You just fired up Arc Studio, ready to start working on your first script. The page is blank. Now what?
First, if you haven’t already, learn the absolute basics about the screenplay formatting elements. This will teach you what scene headings, actions, characters, and dialogue are, and how you write them stylistically.
Then you can start with your first scene heading. Will the scene take place inside or outside a building? If inside, type
ext. Arc Studio will automatically convert it into a scene heading for you, which means it is also auto-capitalized. Easy!
ext. auto-formats scene headings
Continue with the location (e.g.
lobby) followed by a dash
-. Now Arc Studio Pro will give you a choice of common “times of the day” – for now, stick to “day” or “night”. If you want “day”, just hit
Enter; for night, hit your keyboard’s down arrow
↓ first, then
Your first slugline, sweet!
Arc Studio Pro has put you on a brand new action line. You can just continue typing, e.g.
SARAH (mid 20s) walks over to the bar, where PETER (50s) is polishing glasses.. Hit
Enter again and you will get a new action line.
However, we want Sarah to order a drink, i.e. say something to the bartender Paul. Hit
⇥) to turn the action into a character element. Type
sarah. (It will be capitalized throughout for you. Easy!)
TAB turns empty action lines into characters.
Enter. You’re now ready to write Sarah’s dialogue. Hit
Enter and you will go back to a character element, so you can type
PETER and let him reply instantly.
Once you’re done writing dialogue, hit
Enter one last time, so you end up on an empty character line. No, you can switch back to action using
TAB turns empty character lines into actions.
And that’s it! As you saw, Arc Studio Pro usually chooses the right element for you. You just have to hit tab on occasion to switch between actions and characters. Arc Studio Pro was designed for maximum flow, so you can focus on your story.
A few extra tricks…
Want to add parens to your dialogue? Just type
( and Arc Studio Pro will take care of the rest.
Want to adjust an element manually? Just hold down
⌘ (mac) or
Ctrl (Windows), or click the element icon next to the paragraph. You will see the element menu to get full control.
Want to make something bold or italic? Underlined? Just select the section you want to format and the formatting palette will appear magically.
Arc Studio Pro is designed for maximum flow: no need to browse through old-school formatting menus – everything is right where you need it, when you need it.