fdx reader iconBack when the iPad was first announced, I predicted it would become the go-to device for reading screenplays. That’s proven correct.

Most agents and execs I know have one. The weekend read, which used to involve heavy stacks of printed scripts, is now digital. The iPad is good for a lot of things, but it’s great for reading screenplays.

Correction: It’s great for reading other people’s screenplays.

If you’re a screenwriter working on your own stuff, the iPad can be frustrating.

Thanks to Dropbox and Mail, the iPad will let you see the script files you’re working on. That revision your writing partner just emailed you? It’s there, attached to the message. You just can’t read it. Same for all those drafts in Dropbox. They’re tantalizingly close, but inaccessible unless you first remember to convert them to PDFs on your computer.

It shouldn’t be this way.

We need an app that lets you read Final Draft files on the iPad. So my compatriots and I made one.

Does what it says on the tin

FDX Reader lets you open Final Draft (.fdx) files, and makes them look nice. It’s not an editor. It’s just a reader, like iBooks or the Kindle app.

big fish page

It’s available in the App Store now.

FDX Reader is a collaboration between me, Nima Yousefi and Ryan Nelson. Beta testers have been kicking it around for the last two months, and have found it really useful.

Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, Cupid and Party Down:

I throw all my active script files into Dropbox already, so FDX Reader is incredibly convenient. For me, two steps have been eliminated: conversion to PDF and syncing those files to my iPad. My active scripts will always be available now.

I read a hundred scripts this staffing season, and they were all PDFs. Sure, I’m able to read them on my iPad, but without the ability to change type-size, I find the print is slightly too small for me to be totally happy. Life would’ve been much better if I’d had this app.

We’ve incorporated a lot of feedback from film and television writers, such as a new UI for act breaks. We have a lot of ideas for the future, but the app fits a real need right now.

You can find out a lot more information about the app — including a video with me and a special guest — at the official site.