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PyPI version Travis-CI license

python-xbrl is a library for parsing xbrl documents providing output as both a basic model object and serialized objects thur marshmallow for rendering into standards formats like JSON or HTTP API


The easiest way to install python-xbrl is with pip

pip install python-xbrl

Or install the latest dev version from github (or replace @master with a release vergitsion like @v1.1.0)

pip install git+


git clone


Copy the python-xbrl directory into your python path. Zip here

Made sure your sys.path is correct.


  • Python >= 2.6 or >= 3.3

python-xbrl relies on beautifulsoup4 which sits on top of the python XML parser lxml. It also requires marshmallow for serializing objects. For more details see requirements.txt

For PyPI support it is recommended you use for lxml as this is a fork that uses cffi instead of the python capi.


To start using the library, first import the XBRLParser

from xbrl import XBRLParser, GAAP, GAAPSerializer

Simple Parsing Workflow

First parse the incoming XRBL file into a new XBRL basic object

xbrl_parser = XBRLParser()
xbrl = xbrl_parser.parse(open("sam-20131228.xml"))

Then you can parse the document using different parsers

gaap_obj = xbrl_parser.parseGAAP(xbrl, doc_date="20131228", context="current", ignore_errors=0)

Now we have a GAAP model object that has the GAAP parsed elements from the document.

This model object supports the several different features including:

  • context current, year, and instant contexts are supported. If available you can also get previous quarter information by number of days from doc date. Example: 90, 180, etc.
  • Error handling. 0 raise exception for all parsing errors and halt parsing, 1 Supress all parsing errors and continue parsing, 2 Log all parsing errors and continue parsing

You can serialize the GAAP model object into a serialized object acceptable for rending into a standard format such as JSON or HTTP API.

serializer = GAAPSerializer()
result = serializer.dump(gaap_obj)

You can also just view the data in the serialized object


You can apply various parsers to the base XBRLParser object to get different data than just GAAP data from the document. In addition as expected you can also create different serialized objects on the resulting parsed data object.

Extracting DEI Data

dei_obj = xbrl_parser.parseDEI(xbrl)
serializer = DEISerializer()
result = serializer.dump(dei_obj)

Extracting Custom Data

custom_obj = xbrl_parser.parseCustom(xbrl)
print custom_obj()


To run the unit tests, you need pytest

pip install pytest

Once you have that, cd into the root directory of this repo and

py.test --tb=line -vs


For any bugs you encounter please open a Github issue


  1. Check for open issues or open a fresh issue to start a discussion around a feature idea or a bug.
  2. If you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about an issue or your changes, feel free to email @greedo and he will happily help you via email, Skype, remote pairing or whatever you are comfortable with.
  3. Fork the repository on GitHub to start making your changes to the master branch (or branch off of it).
  4. Write a test which shows that the bug was fixed or that the feature works as expected.
  5. Send a pull request and bug the maintainer until it gets merged and published. :) Make sure to add yourself to AUTHORS.


Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one
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regarding copyright ownership.  The ASF licenses this file
to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the
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