Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) is an open standard used for financial documents. It lets you create documents that visually look no different from traditionally formatted documents but also allows for additional machine-readable data to be encoded into the documents. The documents can be viewed with just a web browser since they are valid HTML/XHTML files.
While a web browser like Chrome or Firefox will show you the visual part of the document it won’t show you the iXBRL information encoded within the document. There is additional information at the document level and for all key figures and text items. For example, a figure could be tagged with a standardised description, unit type, format, currency, period it relates to, etc. An iXBRL viewer can visually show you what has been tagged and the tag details.
Graffiti provides additional functionality to a web browser to make it a fully functional iXBRL viewer without requiring any specialist software.
Left is a set of accounts as viewed using a web browser. There is a wealth of iXBRL information hidden below the black and white surface.
Below is the same set of accounts with when viewed with Graffiti. The different text and numeric tags are highlighted in different colours, and you can get details about the tags by clicking on them. Click on the image below to open up the accounts with Graffiti.