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Alan C. Baird wrote:
Proposal for significantly enlarging LibreOffice's user base with Screenwright(R)

14 November 2010 by Alan C. Baird, prizewinning writer and creator of the
Screenwright(R) screenplay formatter [winner of the Sun/OOo CIP award]

Executive Summary: enable screenplay formatting in LibreOffice to distinguish it from OpenOffice.

Pitch: Every aspiring screenwriter has a movie in his/her head that needs to get down on paper. 
However, some film production companies won't accept a script submission if the formatting is even 
ONE POSITION off! So ensuring that screenplays are formatted correctly is an obsession of 
screenwriters everywhere. But formatting a script can be an expensive proposition; 78 commercial 
formatters are listed at The Writers Store. A screenwriter could easily spend $200 or more on 
software, just to get a screenplay into acceptable shape.

UNLESS s/he uses LibreOffice in conjunction with the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template.

We all want our scripts to be eligible for the next multimillion-dollar spec auction, so some of us even carry our latest 
screenplays in our glove compartments, on the off-chance that we might meet someone who can help. In the movie "Monster In A 
Box," Spalding Gray talks about one of his trips to Los Angeles: «I had no idea how difficult it would be to find people not 
involved in the film industry until I got out there and saw a special on television - in which they were interviewing people in 
the parking lot of a Shop Rite supermarket. As people came out with their groceries, the interviewer would go up to them and say, 
"Hi there, good morning! Tell us, how's your film script going?" And everyone said, "What?! How did you 
know?" Right up to the cashier.»

If the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template can be included as an integral part of the 
upcoming LibreOffice release, it will send a clear signal--to filmmakers in particular and to the 
Entertainment sector in general--that LibreOffice is ready to address the industry's unique 
text-processing and -formatting needs. News travels fast among members of the Entertainment 
industry, and they tend to be the gatekeepers and style leaders for the culture at large.

Historical context: OOo Writer is the first (and for now, the only) full-featured word processor 
that will easily format a screenplay at no cost whatsoever. But it requires a template download and 
installation. If LibreOffice wants to capitalize on this unique opportunity, the template could be 
integrated in the upcoming LibreOffice release.

Alan C. Baird
Mesa, Arizona USA
I remember mentioning in a recent email that I thought that with its corporate leaning OOo might end up tailored for lawyers and accountants and LO would end up being oriented to screenwriters, novelists, musicians/composers. In other words LO would become the darling of the artistic community. Unless I am mistaken, and in this case I don't think I am, most of the people in the artistic community don't have a lot of money to throw at obtaining tools for their craft. I myself am writing two novels and a daily journal at this time using this full size laptop and a copy of OOo. If LO were to become the tool of choice for the artistic community, this would likely greatly increase its visibility to the general public, (most people I mention OpenOffice to have never heard of it) do to frequent mention in the media which tends to pay a great deal of attention to the artistic community. I could be wrong in this, as I am not an expert in such things, but I suspect that a template/and/or extension for Draw might make it able to do musical notation very conveniently. If this were the case, I can imagine it getting a huge amount of press coverage!

I will upgrade to LO as soon as a version not designated as beta becomes available. And someone can promise me that my spell check dictionary to which I have added well over a thousand compound words can be transferred to it.

The OOo spell check dictionary has far too few compound words in it. For an example, it will have rain, and barrel, but not rainbarrel. Literally thousands of compound words need to be added to the spell check dictionary.

I have heard many people complain about the word completion feature, and ask how to turn it off, however for the writing of most prose it is a very useful tool, but with a couple of small changes it could be MUCH better. For instance, have an option where it will not gather any string containing anything but the 26 lower case letters and ' the apostrophe. (English) Chapter headings are often in all upper case, and this becomes a nuisance when it offers words in all upper case. Or the option to lock in a "Permanent" auto completion dictionary and turn off the word gathering without loosing the auto-complete function completely, which is what generally happens now. Someone told me that the auto-completion dictionary resides in RAM and if this is the case, the option to have it stored on the hard drive would be very useful.
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