CeltX discontinued its desktop app, but we still have it

B. O'MalleyLast updated: The Tech-Savvy Script Reader

Vast warehouse. "CeltX Desktop App filed away for good?"

Vast warehouse. "CeltX Desktop App filed away for good?"The CeltX free screenwriting software disappeared from the CeltX website long ago, as they’ve been nudging their users towards their cloud-based service, which is paid, but has a free option.

Now, I know exactly three rich screenwriters. The rest I know are scraping by, and living, as how one particular comedian described documentary filmmakers at the recent Oscar telecast, “in their shitty apartments.” So when it comes down to “How much can I spend on screenwriting software?” the answer for most screenwriters goes a little something like this:

“What’s the best of the cheapest or free screenwriting software?”

The answer to that question can come in many colors, depending on who you ask, but one particular screenwriting suite that was the savior of many a wealth-challenged screenwriter within the last decade was the aforementioned CeltX, the free screenwriting software that, as I mentioned, has recently gone the way of the “cloud,” phasing out their desktop/downloadable/installable version.

CeltX has been called “a flexible “full-fledged preproduction software package,” and includes writing templates for film, tv, and virtually any other format you can think of. As a piece of desktop software, it spanned the gap between new screenwriters having to use clunky Microsoft Word templates or forking over $250+ for Final Draft or a similar “big name” screenwriting program."Is your script ready? You get one shot with agents and producers. Make it count."

When they stopped developing and supporting the desktop versions, as well as ceased offering them for download (and, indeed, insisting the same of many third-party download sites that once offered the software for download), there was a fairly large outcry from a contingent of CeltX users who really loathed the idea of shifting all of their screenwriting to the cloud. And their loathing was for good reason. In April of last year, cloud-based screenwriting solution Scripped shut down after experiencing a huge technical error which resulted in the loss of its servers, its backup servers, and all of its users’ screenplays.

The event sealed the deal for many screenwriters who were on the fence about entrusting their screenplays, and the hours, weeks, and sometimes years of work they put into them – to the nebulous, relatively new “cloud” concept. I couldn’t blame them. Even with a strong background in computer technology and having been around in web development since the very first websites, I wasn’t too keen myself on trusting the web to keep my screenplays safe.

So when CeltX flipped the switch for good – as they put it “concluded development, support and distribution of their free screenwriting software, add-ons, and Celtx Plus” – there were a lot of folks left in the cold.

Yet most screenwriters’ alternatives remained the same:

(a) Pay the big software boys some money for one of the big “pro” screenwriting apps, or

(b) Pay CeltX or similar to use their cloud-based screenwriting app.

Sure, a third way existed: trying out Slugline, or FadeIn, or Trelby, or one of the many less-publicized, less-marketed screenwriting apps out there. But all of those apps, no matter how well-made or well-supported, seemed to find themselves competing for “oxygen” when it came to market share. As a result, many screenwriters still don’t know about them.

I run a script coverage company, and I’m a screenwriter. So it’s paramount that I own, and am fluent in, all of the available screenwriting apps, because I need to be able to open and edit screenplay files of all varieties and flavors. And while I believe that not every screenwriter needs to have every bell and whistle available across the panoply of available script software, I also firmly believe that no screenwriter should ever have to write a screenplay using Microsoft Word or a Microsoft Word template.

Diving into a screenplay with Microsoft Word, no matter how great the template, has always been, at least for me, a hair-pulling, teeth-grinding experience. My motto is: “Writer friends don’t let writer friends write scripts in Word.”

But if dropping $200 for Final Draft or Movie Magic is too rich for your screenwriting blood, and $49 for FadeIn is beyond your budget, or the measly $30 John August is asking for Highland will break the bank, the fact is, you’re pretty much limited to either Trelby or CeltX. I take a closer look at Trelby and a couple other alternatives here. (It’s worth noting, however, that Trelby is only available for the PC and Linux at the time this article is being written.)

So you might imagine I was pretty bummed to find the desktop version of CeltX was pretty much gone from the internet, with relative few exceptions. It’s not the greatest screenwriting app ever, but it was free, and it was decent. And now it’s pretty much gone.

