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An Interactive Fiction Code Editor

Imaginate is a freeware application which provides an environment for editing the code for works of interactive fiction. The application runs on 32 bit Windows operating systems. It is particularly designed to work with interactive fiction written in TADS, Alan, and Inform. It provides the following main features:


A screenshot of the Imaginate interface can be found here

Current Status (25 September 2004)

Imaginate is currently at version 1.5 (release).  Changes since version 1.4:


Imaginate can be downloaded here: (version 1.5) (7.22Mb)

This is a full install version of Imaginate 1.5. Download this version if you have no previous version of Imaginate installed on your computer.

The full install version does not contain a copy of the Inform Designer's Manual. If you are interested in Inform development, download it in HTML Help file format (designers_manual_4.chm) from the IF Archive and place it in the language folder (a subfolder of the folder you installed Imaginate in, created automatically by the installer).

Known Issues

A separate web page lists the Known Issues list for Imaginate 1.5.

Contacting the author

Suggestions, comments and bug reports for Imaginate may be sent to Richard Northedge at For more information about TADS, the Text Adventure Development System, visit the web site at The Alan web site can be found at, while information about Inform can be found at the Inform fiction web site. General advice about interactive fiction and programming in TADS, Alan, Inform and other IF languages may be found at the newsgroup

Other required software

To be able to compile and run TADS 2 projects, you will require the TADS 2 compiler and the TADS 2 runtime, which can be obtained by installing the TADS 2 Author's Kit for Windows from the IF Archive (htads_authkit_257.exe). The Author's Kit includes documentation that will provide an introduction to TADS 2.

To compile and run Alan projects, you will require the Alan compiler and the Alan runtime, which can be obtained from the Alan website.

For Inform projects, you will need the Inform compiler and a Windows Inform interpreter such as Windows Frotz.


Imaginate makes extensive use of WinMain Software's CodeMax control, written by Barry Allyn. Other user interface features have been built by using publicly available source code from Steve McMahon's vbaccelerator site, and the free source code site Many thanks to these developers for making their code available on the internet.

Thanks to Mike Roberts, the author of TADS, for permission to use the TADS 2 Author's Manual as part of Imaginate's help system. Thanks also go to Thomas Nilsson, the author of Alan, for similar permission to use the Alan Reference Manual. Thanks to Jeff Nyman, SteveG, Eric Eve, and others who have mailed me with bug reports and feature suggestions. Without TADS, Alan, Inform, and the IF community, of course, there would be no Imaginate.