Screenplay-tools is a powerful set of helper shell scripts to aid:

  1. The screenwriter in formatting and printing a screenplay written in screenplay-mode in emacs.
  2. The Assistant Director or Producer in getting important scheduling-related reports from the screenplay.

A shell script is a command that you must run in a terminal application, such as Terminal, Konsole, or xterm on GNU Linux, BSD, Solaris, and similar, on Mac OS X, or CGWin on Windows.


screenplay-tools requires no special apps aside from the typical GNU utils that are probably already on your system. It does, of course, presume that you are using Emacs in screenwriter-mode. It might work with screenplays created with other software (but good luck getting plain text versions from those), but no guarantees.

To install, simply cd into the screenplay-tools directory and run the install script. A typical scenario would be:

$ mkdir ~/bin

$ PATH=$PATH:/home/$USER/bin && export PATH

$ tar -xf screenplay-tools.tgz -C ~ && cd ~/screenplay-tools

$ ./

Advanced users: this does not require root privs because by default it installs everything into your home bin directory. If you would prefer these shell scripts available for all users of your system, just cp them, as root, to some place like /usr/local/bin

To test to see if the toolset has installed properly, run screenplay-help from the command line:

$ screenplay-help

If you get a help screen in response, then the tools are working. If you get an error, you should check your ~/bin folder to see if the scripts are there. If they are, then check your path to make sure ~/bin is in $PATH

$ echo $PATH

$ ls ~/bin

Assuming all of that worked, you're ready to read up on the first tool, screenplay-build