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Copyright 2014 Altova GmbH

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

XBRL.US Webinar: How to download and process SEC XBRL Data Directly from EDGAR

These are the supporting Python files for the XBRL.US Webinar that is availble on YouTube: as well as the slides available here on SlideShare:

See also my recent blog post:

Please watch the YouTube video and review the slides to see how these Python scripts are intended to be used. Also note that these scripts were written with Python 3.3.3 so they may require modifications if you use them with a different version of Python.

To use this approach you will need to download and install RaptorXML+XBRL Server from the Altova website: and then request a 30-day free evaluation license key.

These sample Python scripts available here on GitHub were tested with a the MacOS version of RaptorXML+XBRL Server, but should function with the Windows or Linux version as well. You may need to change the file-paths pointing to the RaptorXML+XBRL Server executable in the Python script, though, or add them to the global PATH environment variable on your system.

In addition to the standard Python libraries, you also need to install the Python feedparser module/library available here:

For more information on RaptorXML, please see here:

Usage Information

These scripts now require RaptorXML+XBRL v2015r3 or newer.

loadSECfilings -y <year> -m <month> | -f <from_year> -t <to_year>

These creates a subdirectory sec/ and then subsequent year-based directories and months underneath and downloads all SES XBRL filings from the EDGAR system to your local hard disk for further processing. Please use only during off-peak hours in order to not overload the SEC servers. This downloads the ZIPped XBRL filings, so you'll have one ZIP file per filing submitted to the SEC on your drive. If you call this script again for the current or any previous month at a later day, it will only download any files that are new and have not yet been downloaded before.

python3 -y 2014 -m 9

This will load all SEC filing for September 2014.

python3 -f 2005 -t 2014

This will load all SEC filing for the start of the XBRL pilot program in 2005 until 2014. WARNING: If you download all years available (2005-2014) this will be about 127,000 files and take about 18GB of data on your hard disk, so please use with caution, especially when you are on a slow Internet connection.


valSECfilings ( -y <year> | -f <from_year> -t <to_year> ) -m <month> 
          -c <cik> -k <ticker> -s <script>

This will call RaptorXML+XBRL Server to validate the SEC filings for a specified year and month or for a range of years. It assumes that the files have been downloaded by the script above into a local sub-directory sec/. You can restrict the filings to just those for a particular company or for a list of companies by providing their respective CIKs or ticker symbols. Optionally you can pass a Python script to RaptorXML+XBRL Server with the -s parameter, which will then be executed by the built-in Python interpreter inside of RaptorXML+XBRL Server to perform additional post-validation processing of the XBRL files. As an example, there is a Python script in this project that demonstrates how to extract common financial ratios (quick ratio, cash ratio) from the XBRL filings.

python3 -y 2014 -m 9

This will validate all downloaded SEC filings for the month of September 2014. If a large number of files is passed to the Python script, it will create batches of about 20 jobs each and pass those to RaptorXML+XBRL Server in sequential batches.

python3 -f 2013 -t 2014 -k AAPL,MSFT,ORCL

This will validate all SEC filings submitted by Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle for the years 2013 and 2014. Positive validation messages as well as any errors or warnings are output to the console window.

python3 -f 2013 -t 2014 -k ORCL -s

This will validate all Oracle XBRL filings for the years 2013-2014 and then perform post-validation analysis of the filings using the supplied Python script that gets passed to RaptorXML+XBRL Server and executed by its built-in Python interpreter. This particular example script prints document and entity information and then extracts various balance sheet facts to calculate current ratio, quick ratio, and cash ratio as and example of how to do post-validation XBRL processing. Furthermore, it appends those ratios to an output file ratios.csv in the same directory.


To see these scripts and a lot more in-depth explanation, please watch the YouTube video of the webinar here:

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