Basic screenwriting formatting rules

screenplay formatting

What are basic screenwriting formatting rules…

The importance of correct screenplay formatting lies in the need to make a script easy to read.

Good script formatting allows a reader to immerse themselves in the story, rather than getting distracted by screenwriting formatting.

Here are the absolute basics of screenplay formatting:

Font

12-point Courier.


Margins

7mm left margin, 25mm right margin. No justification. Don’t shrink margins for more space.


Slugline

Capital letters, left-aligned, keep it simple:

INT/EXT. PLACE – DAY/NIGHT


Action descriptions

Present, active tense (“sits”, not “is sitting” or “is sat”), to-the-point, no more than 4 lines a paragraph.


Character names

Capitalised the first time they are introduced, normal case thereafter. Central and capitalised before dialogue.


Dialogue

Normal case, 88mm from left margin, not beyond 35 characters across.

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Want to learn more about formatting> Check out our ‘learn formatting’ section!


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