CANScript – CANRundown

Journalism and Television Arts students may be required to use CANScript and CANRundown for their courses.  Bradley owns a site license that applies to all the machines in the labs, but the programs can also be downloaded as shareware for free and installed on your personal laptop.  CANScript is used for writing two-column scripts.  CANRundown is for stacking a whole show.  Both programs are available for Mac or Windows.

Download links:

CANScript is fairly intuitive, but here is a simple reference manual for the basic functions.  You can also download PDF versions of the official user guide above, which also includes information on installing the programs.

Open CANScript by clicking the CANScript icon on the dock. A blank script will open.


Click the Anchor button along the top of the window to start a script with an anchor lead-in read.


Right-click on the word ANCHOR (in yellow) on the Video side of the script. The ANCHOR Edit window will pop up. You may choose the type of anchor (anchor 1, anchor 2, anchor 1&2, weather, sports, or chromakey). You can also enter in the anchor’s name and any notes about the script. Don’t worry about the estimated duration. Click OK when finished editing.


Click below the yellow ANCHOR box on the Audio side of the script. You can begin typing copy.

To insert a voiceover clip (b-roll with the anchor still speaking), position the cursor where the video should begin and click the V/O button at the top of the window.

Right-click the red V/O text on the video side, just like you did to label the anchor. If the video clip is available, you can click Choose Video, navigate to it, and select it. CANScript will then automatically fill in the length of the video. Otherwise, you can simply enter the length of the video manually and leave the video blank (it will show a blue box). Click OK to go back to your script.

To enter in a CG (a lower-third keyed graphic), position your cursor where the CG should be put in and click the FONT button at the top of the window.

Much like the previous operations, you can right-click the blue FONT text on the Video side of the script to edit the properties for the CG. Choose 1-line for locators, as pictured at right. Choose 2-line for standard person’s name+title CG’s. We do not use 3-line CG’s. You should also fill in the start time for the CG, measured from the start of the clip. Click OK when finished editing.

To insert a SOT (sound-on-tape, or sound byte), position your cursor and click the SOT button in the toolbar. You may edit the SOT properties by right-clicking as before; it works just like the V/O properties. You must fill in the length of the SOT. You are also given IN: and OUT:… text in the audio area. The incue would be nice, but you must provide the outcue (the last few words of the byte) as shown in the example. Don’t forget to insert a FONT with the properly-spelled name and title of the person speaking.

For an on-camera tag, you can add another Anchor section just like before. The completed script has everything the director, producer and prompter operator need to produce the show.


Packages work similarly to inserting a V/O. Clicking the PKG button inserts a PKG line where you can enter a length into the properties. You are also provided with a FONT line, but you can add other FONT lines for additional CG’s. Don’t forget to add the outcue to the Audio side of the script. Tip: “SOQ” is shorthand for Standard Outcue, typically “For Midstate Magazine, I’m Joe Smith.”

An over-the-shoulder graphic or full-screen information page can be added using the Graphic button on the toolbar. Position your cursor where the graphic should begin, then click the button to insert the graphic command.

Right-click to access the properties for the graphic and enter in what you know. The hit-time is not terribly important. Type can be fullscreen, box left, box right, or for chromakey segments, the background. In the Notes section, describe what the graphic should look like. Make sure you select the correct side for the box based on who is reading it. The box always goes towards the outside of the set.

To save your script, click the File pulldown menu and select Save or Save As. Make sure you note where the file will be saved (in this case, the Desktop) or click the small triangle and navigate to the folder where you’d like to save the file. Use a good descriptive name. Tip: Pressing Command-D (Apple-D) at this dialog box will change the save location to the desktop.

Please note that CANScript saves special files ending in the .csc extension.  They can only be opened in the CANScript program, not Microsoft Word or TextEdit.  If you need to make changes later, you must use a computer with CANScript loaded onto it.  A freeware version can be downloaded here:

Provide as MUCH information as you can on your scripts in order to ensure the story and associated video clip both air correctly!