Standard and Custom Units

Units of measure are applied to XBRL fact values as part of the tagging process. This article describes the standard units that are available, as well as how to create a custom XBRL unit.

Using Predefined Units

You can set units in the XBRL Fact Properties panel. This panel can be displayed at the bottom of Wdesk by selecting a value and clicking the XBRL Fact Properties button.

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In the Fact Properties panel, you can select units such as:

  • Shares

  • Common currencies

  • $ Per Share

  • Number (such as percentages, rates, and ratios)

In the XBRL Fact Properties dialog box, the Unit drop-down list shows the appropriate units for the selected concept.

To see additional units, you can click the search symbol next to the Unit setting to open the Search for Additional XBRL Units dialog box.

Creating a Custom Unit

If you need to use a unit that isn’t available on the default list, you can create a custom unit. The following procedure describes how to define a new unit, using the concept dei_EntityNumberOfEmployees as an example.

  1. In the XBRL Fact Properties dialog box, click the search symbol next to the Unit setting.

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  2. In the Search for Additional XBRL Units dialog box, you can enter a search term or click Create New Unit.

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3. In the Add XBRL Unit dialog box, for this example based on dei_EntityNumberOfEmployees:

  • For Unit ID, you would type "employee".

  • For Unit Type, you would select Simple Measure.

  • Check the Advanced box. In Unit Measure, you type the text that indicates the value of the unit. For this example, the Unit Measure would be "employee".

  • For Unit Description, enter a brief definition for this unit, for example, Number of Employees.

4. After you complete the fields, you click Save to add it to the Unit drop-down list on the XBRL Fact Properties tab. The new unit becomes available for all XBRL work in your account.

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Add XBRL Unit Dialog Box

The following list provides more information about the fields in the Add XBRL Unit dialog box.

Unit ID: The technical name of the unit, as referenced by XBRL. For consistency, always enter the ID in lowercase letters. The ID cannot contain spaces.

Unit Type: This is either Simple measure or Ratio measure. Simple measure, the most common, represents a measure of just one type. For example, USD or shares. Ratio measure represents a complex unit composed of a numerator and a denominator, each of which is assigned its own unit. For example, US dollars per share.

NOTE: If you plan to assign the same unit as both numerator and denominator, such as USD to USD, create a unit of simple measure rather than one of ratio measure.