But recently I decided, as a screenwriter and an artist, and especially as someone running a company that provides script coverage, that that simply wasn’t acceptable. Yes, there will always be the writers who stick to their legal pads, or bang out their stories on a typewriter, but the vast majority of us are using computers. I feel that every time a screenwriting app morphs from free into paid or cloud-based, a small light goes out in the screenwriting universe, making it harder and harder for new screenwriters to get a foothold in a very, very competitive industry.

So in response, I’ve made the old, non-supported, no-longer-developed CeltX desktop versions freely available below for download. Both PC and Mac. As far as I can tell, they’re the latest builds of the software before CeltX took them off nearly every nook and cranny of the net. Let me know if you’ve found something newer, or if you feel an older build is better.

For the record, I know you can still find CeltX desktop versions out there in a few places, but I don’t know for how much longer, so I really just wanted to preserve the legacy of the desktop CeltX here, just in case those links go away someday. You know, for posterity. And for every screenwriter looking to jump in and start writing, without having to fork over cash for a monthly plan, or some big, bloated screenwriting suite they don’t need.

PLEASE NOTE: Neither we or CeltX can provide tech support for the desktop version of Celtx, as they’re focused on support for their new platform only. All that being said, you should find it super easy to figure out and get started with. 

Happy Screenwriting!

To get your copy of Celtx desktop 2.9.7 for Mac or PC, enter your name and email address below.


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102 Comments on “CeltX discontinued its desktop app, but we still have it”

  1. Thank you for making this available. CeltX isn’t bad overall and for a small monthly fee (around $10), you can really manage your film project, which is helpful if you are doing more than screenwriting.

  2. There are Linux Versions to, Example here:

    But still be warned. On many newest Linux Distributions celts crashes. Example: On x-buntu Systems celtx works fine up to Version 13, on 14 and above it makes Trouble. But indeed, all 2.9.7 Version can handle the Online Cloud too (for the Moment).

    Its to bad, so celtx is no longer an Option for me on Linux and i switched completely to Trelby and Scrivener. Maybe, i like to work offline on Scripts.

    DramaQueen will work to, but i don’t like it (a personal thing, don’t worry. The Program is fine if you will work with it.)

  3. Thanks for giving writers the option to use a downloadable version. I also found the restriction of cloud based storage not ideal.

  4. It destroyed such a wonderful community when Celtx closed the forum and went all glossy.

    Thank you so, so much for this post.

    It’s not all about whether people can afford to pay. I’m teaching creative writing in Africa. There are many areas of the world that simply don’t have an online payment method (i.e. PayPal). It doesn’t matter if people can afford it or not – they can’t pay for anything online.

    Truth be told, though, most of my students can’t afford it. And, like you say, it doesn’t seem kind to force people to try to format a script in MS Word or Open Office just because they live in an economically developing country.

    1. I agree. This is the best thing to happen to me since the goats were born!!! I can’t thank yu enough. I’ll include you in my Oscar speech…

  5. This is AWESOME! My hard drive just took a dump and had to be replaced. Went to download Celtx again and got a real rude awakening. Thank you so much for making it available once again!

  6. Hi, any idea why Celtx needs to connect to the internet to format? and where does it connect, and if it’s to the Celtx servers, is there a danger of them shutting it down and not being able to format anymore?
    I still have some works stored in their cloud service and this app connects perfectly and syncs across devices even on the ipad version but I’m worried that it might stop working sometime.

    1. Hmm – I’m not sure what you mean. As far as I can tell, the desktop app doesn’t need to be connected to the internet in order to create a script.

      1. Yeah, when you try to click to make it format into a PDF, its started showing me this error:

        You need to be online to use this advanced feature.
        Secure and private, this advanced Celtx web service automatically formats your script to an industry standard Screenplay, Stageplay, Audio Play or Dual Column (AV).

        1. Hey Chris – On my Mac version, I’m able to just PRINT the script using PDF as my printer, and it creates a PDF just fine.

        2. If you want to format it to TypeSet/PDF, it does require that you have an internet connection. You don’t need to worry about it though, it won’t do anything to your script or CeltX desktop app. The only thing you’ll need to do is dismiss the message that prompts you to upgrade. It’s been that way since the “upgrade.”

  7. This looks like the same version as my celtx free version back in 2013. Is this correct, or is it the new version before they went into the cloud? If it is a 2016 version, should I uninstall my old version first?

