Why is my script a different length than in Final Draft?

When importing a Final Draft screenplay into Fade In, the resulting page count may be different. There are several reasons this can happen:

  1. Margins and indents - Final Draft tends to push things a little closer to the edges of the page and element indentation is generally set so that more text fits per line. If you want to mirror Final Draft's measurements a little more closely, you can use the Final Draft screenplay template available from the Download page. (Although generally Fade In will properly use the metrics of the FDX file when importing it.)
  2. Line spacing - The Final Draft file may have line spacing set to "Tight" or "Very Tight" line spacing. Under Fade In, that can be adjusted under Document > Page Layout > Line spacing.
  3. Courier Final Draft - Screenplays are written using a 12-point Courier font (i.e., a "Pica" or 10-pitch typewriter font measuring 10 characters per inch). Note that Courier Final Draft is not 10 characters per inch — in Final Draft it is, for some reason, slightly more. Fade In respects the 10 characters per inch metric for screenplay formatting, which may result in some words being bumped to the next line.
  4. Page metrics - Final Draft's actual page layout does not always reflect the math of the page metrics. That is, it has some idiosyncratic behavior that will give slightly different layout results depending on the content, and it's up to a third-party application to try to figure out what these internal rules are. Final Draft document layout can even vary noticeably between different Final Draft versions.
  5. Printer settings - From version to version of Final Draft, printer settings may affect the layout and pagination (and therefore length) of a Final Draft document differently. In Fade In, printer settings have nothing to do with document layout.

(Also make sure that when you're looking at Final Draft measurements using the ruler that they accurate represent the actual element settings. Depending on the zoom level, etc., Final Draft's ruler seems to sometimes show the wrong indentation.)

Tags: courier, final draft, fonts, page count

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