Tech Tips: The Format Assistant

Jan 5, 2018 | Tech Tips

Congratulations! You finally finished your script and like a proud but nervous parent, you’re now ready to send it off into the world!

But wait…

If you listen carefully you can hear deep chords played on an upright bass… like something is lurking beneath the surface… unseen… OH NO! FORMATTING ERRORS!

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<CUE SLASHY VIOLIN STROKES>

That’s right, on Page 73 there’s an extra blank line between two action paragraphs, on Page 92 there’s a blank space before a piece of dialogue and on Page 100, there’s a character with no dialogue!

Oh, the humanity!

Fear not, because Final Draft is here to help. Before you hit that Send button, go to Tools > Format Assistant and have this utility scan the script for several common and easily-missed formatting errors:

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If the Format Assistant finds a problem, it’ll tell you what it is, tell you how it wants to fix it and give you the opportunity to make the correction or skip to the next error. Click Options and you can choose to have the Format Assistant start a scan before you print or save to PDF.

It’s a good idea to run the Format Assistant a couple of times, in case it missed something (unlikely) or you did (possible) the first time.

Make sure your scripts don’t have any formatting errors before you submit and you’ll be a better, more successful writer!