  8. Thank you so much for posting this! I was using cloud-based services and honestly, it’s distracting having to be online to do writing.

  9. Hi! Thank you, this is great! However I have a question. Is there a version that will work on OS 10.5.8? I tried this one but it doesn’t… Thanks in advance

    1. It’s looking like CeltX 2.0.2 and earlier are the ones that’s compatible with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.5.8). I’ve found it on a Google search on a couple of websites, but I haven’t downloaded it or tried it. If not, I know the Celtx I’m providing works with Mavericks, so if you’re able to upgrade to Mavericks without too much headache, you can get it to work.

  10. Super cool of you to make these easily available. Celtx is a great group of apps, but I found myself having trouble when either I didn’t have an internet connection, or I didn’t want to be in a browser tab (distraction, general browser software limitations, etc).

    I’ve been using Slugline for a few weeks now and am really liking it as an alternative to Final Draft. It’s clean, simple, lightweight and straightforward, has the standard features you’d expect from screenwriting software (autocompletion, formatting, etc), and it also has some cool outlining features. Hope that’s helpful!

    1. Jim I found mine. If you have a mac let me know and I can get you a link to test to see if it works. I don’t want to post because I don’t want them to pull it down. It installs as soon as you click it, so I couldn’t download and save.

  11. Same question as Jim, do you have any of the plugins? I actually purchased them back in the day and several computers ago. When I tried to get the download link from celtx again, they said no 🙁 I really don’t care if they support it, I just want my features back.

    1. Hi Angelia – The Writers Pack and the Art Pack were addons that CeltX sold. The main CeltX desktop app I’ve made available is something they made available for free, and was open source under the Mozilla Public License.

  12. Thank you for this!
    I created a script years ago in the stand-alone version of Celtx. When my hard drive crashed I had backups of the data but not the application. Now I can access that script again! The cloud-based option is not viable for me because I live in a rural area with limited and expensive internet access (via a jetpack).
    Thank you again.

  13. Thanks so much for this! My PC died with the CeltX software on it. My nearly completed play is on an external drive but thought I’d never get it back!
    Best wishes, Jonathan

  14. Do you know if the iOS version of Celtx can open and work the files from Windows desktop version or if there is a way to continue my work from the old desk app to my iPad Celtx ?
    Thank you very much

  15. Thank very much for this. I do prefer to be able to write off line when I want or have to. For the record, I’m using it on window 10 and it seem to still work, so far so good. Thanks again.

  16. Hi,
    Thanks for the Desktop Version,..Its great..I’m using in my Mac 10.12.3.

    Previously i was using the web version and now i can use without internet.
    How about font of other languages?
    My script is a mix of English & Tamil (Indian Language) and when i tried to import my script from Web version to this desktop version, the Tamil font letters goes weird.

    Please help…
    Thx in advance.

  17. Comodo (the only program I trust with my computer’s safety) likes it, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  18. Really grateful for this opportunity. Now that I’m using this version would it still synch with the cloud version I have on my phone?

  19. If you can find older builds of Celtx, I recommend them. They allowed more export options, instead of limiting export to .pdf format. And personally I never noticed any differences between the older and the newer builds…other than limiting export options.

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I remember downloading Celtx for the first time in 2007! Crazy to think how far it has come. Never thought I’d see this version again.

  21. Thanks so much. I really hope this stays available through the underground because I found their move to “paid only” so nauseating and commercial, a real middle finger to their community. I’ve always and only used CeltX for my screenwriting, I’m used to it, and I don’t want to use any other program.

    1. “Paid only”?
      I created an online account years ago. They have never charged me anything for the account. I never get messages about it needing a subscription. Odd. Maybe I created one right off the bat or got a free lifetime account from purchasing the add-ons for the desktop version? No idea. I just know I never paid anything for the cloud-based version and it still works just fine after all these years. I usually use this desktop version.

  22. Thank you I have used the desktop version for a long while .. I currently don’t have a requirement for the cloud version.
    Are there any experts in the desktop application around? I am just looking for something I never asked when it was supported. This concerns the export of the master catalogue. You get a csv file (great) but there is no import function. I have a bunch of actors that I can select from but each time in filling out their details it is a lot of keyboarding & time .. If I could import it would save time .. any suggestions? – Yes I tried googling but I may be using the wrong terminology and haven’t had any success.

