the candler blog

Meet Fountain for Marked

Fountain, Screenplay Markdown

I’m very excited to introduce you to the Screenplay Markdown for Marked’s successor: Fountain for Marked. Fountain is the new name for Screenplay Markdown syntax. It combines Stu Maschwitz’s original ideas for SPMD with a similar ongoing project from filmmaker John August. Both specs have now been unified into one open source project. As Stu put it earlier today, “Fountain is everything SPMD was, now with the support of a respected industry pro with a track record of creating best-in-class apps for screenwriters.”

Bookmark the new home of the plain text screenwriting, fountain.io, for updates on new apps and changes to the syntax. Most of the latest version of Fountain is supported in Fountain for Marked with notable exceptions listed below. If you don’t have it already, go pick up a copy of Brett Terpstra’s Marked before following the installation instructions below.

I have been involved with this project for a few months now. It has been an amazing experience watching Screenplay Markdown grow from an idea to an actual thing to a full-fledged project. This is still the very beginning of something big. Something John mentioned in his introduction of Fountain will really stick with me as I continue to contribute to the Fountain community:

Back when we announced FDX Reader, I got a lot of emails asking, “When are you going to make a screenwriting app?”

Answer: Today. My hope is that we just made a thousand. Fountain turns every text editor into a screenwriting app.

All right, that’s enough chatter (for now). I’ll be writing a bit more about Fountain here soon, but why not just take it for a spin? Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or by contacting me directly. Happy writing.

UPDATED March 5, 2012: Fixed installation instructions and updated to newest version of screenplain.

Download & Installation

  1. Download Fountain_Marked_1.0.1.zip.

  2. Install the files

    • Double click the .zip file to extract its contents
    • Move screenplain-marked folder to ~/Library/Application Support/Marked
    • Move the Fountain.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.sh

    • This will be the full (no ~) UNIX path, /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Marked/screenplain-marked/screenplain_marked.sh
    • This shell script points to your installation of screenplain. By default it is set to ~/Library/Application Support/Marked/screenplain-marked/bin/screenplain. If you place the complete screenplain-marked folder into ~/Library/Application Support/Marked then you will not need to edit this script.
    • If the script is not working, you should open Terminal (located in Applications/Utilities) and make the file executable by typing chmod a+x /path/to/screenplain_marked.sh
  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/Fountain.css and add it
  6. Open a Fountain 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 “Fountain” style from the Style selector in the bottom left.

Notes:

  • This is a customized version of screenplain by Martin Vilcans
  • The following Fountain syntax rules are currently unsupported but coming soon:
    • Title page
    • Some transition types
    • Notes
    • Boneyard
    • Page breaks
  • It creates h6 instead of div for “slug” types to allow for TOC navigation in 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.

Changelog:

1.0.1 March 5, 2012

  • Added Sections and Synopses in line with the latest updates to screenplain.
  • Updated README to fix typos that lead to installation errors.

1.0.0 February 8, 2012

  • Merged SPMD and Fountain syntaxes.

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