Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Victoria Lucia

Why We Use Courier for Traditional Screenwriting Font

Why We Use Courier for Traditional Screenwriting Font

There are a lot of screenwriting industry standards that writers are expected to embrace. Have you ever found yourself asking “why” about some of them? Recently, I pondered the use of Courier as the industry-standard font in traditional screenplays and did some research to discover why that is. Here’s a little history on how Courier came to be the industry’s go-to screenwriting font! Here’s a hint: screenwriting hasn’t changed much since the era of …


You’ve probably noticed that Courier is a very typewriter-esque font, and that’s actually how it got its start. Courier font was created for IBM in 1955 for a line of typewriters, and it quickly became the standard typewriter font. The font itself was never copyrighted, making the font free to use in any medium.

Hold your place in line, screenwriter! We’re getting closer to launching SoCreate Screenwriting Software to a limited number of beta testers. , without leaving this page.

Why Writers STILL Use Courier in Traditional Screenplays

Courier is what is known as a monospaced font, meaning that every letter is given an equal amount of horizontal spacing. Most fonts you see are called proportional fonts, where the letters only take up as much space as they need; this is often considered more esthetically pleasing and easier to read.

While not the most attractive font, Courier is very predictable. Courier’s monospacing makes for a more accurate read in regard to time, which we all know is essential in screenwriting. A page is about 55 lines, which equates to about a minute of screen time. Monospacing makes Courier a consistent representation of the “one page equals one minute” rule. If we were to use a proportional font, the mixture of spacing would make that rule less accurate.

Until There’s a New Screenplay Format, We’ll Probably Continue to Use Courier

During a script’s life, it will often change hands between many writers and undergo various rewrites. This means a bunch of people will be opening and working on that script in different screenwriting programs. Those programs may be different, but since we have an industry-standard, we’re all typing in the same exact 12-point Courier font.

So, there you have it! A fun little history about how Courier came to be the industry standard font. Now you know that Courier serves a consistency purpose, and we don’t just use it for its typewriter looks.

Most of the traditional screenplay standards, including the mandated and necessary use of Courier, are going to change big time once SoCreate launches its revolutionary screenwriting platform. So, if you’re ready for something new.

Until then, Courier, it is. Happy writing! 

You may also be interested in...

Write Text Messages In a Traditional Screenplay

How to Write Text Messages in a Traditional Screenplay

Ah, life in the 21st century. There are no flying cars, and we're still bound to living on Earth. We do, however, communicate almost exclusively via text, an ability that surely would've impressed our ancestors. We should reflect on such an important change in how we communicate in our scripts set in modern times. So today, I'm here to talk about writing text messages in a screenplay! How do you format it? What should it look like? There's no standard formatting for text messages, so it's one of those "do what you'd like as long as it's clear what you're trying to convey" sort of things. If you have a ...

Generate a Properly Formatted Traditional Screenplay

How to Generate a Properly Formatted Traditional Screenplay

You’ve done it! You’ve got a great script idea! It’s an idea that would make a fantastic movie, but now what? You want to write it, but you’ve heard that there’s a specific way to format a screenplay, and it’s a little overwhelming to get started. Have no fear, soon, SoCreate will take the intimidation out of the scriptwriting process. Meanwhile, I’m here to tell you how to generate a properly formatted screenplay! You might ask yourself, “Why do I need to format my script a specific way?” A well-formatted traditional screenplay will display a level of professionalism to the reader. Your script being correctly ...

Script Writing Examples for Almost Every Part of a Traditional Screenplay

Script Writing Examples for Almost Every Part of a Traditional Screenplay

When you first start screenwriting, you’re eager to go! You’ve got a great idea, and you can’t wait to type it up. In the beginning, it can be hard to get the hang of how different aspects of a traditional screenplay should look. So, here are five script writing examples for key parts of a traditional screenplay! Title page: Your title page should have as minimal info as possible. You don’t want it to look too cluttered. You should be sure to include the TITLE (in all caps), followed by “Written by” on the next line, followed by the writer’s name below that, and contact info on the lower left-hand corner. It should ...