(beat)

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

No distractions. Concentrate on writing.

Beat was created by a screenwriter for screenwriters. It has a minimalist, distraction free UI and magically formats your screenplay. And best of all — Beat is totally free and open source!

Distraction free writing

No buttons or other useless crap on screen. No popup alerts. 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.

Import multiple formats

Beat can read files created by Final Draft, Highland, Fade In and Celtx pretty flawlessly. FDX import even includes notes and revisions!

Dark mode

If you happen to be a vampire, Beat offers a pleasant dark mode for children of the night, even on older Macs.

Powerful 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 formatting

You don’t need to format your screenplay. Elements such as scene headings and dialogue are automatically recognized, full with autocomplete.

Revisions

It’s easy to track revisions to your script, either automatically or manually, and highlight the changes on the exported PDF.

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.

Screenplay statistics

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.

Plugins

Expand the capabilities of Beat using plugins and extensions. Read the docs to start making your own if you know some JavaScript!

About Beat

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

The app is totally free and will remain so. We need more free creative software, created out of pure passion, to enable new, aspiring artists from different backgrounds.

If you want to support the development you can do it via PayPal, or subscribe to Patreon.

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 the development!

Drop by the Discord Community or Patreon 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 type some text that looks like a screenplay, it becomes a screenplay. Fountain also has some more advanced 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

Will there be an iOS version?

Yes! The iPad version is currently in closed beta, and is accessible to Patreon subscribers. It should be out in late 2023.

How do plugins work? Can I make my own?

You can find all official plugins in Plugin Library.

Plugins are written using JavaScript. If you want to create your own extensions, head over to the Beat Plugin Wiki. You can also ask for advice on Discord.

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. 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. Many writers are collaborating using both Beat and Final Draft.

Is there a built-in AI component or plugin?

No. Beat is made for humans.

Something is broken, I hate you

This is how you report a bug. Read the instructions carefully to make it easier to track down the issue — and to fix it. Beat is also updated fairly often, so first make sure you are running the latest version.

Please don’t send death threats or mean e-mails. Worst bugs are fixed as soon as possible, and the app is still free, now and forever. Instead, consider sending some loose change to help me keep the lights on.

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. The goal is to provide a professional-level free tool for anyone who can afford (or steal) a Mac.

Beat exists to make people happier and more free to express themselves, not to make fuckloads of money for shareholders while ignoring human rights and basically using slave labour in the global south. Did I already say fuck you, Apple?

Do you collect data or store my screenplays?

No and never. Everything you create in Beat is stored only on your own computer. Beat also doesn’t collect any user data, and respects the privacy of every user. The only time Beat accesses the Internet is to check if any of your installed plugins have updates, and you can turn this off.

More info is available in the short and sweet privacy policy.

I have another question

Send any feedback, questions, poetry or letter bombs via Discord or e-mail (beat@beat-app.fi).