• Paul Warren


  • Ben Russell
  • Joel Vicente
  • Paul Hulst
  • Andie Wood
  • David Shaw

This document provides guidance on a number of technical issues related to the use of dimensions in an XBRL taxonomy. It does not attempt to provide guidance on the modelling of specific business requirements using dimensions.

Target audience

This document is aimed at taxonomy architects looking for guidance on the best way to use dimensions within a taxonomy.


Which of "segment" or "scenario" should be used as the dimension container?

For historical reasons, XBRL provides two alternative containers in which XBRL dimensions can be included, known as "segment" and "scenario". These container elements pre-dates the introduction of XBRL Dimensions, and the split is now redundant.

The choice of which to use is arbitrary, as it does not affect the semantic meaning of the dimensions.

Taxonomy authors should pick one option and use it consistently. Where a taxonomy needs to be consistent with prior versions, or needs to interoperate with other taxonomies, the decision should be guided by what is done in those taxonomies.

In the absence of other factors, it is suggested that the scenario element is used.

Should hypercubes be open or closed?

The full article is exclusively accessible to members of XBRL International.

If you or your organisation is a member but you do not have an XBRL username and password, please register for an account.

Not yet a Member?

Join XBRL today in order to get access to exclusive content, and other membership benefits:

  • Discounted conference attendance
  • Access to our Global Commnuity
  • Use of the XBRL logo to promote your products and services
  • Early visibility and ability to influence new standards through Working Group participation
  • Inclusion in our Tools and Services directory

Learn more about joining the consortium.


Would you like
to learn more?

Join our Newsletter mailing list to
stay plugged in to the latest
information about XBRL around the world.

By clicking submit you agree to the XBRL International privacy policy which can be found at xbrl.org/privacy