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This article is about the command, action, and mode. For the >VERBOSE website, see Paul O'Brian.

The Verbose command

Verbose is a standard one-word meta-command in several authoring systems, including all versions of Inform and TADS. All it does is execute the Verbose action, which sets an internal setting so that the current room description is always displayed whenever the player character enters the room, regardless if the location was previously visited or not. Contrast with commands such as brief, normal, terse, short, or superbrief.

In Inform games, long (by itself) is a synonym for "verbose".

Notably, ADRIFT 4.0 does not support "verbose" as a command, but the ADRIFT Runner does offer a selectable Verbose option in its Options menu which does much the same thing. However, this places all control of the verbose mode with the player; the ADRIFT author has no way to set it as a default for their particular game.

Although a standard command, "verbose" is usually used at most once in any given play session, and usually very early in the session.

Also typically, the "verbose" command simply changes the setting and provides a bland default message that the action was done. No one particularly cares what the previous setting was or if a particular instance "verbose" command is unnecessary.

The Verbose action

Inform 6

The "verbose" action in Inform 6 is called LMode2, and its complementary subroutine, LMode2Sub, is defined in verblibm.h.

The default message "Title is now in its "verbose" mode, which always gives long descriptions of locations (even if you've been there before)." is defined in english.h.

Inform 7

The prefer unabbreviated room descriptions rule is listed in the carry out preferring unabbreviated room descriptions rulebook. This rule resolves to an Inform 6 subroutine called PREFER_UNABBREVIATED_R, which is very similar to the Inform 6 library's LMode2Sub. The default message is also the same as in Inform 6.


VerboseAction is a SystemAction defined in actions.t.

The default message "<.parser>VERBOSE mode is now selected. <./parser>" is defined in msg_neu.t

The Verbose mode

Inform 6

The global variable lookmode holds the value of the brief/verbose/superbrief setting. The default value of lookmode is 1, meaning brief mode. An I6 author who wants their game in verbose mode from the beginning should add

lookmode = 2;

in the body of the Initialise routine.

Inform 7

The I7 author who wants to set their game in verbose mode should add the following assertion near the beginning of their code:

Use full-length room descriptions.

(Internally, when Inform 7 is compiled to Inform 6, this will resolve into "lookmode = 2;".)

See I7:Use for related options.


By default, TADS 3 games are in verbose mode—except this is overriden by the user's global cross-game preferences ... which are stored where? And set how? Anyway, there's something called the gameMain.verboseMode which is an instance of verboseModeSettingItem which decides the user's default and stores the current setting.

So, if the author wants the game in verbose mode, the line to add to ... somewhere ... is:

gameMain.verboseMode.isOn = true

(This section needs to be researched a little more and cleaned up.)