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Valid & Well-Formed XBRL

December 7, 2008
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XBRL Instance Documents must be Well-Formed and Valid prior to filing with the SEC, but what is a Well-Formed XBRL Instance Document and what is a Valid XBRL Instance Document?

There are four general ideas that would describe a Well-Formed document.

  • The start and end tags match
  • Elements are properly nested
  • All of the elements are contained in the root element
  • Element names and attributes are defined in the XBRL Schema

A document that is Valid is by definition Well-Formed, but a Well-Formed document is not necessarily Valid. A document is Valid if it is both Well-Formed and all of its elements are contained in the XBRL Schema/Taxonomy.

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