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Old April 22nd, 2005, 09:09 PM   #1
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two-column format

Hi. I have been having a really hard time finding a way to do the 2 column format for a script. I have microsoft word, and this software called Rough Draft, that I was assured could do this, but it seems it can't.

All I want is to have a document where the script is in one column, and the shots (e.g. "CU GUY1" etc.") are in another. I've searched the web, and not had any luck.

The script is already written, all I need to do is import it into a template that puts it all on one side of the page instead of all the way across, and on the other side, I should be able type out shots next whichever line of dialogue or action they need to be adjacent to. Can Word do this? Or something free?

Please help. Thanks.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 07:01 AM   #2
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Hi Josh,

Not the most elegant or high-tech solution...but if you're already using Word, just create a table with two columns. The cells in the left column can have the text of your script and the matching cells in the right column can have your photos and any caption text. You can format a Word table to look most any way you want.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 08:11 AM   #3
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There's a free script program available here: http://www.freefilmsoftware.co.uk/ScriptMaker.htm. I haven't tried it so I don't know how good it is.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 08:41 AM   #4
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Josh,

What you are looking for, is standard "AV" script format. Audio - Video. This is commonly used for commercials and very short form docs. Most script-writing programs can do this. At least, Scriptware, Final Draft, and Movie Magic can. See if your program has a template for AV in the menus. Sometimes, the template named "DUAL COLUMN" is actually for dual column DIAGLOGUE only... so check to make sure.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 08:44 AM   #5
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Not free, but in an ideal world you want Final Draft - basically it's the industry standard script writing tool, featuring all sorts of commonly used templates for various TV shows, screenplays and certainly includes the two column format (most often used for music videos and promo spots, so it'll probably be listed under one of those headings).

You may well be able to download a free trial version if you just need it for this one job, otherwise if you can afford it it's a very handy tool - it even synchronises with Avid (and possibly now other editors) to allow script based editing and will produce call sheets and link up with various scheduling and budgeting software too...
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 10:13 AM   #6
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I'll try the word thing first. . .it doesn't need to be too elegant, just readable. Try the other stuff if that doesn't work out. Thanks, people.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 05:50 PM   #7
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Just wanted to thank Pete for his inelegant solution. It works great! Kept the original script format and everything.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 04:30 AM   #8
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And yet another reply to myself:

Everything was fine 'til I got near the end of the original document, while it was in two column format. For some reason, it cuts off before the last few lines of this script, and I can't get it to acknowledge that they exist. Well, sort of, if I start deleting, the hidden lines come up, but I can't make the table any longer, for some reason. When I inserted the text into the colum, I just copied and pasted the whole script, so I don't know why this is occurring--it should have all been there from the start. The document is 19 pages long. . .is there some weird limit with columns to that page length or something? I thought maybe if I made everything 10 point font instead of 12, it would make it small enough so they hidden lines would appear, but the font refuses to change at all.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 04:42 AM   #9
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I've never made tables that long in Word, so it might be a limitation indeed.

But, Word natively supports multiple column paper! You do NOT need to use
the tables feature! I'm gonna try and explain it to you, I have the Dutch
version of Word, so I need to "translate" this feature for you.

I have Word 2000.

It is the fifth menu (on top) from the left, it should be something like this:

File - Edit (?) - Image (??) - Insert - LAYOUT - Extra - Table - Window - Help

The fifth one should be labeled "LAYOUT" or something. Under this menu should
be an option called "COLUMNS". Here you can set however many columns you
want, how wide they should be etc. etc.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 05:42 AM   #10
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I appreciate that, Rob, but those columns are something a little different from what I'm trying to do. I'm looking for a free workaround for the A/V type of format, while, on the columns you mention, text just continues into the second column once it's reached the bottom of the first column on each page.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 05:45 AM   #11
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Hey Josh,

I'm not familiar with the "Rough Draft" software, so can't say if there might be copy-and-paste issues. Assuming you are starting from scratch with a normal Word document containing all of your text, here's how I'd build it:
- Make sure there is a paragraph mark (or other, more unique symbol of your choice) wherever I want a new row to start, and none where I don't want a row to end.
- Select all of the text (or a page or two worth, and repeat...you can do this in "chunks.")
- Table>>Convert...Text to Table...(choose options: 1 column, perhaps a 3 or 3.5 inch column width, the symbol you chose to use to separate text)
- Select all cells in the table
- Table>>Insert>>Column to the Right
- Add graphics and captions to right hand cells as desired.

There isn't a limit (or if there is, it is huge) on the size of tables. At work, we routinely use documents with 2-column tables that are as much as 100 pages long...so the tables are 2 cells wide by more than a 1000 cells tall. Our tables contain almost entirely text; if you have a bunch of graphics, it may slow your system down. Here are some possible "gotchas" I can think of:
- I think table and cell properties default to break across pages, but perhaps yours is set for the cells NOT to break? That would hide rows of text that won't fit in the cell. Table>>Table Properties>>(Row tab)>>Allow Row to Break Across Pages (checked)
- Graphics file is scaled too large to fit and messing up the table spacing.
- If you've just made a 1-row table that's 19 pages long rather than having a small amount of text in each of many rows, I'd recommend re-doing it as outlined above...I have no idea if a cell that huge would cause problems. But in any case wouldn't be very helpful to work with.

Rob,

Using the column feature (Format>>Columns...) probably wouldn't do what Josh wants because his script would simply "snake" from the left column to the right column for each page, rather than allowing him to pair up a paragraph of text on the left with a picture on the right. With columns, the associated picture could end up moving to different relative positions in the document as he edits.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 06:22 AM   #12
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Indeed, that's true. It is something you could probably work with, but it isn't
too handy if you need to have 1 column go down the length of pages indeed.

Then the only option would seem to use tables indeed. Josh: perhaps it's an
idea to use a table PER page instead of one long one? This is a bit more work,
but should in theory work.

Or as others said, get a real screenwriting program *grin*
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Old April 26th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #13
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Thanks. I'll play with it.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 09:41 PM   #14
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Well, I sort of took Rob's and Pete's suggestion, and Bassized them. I made another row, right where it was cutting off, and was able to make the last few lines fit in that row. In the future, I'll try one row per page, instead of the awesome, but flawed, 19 page row.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 07:31 PM   #15
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Alright, apparently I lied. This method sucks ass through a stirring stick. I can't find individual "pages' without going through the entire document with either the mouse wheel or the scroll arrows, and I get this weird doubling of lines from the scrolling, which makes it hard to tell what I'm looking at. Plus, somtimes entire portions of text just disappear. They're there, but they're "trapped" past where I can see them, so I have to create a new row and paste from an old version of the document to get that lost material back.

I give up. Anything that isn't $300 that does a good job? Like maybe in the $30 range? Doesn't seem like this software should be very expensive.
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