  23. Thank you for kindly allowing us to use this copy. I had some scripts which were ONLY saved in Celtx from a few years ago. I went to open them (originally from an old computer) and didn’t realise that it had been removed. Thank you. You saved the day!

    I literally thought all the scripts (about 15) that I’d written in college were gone forever because nothing cold open the Celtx files and I’m the idiot that never saved them as PDFs. But thanks to you my world was not totally crushed today. You’re a life saver.!

  25. Thank you exactly ONE THOUSAND TIMES for providing this software. I am a playwright and I’ve never been able to find something that rivals Celtx Desktop. I hope they eventually realize the error of their ways in going full-on cloud. Thank you again!

  26. Thanks for this. I was a huuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of Celtx back in the day and actually purchased their version with all the knobs on, however I now feel extremely bitter about what they’ve done. They’ve practically pulled a bait and switch, getting people to rely on them and then done the old… well if you want the features you had for free you’ve now got to pay for them. I’m looking for another script service at the moment, I really don’t want to give Celtx my business now.

  27. Thanks! Not a screenwriter, but a playwright and I have strictly used the desktop version for years now. In fact, I didn’t know it had been taken off until today when I went to get it for one of my spare laptops I was re-setting up. So happy you saved it!

  28. Hey, I just downloaded Celtx for the Mac and it’s working like a gem! A FREE gem! Thanks for making that available. My son and I are using it for some pro work and some spec. It’s been very helpful.

    May you sell a thousand scripts.

  29. You are literally, a savior. You have saved my novel. I used to be an avid Celtx user and I lost access to a novel that I worked on for a LONG time. Their customer support was not able to help me recover the file and something about a basic plan and who knows what… I just wanted my story back! Anyway, I appreciate you making this download available.

  30. I can’t thank you enough for this. I had Celtx and used it on a couple of projects, then focused on illustrating for a few years. I had an idea for a project that I wanted to start on right away and found that the Celtx app was no longer on my computer. The support files (empty) were still on my laptop, but the primary app was gone. I don’t know if Celtx somehow deleted it (I don’t see how, but one never knows for sure), but long and short it was no longer there. As you said, they’re all cloud now, but there are times when I want to work on a project without the annoyance of bouncing back and forth from my MS Word notes and outlines to Firefox. And I don’t trust the cloud, though I have Carbonite, and I’m not always able to go online if I’m away from home. So, thank you again and again.

  31. I started to write my first script 6 years ago using Celtx, I seemed to grasp using it quite quickly , but as a beginner needed to use regularly to remember how to use. Now 6 years on wanted to pick up, but was really miffed to find Celtx not there and my script was not editable?! Thank you for this link. I will start afresh as only wrote around 10 pages. I’ve now learned I need to write an outline anyway before I start on the script!! Maybe take another 6 years!!! Thanks again. Will down load onto my Mac today.

  32. Hello,

    I’ve been reading over comments on your website and I have a question that I’m sure you have heard before; I wrote a full length screen play on the original free version of Celtex, I believe it was 2010… Is one of the downloadable programs you offer capable of opening the zip or original script written on the Celtex 2010 version?

    I just want to get it open so I can download it to print. So then I have a hard copy in my hands.

    Any information is greatly appreciated.


  33. Thanks for putting this on line. I used an older version but it “froze” to spanish when I was forced to migrate to a new Mac computer after a crash.
    Back then, it was possible to switch to a number of language. Is this feature still available as use french and other languages?

  34. You saved my ass today. I’m currently broke as F–k, and the emmy-winning actress who signed on to pitch my show with me won’t offer to pay the 30 bucks to sign up for frikkin Celtx. Yeah thats how broke I am. Thirty bucks for me means two meals. So THANK YOU so much for providing this.

  35. Been looking for this app for the longest time. Had a bunch of screenplays that could not be opened and
    now I can see everything I wrote 5 years ago. Thanks so much for having such an important software.
    Happy writing!!

  36. anyone else get the spanish version? i’m not fluent and i’m trying to change the language to english. any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated!

  37. Thank you very much! I had a couple “Legacy” scripts, and they were stored in my Celtx free cloud account, but I could no longer open them for editing. You are a lifesaver!

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