Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

How To Use The Final Draft 11 Beat Board

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Learn How To Use Final Draft 11’s Beat Board

The Beat Board in Final Draft 11 is basically a canvas where you can put different kinds of information as cards in order to have a place apart from your script to store that information.

This can be useful for a whole number of things, above all for outlining and research.

Let’s have a look at how it works.

Using The Beat Board

Open up Final Draft 11 and click on the “Views” drop-down menu in the top left corner.

Select “Beat Board”.

Select Beat BoardNow you see an empty space where you can put all your beats.

To create a new beat, double-click anywhere you want.

Every beat has a title and a body.

If you right-click on the beat, Final Draft gives you a couple of additional options like color, alignment, or you can convert the beat into a structure point.

Beat Board Right Click BeatWill take a look at what that is in the second.

Now, the beat board ties in directly with your story map.

You should see the story map at the top of your window. It’s a bar with some numbers, usually running from 1 to 120.

Take the beat that you just created and pull to any point in the story map.

Final Draft 11 creates a diamond–shaped marker at that point where you let it go. That marker has the same color as the beat itself.

This beat is now connected to a certain page on the story map.

You can see the page number also in your beat in the top right corner.

If you want to break that connection again, right-click on the marker in the story map and choose “Remove”, or right-click on the page number in the beat and choose “Remove Page Goal”.

Story Map Right Click Beat
Importing Images

If you right-click on the beat board canvas instead of double-clicking, you get a menu where you can also import images as beats.

Beat Board Right Click MenuStructure Points

Right-click on the empty canvas and choose “new structure point”.

Structure points also have a title and a body area and you can also give them a color, just like with the beats.

If you take that structure point and pull it onto the story map, you will see the difference to a beat. Structure points have a different icon in the story map so you can differentiate one from the other.

So you could, for example, use structure points for the broader structure in your script, whereas beats can be all kinds of things that you want to track throughout her story.

Again, if you want to break the link between a structure point and a certain page number in your script, delete that structure point from the story map via the right-click menu or right-click on the page goal on the structure point on the beat board.

Final Draft 11 Sample Script Beat Board

If you want to see how a more advanced use of the beat board can look like, open up the sample script that comes with Final Draft 11.

You can find it under Help – Sample Scripts.

Final Draft 11 Sample Script Beat Board

Click the button below to download a free Final Draft 12 Cheat Sheet: