The list of Inform 7 documentation (as of 19 Dec 2011)

I put this together for my own use, but maybe others will benefit and suggest other resources.

With the I7 IDE package you get:

Andrew Plotkin updated Sean Barret’s index for Writing with Inform:

Two more manuals are:

Aaron Reed wrote a book on I7:

It’s helpful to read the source for other games. Here’s an IFDB search for well-rated games with source available:

Jason McIntosh wrote an extension search that will find search terms in extension documentation:

Oliver Reiser made an I7 cheatsheet:

Emily Short wrote a document translating I6 concepts and syntax to I7. It’s old but a quite useful birds-eye view in my opinion:

If you compile any game in the I7 IDE there’s a good syntax reference in the Index/Phrases tab. There’s an older plain text reference but you should prefer the reference in the IDE.

Emily Short also made a rules flowchart:

I7 includes the Standard Rules with every game. It’s a great resource for learning I7 and understanding a game’s default behavior:

You can sort of think of Inform 7 as a domain-specific language written in Inform 6 (which itself is a DSL, but anyway), so it’s helpful to understand some I6 eventually.

If you include visuals and sound, you may need a beginner’s reference for Glulx:


Rockin; thank you :slight_smile:

Could this be made sticky?


Would be nice to have an I6 sticky as well, preferably A B O V E the I7 sticky so that there is no doubt as to which language is the original and which the knockoff.

I would especially push for the link below (which is actually mostly in Inform 7). It’s Appendix A – i.e. the Standard Rules commented and explained literate programming style. To my mind, it’s a vital part of the I7 documentation.

For what it’s worth, I haven’t updated the syntax document for the last build, and don’t expect to do so going forward, because the indexing has improved enough that it should now provide a comprehensive reference for that kind of thing (and it’s automatically cross-linked with the documentation). But if people find the old document useful to browse anyway, that’s fine – just be warned it’s largely been supplanted.


Also, this link to Appendix B, the underlying I6 template layer–just as vital in my opinion as the documentation of the Standard Rules. … index.html


Thanks for the comments folks, I’ve updated the OP.

I third this suggestion. I also recommend that, if the author will be updating the first post, the title be updated, too, so we also know when this was last updated.

Good suggestion, done.

Yay, glad I could contribute in some small way!

I know that one thing I’m only just discovering is how to use the skein and transcripts from it. Is there any website that guides us through that?

I also had no idea how to use the IDE’s features for looking through all standard actions. I’d think if someone could make a youtube video or selection of screenshots to guide a person through, that’d be hugely helpful. I suspect once people know this sort of thing is there, that’s a lot less work.

Finally, one of the big roadblocks I’ve had is knowing which extensions to use. So many times, I’ve been wondering if I should bother programming X and not knowing whether there was an extension Y that would take care of it. I think any one person’s documentation generally catches some good ones, but is there something more general? I know I’d find it useful to be able to see programming examples or evaluations. Beyond the extension authors’ own, which I don’t want to belittle. But it’s more the “wow, other people can use this”

Is anyone aware of these? Does anyone want to create such a page? Are these questions out of the scope of the topic? I hope I haven’t hijacked the thread, but really, I’m glad someone took the time to tie this up, and I thought I’d ask a few more questions while I was at it.

One final thing–let us know whether it might be better to PM/email you with small changes, or if we should just post here.

Posting in the thread works for me. At some point it’ll make more sense to put this somewhere that’s generally editable, like ifwiki, and I’ll probably just post a redirect link in the OP.

Your questions about extensions definitely are relevant, and in fact Aaron Reed proposed something very similar, see this topic I don’t know if he’s gone further than that.

This is a very low-tech way to address this, but I usually go to the Extensions page, click “All Extensions by Category” (or any of the other aggregate links), and do a quick in-page search for keywords related to the problem I want to solve, like “liquid” or “inventory” or whatever.

Regarding better extensions visibility: I think everyone agrees it would be great to have this integrated into the IFDB, or give more sharing and community features to the official site, but it’s as usual a question of volunteer-hours available. We’ve tried to kick-start this a couple times but it involves major work and coordination of effort between several people, and it just hasn’t come together yet.

In the meantime, it would be awesome if someone started a third party site promoting extensions somehow-- I’m afraid it’s not going to be able to be me at the moment, although I’d certainly be open to contributing if a group effort arises.

This has worked well for me. I think it is good and will work for others, too. However, it’s those moments where someone points something out and I say “of course the extension was there, and of course it did this” that work really well.

Sounds like a good idea for a spinoff topic. I would like to be part of this effort, because I think my biggest growths as a coder have occurred when I realized that, yes, you could do this-or-that easily.

Though obviously this’d require a lot of white paper, I have some ideas. However, I also have no idea how to go about building a website, or how to possibly integrate a website into something bigger. Simply giving statistics on how many games use which extensions, and maybe a blurb on how they use it, could be effective. Granted, the quality of the games may not reflect the quality of the extensions, but there’s a lot of “how’d they do this” that gets dispelled pretty in a game, regardless of quality, that you don’t see in an example.

I also have no clue how much/little extension authors tolerate/appreciate having an extra example made that uses their extensions. But in my experience, I generally have to use an extension in a dumb game before I’m brave enough to use it in something real.

Two more I7 reference documents (slightly oldish):
Emily Short’s 2007 draft of an I7 syntax reference at
And a document giving the grammar for I7 in Backus-Naur notation at (Not sure about its up-to-datedness.)

I’d love to read some of Emily Short’s code after seeing in another post that it’s “spectacularly clean.” Organization is an area in which I’m really interested in developing a good practice.

Where’s the source code at this link? For example, here’s the entry for Bronze:

I’m sure it’s just me, but I can’t find a link on this page for the source code.


All of Emily’s released source is linked from here. (It would be sensible if the IFDB pages also had links to it, though.)

Someone has to manually add the link. For example in this entry,

the link is in the upper right.

I think anyone can add the link on IFDB so this would be a good project for someone with a little time on their hands.