This document is a review draft. Readers are invited to submit comments to the Best Practices Board.


  • Revathy Ramanan, XBRL International Inc.
  • Paul Warren, XBRL International Inc.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

XBRL Reports are often made up of multiple files that must be consumed together. There is a need to package all dependent files in a standard manner for the distribution and consumption of XBRL reports. Over the years, various programme specific XBRL report packaging practices have evolved, often not consistent.

The Report Packages specification provides a standard format for combining the component parts of an XBRL Report into a single file. The specification formalises the approach described in the 2018 Report Packages Working Group Note. The following are the key features of Report Packages:

Standard Packaging

Report Packages provides a standard way of bundling the multiple component files of an XBRL Report into a single file. The component files can include preparer extension taxonomy files, images, fonts, and stylesheets used in Inline XBRL Reports, and xBRL-CSV data and metadata files1.

Consistent user experience

Existing filing programmes have adopted differing approaches to packaging the reports that are collected and distributed, leading to an inconsistent user experience when trying to work with these reports in XBRL software. Adopting the standardised Report Package format gives users a report file format that will open directly and reliably in XBRL software.

Distinct file format

Distinct file extensions are assigned to XBRL and Inline XBRL Reports to facilitate easy identification. These unique file extensions are also intended to prevent users from manually altering and invalidating the package, which was a problem when using a .zip file extension.

In the future, Report Packages will also facilitate enhanced security features for digital reports prepared using the XBRL specifications.

This guidance document is targeted towards data collectors, preparers and all users of XBRL Reports.

2 Types of Report Packages

The Report Package specification defines the following two types of packages:

  • Inline XBRL report package
  • Non-Inline XBRL report package

Table 1 outlines the differences between the two types of report packages.

Table 1: Report Packages Types

Inline XBRL report package

Non-Inline XBRL report package

File extension

.xbri .xbr

Type of report to be packaged

iXBRL Report


Single iXBRL Document Set

Single xBRL-XML Report


Single xBRL-CSV report


Single xBRL-JSON report

3 Combining multiple reports

The formats described above support a single Inline XBRL Document, or Document Set (.xbri) or a single XBRL Report (.xbr). If there is a requirement to combine multiple reports for submission or distribution, these should be created as separate report packages of the appropriate type, and then combined using a separate mechanism, such as a ZIP file.

4 Unconstrained report packages (legacy)

The specification also provides an “Unconstrained report package” as a report package type. This type uses the .zip file extension and can contain multiple XBRL reports. The “Unconstrained report package” is primarily provided for backwards compatibility with the Working Group Note and it is not encouraged for use in XBRL programmes newly adopting Report Packages.

5 Adopting Report Packages

Report Packages provide a standardised and enhanced XBRL report collection and distribution mechanism. Report Packages are the preferred format for exchanging XBRL reports. Here is the recommended adoption path for different stakeholders:

Data Collectors

  • Data collectors are encouraged to migrate their XBRL report collection and distribution to Report Packages.
  • Data collectors should update their filing rules to require submission of XBRL reports using the appropriate Report Packages format.
  • Systems using the earlier Working Group Note format should plan to transition to the newer Report Package specification format, including adopting the new .xbr and .xbri file extensions.
  • Report Packages provide a standard way of packaging supporting resources for an Inline XBRL report, such as images, fonts and stylesheets, as separate files within the package, and this should be preferred over the less efficient approach of embedding them within the XHTML file.


  • Preparers require no additional efforts or manual input as the software will handle the technical requirement of generating Report Packages.
  • Preparers need to ensure that their XBRL report creation software can produce Report Packages as required by data collectors.
  • Collect and Publish XBRL reports as Inline XBRL report package or Non-Inline XBRL report package

  1. Base taxonomy files and specification technical files should not be included in a Report Package. 

This document was produced by the Best Practices Board.

Published on 2023-09-12.

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