the candler blog

Screenplay Markdown for Marked is Here

Filmmaking, Screenplay Markdown, technology

This is exciting. I’ve mentioned Stu Maschwitz’s Screenplay Markdown (SPMD) here a few times before. I’ve been smitten with the idea ever since he cooked it up in August. Thankfully, I’m not alone.

About a month ago, I tweeted asking if it would be possible to use Screenplay Markdown in Brett Terpstra’s excellent Markdown previewing app, Marked. To my surprise, Brett responded enthusiastically, then Stu got in touch as well. Before long we were all communicating, along with Martin Vilcans, whose command line utility, Screenplain, was the first to turn SPMD text files into formatted screenplays.1

In order to learn a new syntax, it helps to have a way to preview your output so you know you’re properly formatting your document. It took me about a year to learn Markdown because I didn’t have an application as easy and robust as Marked to show me what my formatted writings scribblings look like.

Markdown and SPMD aren’t that difficult to master, but once you do you realize how quickly you can get your thoughts out of your head and into a document, from anywhere. That’s the point. Marked makes it super simple to format your plain text document. Now Screenplay Markdown for Marked makes it as straightforward as possible to preview your formatted scripts.

So what does it look like? On the left is a sample script in TextEdit. On the right is the same script in Marked.

TextEdit Marked Side by Side

Screenplay Markdown for Marked is still missing some features, but it will only get better from here. Stu, Martin and Brett have all been working hard to make this a great solution for writing screenplays. This is feels like the beginning of a wider SPMD project. We value your input and feedback, so please leave comments here or on Twitter (or wherever) to let us know how you like using SPMD for Marked.2 Installation instructions are below and on the Marked support site. Go get Marked, the SPMD package below and your favorite text editor and write something already.

UPDATE 02/08/2012: Screenplay Markdown for Marked is now Fountain for Marked. Please visit the updated page for more information.

Download & Installation

  1. Download SPMD_Marked.1.0.zip.

  2. Install the files

    • Double click the .zip file to extract its contents
    • Move marked-screenplain folder to a folder of your choice
      • Suggestions: Your home folder, /usr/local/bin, ~/Library/Application Support/Marked
      • Move the Screenplay.css file to ~/Library/Application Support/Marked/Custom CSS/
  3. Launch Marked and open Preferences

  4. In the Behavior panel, check the Custom Markdown Processor box and in the field below it, enter the path to screenplain_marked

    • This will be the full (no ~) UNIX path. If you put it in /usr/local/bin/ it would be /usr/local/bin/marked-screenplain/bin/screenplain.
    • If you put it in your users’s home folder, it would be: /Users//marked-screenplain/bin/screenplain
  5. Go to the Style tab of Preferences

    • Click the plus button (+) under the table to add a new custom style
    • In the file select dialog, navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Marked/Custom CSS/Screenplay Markdown.css and add it
  6. Open a Screenplay Markdown document.

    • The custom processor you entered should be on by default. It can be toggled per-document using the gear menu or ⌥⌘C.
    • Select the “Screenplay Markdown” style from the Style selector in the bottom left.

Notes:

  • This is a customized version of screenplain by Martin Vilcans
  • It creates h2 instead of div for “slug” types to allow for TOC navigation in Preview (hover over the upper right edge of the preview)
  • Currently there are no export abilities for formats other than PDF/HTML
  • Pagination doesn’t work properly just yet. While you can print and export PDFs of your scripts, note that pages will not be numbered and may not accurately render (Characters may be on different pages than their dialogue, no “mores” or “continueds”, etc.). This may be fixed in future updates.

Icon

Check out this awesome SPMD for Marked icon Brett made. Download and enjoy.

  1. The Screenplain web app can even quickly create FDX files from your SPMD scripts. It’s pretty awesome.

  2. Or don’t like, but be nice.

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