Converting MS Word to Text With Layout



A question came up recently on the Avid Editors of Facebook on how to take a screenplay that was written in Microsoft Word and export it to be used with Avid Script Based editing while preserving the script layout. In older version of Microsoft Word, there used to be a “save as text with layout” option, but that is no longer available.

One solution is to use Fade In, an excellent, low cost, professional screenwriting software, that even in demo mode, allows for importing and exporting different file types. In this scenario, the script is exported from Microsoft Word as .RTF and opened in Fade In. Once opened, go to the file menu and select export as “Formatted Text”. That will preserve the screenplay format and be ready to use in Avid’s Script Based editing interface.

If on OS X, my go-to tool for further text manipulation is TextWrangler. One example brought up in the Facebook thread was adding more left side margin in the file. This can easily be done by opening the text file, selecting all the text and using  the “Shift Right function” from the Text Menu which is ” command-] ” and it inserts a Tab for each time used.



After Shift:


 The script used here for the demo is for the 2015 film “Straight Out of Compton” - available for download with other 2015 screenplays from IndieWire

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