The Ultimate Screenplay Format Reference

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Screenplay Measurements


  • must be 12 point Courier or 12 point Courier New - everything from the title page to the last page of the script
  • (if you use still a typewriter - use PICA font)
  • no bold print, no italics
  • can be underlined in very rare cases
    • when you really need to emphasize a word
      (as every single word in the script should be important, I wonder when you might have to use this option)

margins and tabs

  • margins:



    1.5 in


    3.8 cm



    0.5 - 1.25 in


    1.3 cm - 3.2 cm



    1.0 in


    2.5 cm



    1.0 in


    2.5 cm



  • tabs:
    • dialog: 2.5 inches (or 1.0 inch from the left margin)
    • actor’s instructions: 3.1 inches (or 1.6 inches from left margin)
    • character cues: 3.7 inches (or 2.2 inches from left margin)
    • scene transitions: flushed right
    • if you use it - FADE IN: left margin, FADE OUT: flushed right
  • dialog must not exceed 3.5 inches in width, that means it must not extend more than 6.0 inches from the left side of the page.

    Many writers use only a width of 3.0 inches for dialog and 1.9 inches for actor’s instructions.
  • page numbers appear in the upper right corner of the page, 0.5 in from the top, flushed to the right margin

page numbers

  • counting starts with 1
  • the cover page is not counted
  • a page number is followed by a dot (example: 57.)
  • no page number appears on the first page of a script (the one following the cover page). Thus, numbers start with 2. on the second page

spacing between scenes

  • one line recommended (= two returns, a.k.a line feeds)
  • two lines okay