How to Convert a PDF to a Final Draft Document

By Andrew Meer

The screenwriting application Final Draft does not have the capability to import nor edit scripts saved as PDF files. It can, however, import PDF files that are already converted into the TXT (text) file format and then save them as FDX (Final Draft Document) files. To convert a PDF file to the TXT file format, you can use Microsoft Word 2013’s built-in PDF functionality. The PDF to TXT conversion process may result in certain formatting errors, which you must clean up before saving the file as an FDX file.

Step 1

Open Word 2013, and then open the “File” menu. Click the “Open” side-tab, select “Computer,” and then use the “Browse” button to select the PDF file from your computer’s hard drive. Click “OK” when prompted to open the PDF file in Word 2013.

Step 2

Open the “File” menu, and then click the “Save As” side-tab. Select “Computer,” and then select a location for the file that you are about to save. Use the pull-down menu next to “Save As Type," select the “Plain Text” option, and then click “Save.”

Step 3

Open Final Draft, and then click the “Open” button under the Home tab. On the Open dialog box, click the “Files of Type” pull-down menu, and then select “Plain Text.” Select the TXT file that you converted from the PDF, and then click “Open.” When Final Draft prompts you to open the file either as a script or a text file, select “Script.”

Correct any formatting errors such as merged words or paragraphs. Once finished, click the “Save” button under the Home tab, select a location to save the file, and then click “Save.”