So, say you wanted it so that if the player typed the name of an object at the prompt, that was understood as X OBJECT. In other words, the player could examine the widget simply by typing WIDGET, although X WIDGET etc. would still also work, and if instead the player wanted to TAKE WIDGET or whatever they would use the usual verb + noun form to do so. Can that be done?

You can do this by adding:

Understand "[something]" as examining.

You should also read page 16.10 of the manual for some warnings about doing this.

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks. But also sorry, because I feel foolish having asked about something that’s not only clearly explained in the documentation but clearly explained under its own special subheading. I did look around for an answer before posting–always do, promise–but had a different logic in my head for where the answer might reside than right there under “Understand.”

No problem. The manual is pretty large, sometimes it can be tricky to find a specific subject at times. It happens to everyone now and again.

(Thanks. Indeed – it may happen to me again shortly, as I have another question that conceptually related for what I am trying to do and can’t figure out, but redoubling my effort to make sure I can’t find it in the documentation or figure out on my own. Inform has so many great examples and such in its documentation that you pick up all sorts of things ambiently as you go through it, but then when there’s one specific thing, it’s hard for me to get my head around where precisely it might be.)

I would say, don’t worry about it–I’d guess we’ll all appreciate the end result once the game is done. Part of asking these questions is learning how to look through the documentation, which is handy, and I’ve learned a lot.

When I’m not sure if I have looked enough, I try to describe 2-3 ways I searched which may be wrong and ask for the right one, in case there’s an example. That way it’s a learning experience for me beyond just the coding. And sometimes typing out the documentation searches (or whatever) that I tried & didn’t get to work reveals something else to try that sometimes does work.

Aaron Reed has coded up some extensions that provide this and other capabilities. You might find the “Player Experience Upgrade” and “Keyword Interface” to be interesting. Good luck!