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Import a Script

If you already have a script, you can import it directly into Celtx. Our one-of-a-kind importing logic will convert industry-standard scripts with precision and ease, readying your project to avail of Celtx's powerful and cost-saving production-planning tools.

Note: this article is about the Celtx Online Studio. To import within the Celtx Script app for macOS, click "File", "Import", and ".celtx". For other filetypes, (e.g. PDF) log into your online studio and upload any compatible file – the results will be available in both your Online Studio & macOS app.

Supported File Formats

Currently we import the following file types:

Text-based PDF: Best option! Fountain (.fountain)
Celtx (.celtx & .cxscript) Final Draft (.fdx)
MS Word (.doc & .docx) Rich Text (.rtf)
Text (.txt) Webpage (.html)

Please note: Scanned PDFs will not work without Optical Character Recognition)

How to Create a New Project from an Imported Script 

Importing a Script from the Studio dashboard creates a New Project based around that script.

  1. Click Create.
  2. Select the appropriate project type.
  3. On the next page, select 'upload'.
  4. Locate your locally saved script, and confirm your selection.

Once imported, Celtx generates a suite of tools – centred around your script – to help develop your story and plan your production.

How to Import a Script into an Existing Project

If you would like to add a local script to an existing script within a project, open that existing script. From there, click 'Import Script' in the File menu. This will append the import script to the bottom of the existing script.

Use this feature to bypass the Breakdown's Automatic Character Tagging feature, which is enabled by default upon uploading a script when creating a Project or importing a standalone script within a Project. Prior to importing, deselect Automatic Character Tagging in the Breakdown menu.

If you've already started a project and want to add imported content to it:

  1. Click the 'File' menu.
  2. Click 'Import Script' then 'from File'.
  3. Locate your locally saved script, and confirm your selection.

The content will appear inside your Project's dashboard page.

Importing from another Celtx project

You can also import from an existing project within your Online Studio into another. Options will depend on the project type in use. 

  1. While in your script, click the 'File' menu
  2. Click 'Import Script' then 'from Project'.
  3. The 'Import Script' window will display:
  4. Click on the script you want to import from and then 'Select'.

This content will also appear inside your Project's dashboard page.

Before Importing – Tips & Best Practices

If you experience issues during the import process, or wish to avoid encountering them, here are some tips to consider before importing your scripts.
Importing vs Adapting
Importing is when you take a file from your device and convert it to a Celtx Script.
  • Celtx import logic is tuned to specific script formats – so, uploading a stageplay into your screenplay editor will produce less-than-awesome results.
  • Same goes for any uploaded content that is non-industry standard – like trying to upload a novel into a screenplay editor.
    • With that said, the content will upload and Celtx is a good place to start adapting such works. For example, when adapting a novel, you can use the Find feature to quickly tag your dialogue, and then the "Find & Replace" feature to quickly remove quotation marks.
    • Note that our PDF import logic is highly-tuned for industry standard formatting. If your formatting is off, consider uploading in a .docx, .html, or .txt filetype.
Adapting is when you make a version of an existing Celtx Script file into a different format: Like turning a Stageplay into a Screenplay, or a Screenplay into a Stageplay. 

Keep Things Simple
Because all word processors behave differently from one another, removing extra elements that can be easily reinserted after importing will save you time and ensure a smoother import. Most notably:
  • Remove the title page (you can easily add it later using the Title Page editor)
  • Remove scene numbers from Scene Headings (these can be added instantly within your Celtx Script Editor) 
  • Remove marginal elements such as headers/footers and page numbers (these too can be easily generated within the Header & Footer options, in the Edit Menu)
  • Remove any cross-page parentheticals, such as (More) and (Cont'd). They are automatically added within the script settings menu (quicktip: use Find & Replace [often Ctrl+F] to quickly remove these elements from the source file).
  • Change all dialogue written in ALLCAPS (avoids creating non-Characters in your Catalog)
  • Remove any "Dual Dialogue" formatting, or any other formatting that splits the page into columns.

Avoid Special Characters and Formatting from other Programs
While our importer handles many languages and common ASCII characters without a hitch, some popular word processors inject unseen data into their text. After importing a .doc or .docx file, we recommend inspecting the Print Preview version for unexpected formatting. If anything appears out of the ordinary, or you are presented with a simplified printing dialog, consider uploading a PDF version of the same file.

Importing is Better than Copy & Pasting
Copy and pasting anything more than a single paragraph into your script file is not recommended; when you Copy & Paste, it bypasses our Importer and the script is left to rely on the browser and operating system to handle the data. When copying and pasting from an outside source, hold down SHIFT while pasting to remove formatting which may come in conflict with your script.

Looking to prevent Automatic Tagging of Characters?
If you're finding that your Catalog is populated by too many non-Characters after importing, you can disable Automatic Character Tagging from the Breakdown Options Menu. Create a new Project without importing, open the new script and select "breakdown", disable Auto-tagging from the Breakdown options, and then select "Import Script" from the Script's Menu. You can manually tag characters via the Breakdown mode once you are ready.

After Importing – Tips & Best Practices

Review Line Spacing & Page Size
Celtx formats your script to Hollywood Standard 2nd Ed. specifications. As such, you may notice some variations after importing. Most often, this is not an issue. However, you can adjust line spacing, page size, and other formatting options in Script Settings. 

Preview Print Version
In rare instances, some formatting anomalies may not be apparent within your Script Editor. If you have imported from an older .doc or .docx file or your script contains languages using a non-Latin alphabet (including 🤓emojis), preview your print version upon uploading. Issues revealed in this way are most commonly addressed by replacing anomalous characters with the correct keystroke and by removing line breaks (Shift+Enter spacing) contained within a single text element. 

Migrating from Adobe Story

If you are affected by Adobe’s retirement of Story, we wanted to make it easy for you to bring your projects to Celtx. Welcome!
Step 1: Export Your Adobe Story Script as a PDF
While Adobe doesn’t yet make it easy to export your Story scripts as a PDF, here’s the best current method:
  • Open your Adobe Story script.
  • Follow our "Before Importing" guidelines above.
  • Click on ‘File’ and select ‘Print’.
  • Select ‘Print’ again in the print dialog that pops up. This will open your browser’s print dialog.
  • Set your print destination as ‘PDF’. Your script will then be downloaded to your computer as a PDF file.

Step 2: Create a Celtx Account
As a new account holder, you’ll be given a 7-day trial of all studio features, after which you can subscribe to a production plan or continue writing for free in the Celtx script editor.
Step 3: Import Your Script Once you’re in your Studio, you’ll be prompted to select what kind of project you want to make.
  • Choose ‘Film & TV’.
  • Click the ‘Upload’ button.
  • Select your script PDF file, then click ‘Create Project’.
Your Adobe Story script will then be uploaded and turned into a new Celtx project with all corresponding planning documents. Open the script file and take a look. If you notice any issues with the script formatting, simply highlight the problem areas and use the tab key to cycle the text to the desired format.

Additional Support

If, after following the Best Practice guidelines above, you are still not quite happy with your import results, please submit a support request below. A Customer Success Representative will take a closer look. We're committed to prioritizing any issues that gets between you and project's success. 

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