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Slugline Review

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In years gone by, all that screenwriters had to bring the movies in their imaginations to life was a typewriter and a blank page. There were no automatic spell-checkers, auto-fill tools or revision trackers to distract them from the words on the page. Slugline is a screenwriting program that seeks to return to that older world by removing all the extra features that distract writers from the most important thing – the words on the page.

Slugline's motto, "Simply Screenwriting," is apt because the software is, at its core, a simple word processor that converts your documents into the screenplay format. The interface is a blank page with a blinking cursor. There are no feature ribbons, multicolored panels, or endless settings and preferences screens to distract you from typing the words themselves.

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Like all the best screenwriting software, Slugline automatically formats your words to match Hollywood screenplay standards. However, that formatting only survives within the application itself and in the finished, exported documents you send to your agent, producer or director. The actual words you type are saved and stored in plain text using the Fountain markdown language.

By using Fountain over a proprietary file format (such as FDX, CELTX or SCW), Slugline allows you to open and edit your screenplay in any text editor. This actually gives you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to writing, because you don't need to install Slugline on your computer to work on your screenplay. This frees you up to write on any computer, tablet, smartphone or other device capable of opening and editing a text document. This is exactly the opposite approach from screenwriting software that forces you to save your documents in a proprietary format that you cannot open without the application that created them.

Because Slugline is so focused on the written word, it lacks any production features whatsoever. Reports, breakdown tools and colored page revisions are all absent from Slugline, so when you get to production, you'll have to import your text into another application to use those features.

Slugline delivers exactly what it promises – simple screenwriting. This lightweight application's simplicity is its ultimate strength. However, when it comes time to actually make the movie you've written, you'll have to employ a third-party program to handle the heavy lifting during production.

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