Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Firefox XBRL Add-on

Continuing my trawl through the free viewers.....

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Firefox XBRL Add-on, although apparently not supported, has a couple of tricks up it's sleeve.

With the Firefox XBRL Add-on you can view any of the taxonomies used in the creation of the XBRL and you can drill down into the notes for a financial statement item by clicking on it to reveal a pop up box that will show any links, providing these have been enforced in the original document. Charles Hoffman calls this "metadata leveraging".

He also discovered that you can do some crazy stuff by dragging & dropping the headings around like you can in an Excel pivot table to totally customise the view. You can do this with any heading with a triangle in the top left hand corner. You can swap them round or drop them onto "[DRAG PAGING COLUMNS HERE]". Not sure how useful it is at this level but it's mildly entertaining. Perhaps more usefully, you can choose to view only specific data items or periods by clicking on the "Item" and "Date" headings (with the triangles in the corner) to reveal lists with check boxes. You can't however save these settings to use with other documents.

And It will turn XBRL into iXBRL and vice versa, although the iXBRL doesn’t always render perfectly but if you wanna turn XBRL into a single document to read offline, it’s fairly adequate.

The Add-on is not based on the Rivet open source code. Don't be put off by the fact that Firefox says it's not compatible with version 5. It will install and work once you relax Mozilla's strict compatibility enforcement in the options. Click on a copy of the instance document on an Edgar filing page and (after a short interlude) the add on will kick in to enable you to see the document. You can also view documents on your hard drive, although it will need a connection to download the taxonomies before it will load.

Of course the fact it is in Firefox maybe a problem. I moved over from Firefox to Chrome last year so it's not where I'd ideally like it.

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