Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

Importing Your Script With Final Draft 12

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How To Import Your Script Into Final Draft 12

Let’s take a look at what kinds of file formats you can import into Final Draft 12.

It’s all pretty simple and straight forward.

Final Draft 12 doesn’t have a real “Import” function because you don’t really need one. It all works via the “Open” dialog in the “File” menu.


This is the standard format. If you just write inside of Final Draft 12 and want to save your work, this is the format that is used by default. This is also the standard format for interchanging Final Draft files with other supported apps and programs.

You can also open FDX files that have been saved with older versions of Final Draft, including version 8. However, if you open a file from an older version, e.g. Version 9 and save it in Final Draft 12, some information might not accessible on an older version, but still, the FDX format is backwards compatible and opening it should work.


This is a Final Draft template file. If you want to save your own custom template, as discussed in earlier lessons, this format is used. You can also open templates from older program versions, for example from Final Draft 9.


These are formerly used file formats that have been used for Final Draft version 5 until version 7. So in case you’re still using one of those you can open the files here in Final Draft 10.

Plain Text TXT

Well, as the name says, it’s plain text, nothing else. There is no formatting information that comes with this format. So, if you happen to have a script in plain text format, just try to open it here. Final Draft 12 will ask you if you want to open it as a text file or as a script file. If you choose “script file” it will try to guess the formatting of the different script elements and usually it works quite well. Depending of how well the Plain Text TXT file is structured with line breaks and capitalizations, you might very well end up with a perfectly formatted script here.


This works basically the same way as with a Plain Text TXT file. RTF means “Rich Text Format” and that means it can have formatting. But the process is the same as with TXT files. Final Draft will try to guess the script elements if you choose “Script File” when opening it.

If you want to import a Microsoft Word file and it doesn’t work well, try to save the Word file in the RTF format first and then open that one in Final Draft.


This is a so-called Final Draft “File Converter Format” which is used to pass along older formats like FD4 and FDAV from older Final Draft versions.

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