Chain Linking for iXBRL

In Wdesk, you can apply multiple XBRL facts to the same value. However, both of those facts appear wherever you use that value. You can use chain links to prevent XBRL errors when you need to report the same value in multiple locations in a document and while tagging each location with different concepts, dimensions, or accuracies. This can happen when you have a name, date, or number disclosed with different levels of detail.

What Is Chain Linking

Sometimes you need to report that one value is in two locations in a document with different XBRL at each location. Chain linking allows you to create more than one source link for a value so you can use it in multiple locations in a document with different concepts.

For example, you may need to apply an axis and member to a value for Marketable Securities in your financial footnotes. However, that value is also linked in the Balance Sheet where that axis and member is not required. For this situation, you can chain link the value for Marketable Securities in your financial footnotes to use different XBRL tagging for these two facts.

See Where a Value Is Linked

If you need to find out whether a value is linked in more than one location in a document, use Link Properties.

To see if a link is used in multiple places:

Click the link in the document that you want to check.
Open the Link Properties tab on the right.
Review links listed under Destinations to see where the value is linked.

Destinations for a tagged cell

When you need to use different concepts in each of the locations, create a chain link for the value in the spreadsheet to use in another location in the document.

Creating a Chain Link

The following instructions use the example of reporting a value for Marketable Securities on the Balance Sheet and as a component in your financial note. While the value is the same, the fact in the note needs an axis and member.

Go to the section of the spreadsheet that contains the value you want to use in multiple locations in a document.
Add a column and column title, such as Chain Link Source.
Create a reference for the original value using =[cell number] in the new column. For example, in cell F8, enter =E8 to create a reference for the value in E8. The reference cell is now the chain link source.

Reference for the original value

Copy the new chain link from the spreadsheet and paste it over the second link for that value in your document.
Click Remove & Paste in the message that appears. This removes the previous link, but does not remove the existing XBRL.
Click the icon and select Create Links from > Cells with Values, then click Apply.
Make changes to the concept and other fact details as needed.

Animation of copying and pasting over a linked cell