay soon.

Remember though that Arc Studio's web version is also completely FREE with no credit card needed. It will give you access to more advanced screenwriting tools to help you organize your notes and outline your script.


Why choose a Word template or Google Doc over specialized software?

When it comes to screenwriting, the tools you choose can make a significant difference in your writing process. While specialized screenwriting software like Final Draft has its merits, there are compelling reasons to start with a simpler, more accessible solution like a Word template. Google Docs is also a great program for writing scripts, if you can get a handle on the formatting.

Affordability and Accessibility

Screenwriting software can be a hefty investment, especially for writers just starting out, although Arc Studio is a great free alternative.

Our free Word template eliminates this barrier, offering you a no-cost entry point to begin your screenplay immediately with none of the complications of learning a new software. It also allows you to stay productive.

With just a few clicks, you can download the template and start writing in a familiar environment without the need for new software or steep learning curves.

And when you're ready you can upgrade to Arc Studio which is also free.

Flexibility Across Devices

Our template is designed for Microsoft Word and Google Docs, which means you can write on any device, whether it's a PC, a Mac, or a tablet. This flexibility allows you to write whenever inspiration strikes, without being tethered to software that might not be as portable.

Ease of Use

Many writers are already comfortable with Word or Google Docs. If you want to use a software, you might want to start by organazing your notes in Arc Studio before you start writing. Check out this video to see how Arc Studio can make outlining your script easier.

By using our template, you can leverage your existing knowledge, focusing on your story rather than learning new software. Our template ensures that your script meets industry standards, so you can be confident that your format is professional.

Collaboration Made Simple

Sharing your work with writing partners, editors, or mentors is straightforward with our template. Word and Google Docs facilitate easy collaboration, with commenting and revision tracking built-in. This is essential for a dynamic writing process where feedback is crucial.

A Stepping Stone to Professional Software

Starting with our Word template doesn't mean you're compromising on quality—it's a stepping stone. As your screenwriting career progresses, you might choose to transition to specialized software. Our template ensures your screenplay will be formatted correctly, making any future transitions smooth and hassle-free.

Step-by-Step guide to using your screenplay template

There’s no need to go through the hassle of adjusting margins, spacing and font in your scripts for movieswhen you’re using Arc Studio's professional screenwriting software (there’s a free version too). But if you want to stick with Word or Google Docs, we’ve based this guide on this scenario and listed step-by-step instructions below. You can also check out our free video guide to the basics of formatting.

You can write a script using the style set forth in the instructions below and you can also check our screenwriting template examples.

Step 1: Set your margins

You’ll want to make sure your margins are set up correctly for your scene. This might depend on the different devices you use e.g an iPad or a Windows machine. You can do this in Microsoft Word by going to Layout > Size to choose the paper size. Then go to Margins > Custom Margins. Use the settings below for US Letter paper size:

Top: 1 inch
Bottom: 1 inch
Left: 1.5 inches
Right: 0.5 inches

For A4 Paper (Europe), set the margins to:

Top: 1.35 inches
Bottom: 1.35 inches
Left: 1.5 inches
Right: 0.3 inches

Step 2: Set your font to Courier

The Hollywood-standard font that all professional screenwriters use is Courier. You can also use Courier New in Google Docs. Be sure to also use this on your title page.

Step 3: Line spacing and indentation

That familiar look of a screenplay comes from the all-important white space which is created by the industry-standard formatting due to line spacing, indentation and centering dialogue on the page. Get this right and you'll smash screenplay formatting which is one of the most important elements for writing a script for screen.

Line Spacing:
The line spacing will establish the white space before or after a line. Press Ctrl + A (or Cmd + A on a Mac) to select all, then set the line spacing Exactly 12 points (or Exactly 1 in Google Docs). In Microsoft Word go to Home > Line Spacing Options from the Line Spacing menu. In Google Docs: Go to Format > Line spacing > Custom spacing.

Most text in a screenplay is aligned to the left, which is the default for Word and Google Docs. The important exception to this is transition lines, which align to the right.

Remember though if you're struggling with this you can use a free script format tool such as the template we've provided or Arc Studio itself which is FREE and takes care of the formatting for you.

Step 5: Title page and page numbers

Page numbers are important when it comes to the screenplay format so that collaborating writers or filmmakers can reference and find certain pages in development or production. Page numbers should be in in Courier font. In Microsoft Word: Open Insert tab > Page Number. Change position of the page number to Top of page and turn off the Show number on first page option, because you don’t want it on the title page. After clicking OK, double-click your page number to change font and size to 12 point Courier.

To do this in Google Docs, click Insert > Page Numbers and select the second option to show numbers after the first page. People like directors and agents will be able to find this easily when they look over your work.

Save your screenplay format as a template

You’re done! Now you can write a screenplay, large or small! You can save it as a template in Microsoft Word. Simply go to File > Save as Template. While you can’t save it as a template in Google Docs, you can create a copy of the document for each screenplay you want to write. This makes writing a screenplay easy work.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. If you want to skip all these steps and automate professional screenplay formatting, sign up for Arc Studio for free here! This is a sure way to get ahead with your screenplays in this industry.

Of course if you don't want to go through the hasssle of setting up your own template you can simply use our template which also works with Apple's Pages as well.

A screenshot of Arc Studio's screenwriting template open in Pages
Our template, although a Doc X, also works with Apple's Pages as well

Want more tips on screenwriting?

Congrats on getting started! Now for the good news: setting up your script can be the hardest part. It's all downhill from here.

Now that you've got that settled, it's time to start creating your first character and writing with screenwriting software like Arc Studio Pro. Once you have your initial idea, it's essential to outline your script. Luckily, there are different ways to structure your script, such as the three or five-act story structure. Choose what's best for your story.

Are you looking for inspiration? Check out these blogs:

10 Ways to Come Up with Screenwriting Ideas

How to Come Up with Short Film Ideas

If you are just starting your first script, perhaps these blogs may be helpful as well:

Set Up Your Workflow for Productive Screenwriting

Becoming a Productive Screenwriter in 8 Steps

3 Screenwriting Productivity Hacks to Finish Your Script

Start Writing Your Screenplay Now - download Our Free Template today.


Level-up your screenwriting software

With Arc Studio, you stay focused while writing your screenplay, craft better stories, and collaborate with ease.

Want a better experience than Word – that is also free? Try Arc Studio.

Add the template to your Arc Studio Pro account

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Want a better experience than Word – that is also free? Try Arc Studio.
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Download Your Free Screenplay Template for Microsoft Word & Google Docs Today
Harry Verity

Harry is a professional writer. His first novel The Talk Show was published in the U.S and the U.K by Bloodhound Books in 2021 and he is currently working on adapting it for screen using Arc Studio. He's also written for Media Magazine - a UK magazine for students of A-level Film, Media and Television Studies. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, Readers' Digest and Newsweek, amongst many other publications. He has just finished his second novel for young adults, set in a boarding school. He holds a BA in English from Loughborough University.

Level-up your screenwriting software

Arc Studio is the new standard in screenwriting software: stay focused, craft better stories, and collaborate with ease.

Want a better experience than Word – that is also free? Try Arc Studio.

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Download your free template now

With Arc Studio pro, you stay focused while writing your screenplay, craft better stories, and collaborate with ease.

Want a better experience than Word – that is also free? Try Arc Studio.

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Our new podcast, How I Write: Screenwriters Share Their Creative Processes, launches Nov. 12th.

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