A hidden fact is a fact that only exists in the technical layer of your iXBRL file, which means it has no visual representation it can be tied to.
If you get the message "hidden transformable fact found" it means that a transformable fact has been found, but is not visually represented in your report, and this is not allowed.
Why It Happens
The reason why you are receiving the message "hidden transformable fact found" is because a value from your Excel template hasn’t been mapped to your PDF, and because of this, it is placed as a hidden element. The most common sources for this error are:
- There is a mismatch between the values in your PDF and your Excel sheet, which means the two figures cannot be matched.
- The information is missing in the PDF version of your annual financial report, which means our Inspector tool cannot attach the information from the Excel sheet to anything, and because of this, it is stored in the hidden section. You will find such hidden facts at the bottom of the "Fact" list in the Inspector.
- In the case of missing hypertagging of your company information, the information is stated in your technical document (Excel) but it is not marked up in the PDF file.
For a visual explanation of how this is done please use the link here below:
How to Hypertag Company Information in your PDF file
Fixing the Issue
When you want to solve the issue of hidden transformable facts it is easiest to go through the process of elimination:
- Start out by identifying the element which is hidden. It will be called out in the "Hidden Elements" pane when you have performed a conversion.
- Then you need to open both your PDF and the Excel template you use for conversion and find the value in question in both files.
- If the value only exists in your Excel template, you simply need to add the missing information to your PDF in the same place as it is represented in your Excel template, as this will solve the issue.
- If the element in question is represented in both your Excel and your PDF, compare the values, and make sure that they match. In many cases, a small typo exchanging two numbers is the cause of this issue.
The Hidden Transformable Fact Lights Up
Per definition, a "hidden transformable fact" should not be lighting up in your iXBRL file. In rare cases, however, you will get the message "Hidden transformable fact found", but when you investigate the issue, you come to the conclusion that the element in question is already mapped and lights up correctly when you hit "Highlight Elements" in the viewer.
The reason for this is what is known as PDF doubling. This basically means that your PDF contains the same figure in multiple locations and one of these locations are hidden. We commonly see this issue with PDF files generated in Word and the edited in InDesign before they are used for conversion.
To find out if you are experiencing PDF doubling, you can follow these steps:
- Open the PDF file you use for conversion, and hit Ctrl+f (or Cmd+f if you are using a Mac);
- Type in the figure of the value that the converter identifies as a hidden transformable fact;
- This will yield multiple search results, and when you go through them, you will see, that some of them appear as highlighted blank spaces in your PDF;
- Fixing this issue requires you to go back in your process to when you were generating your PDF. You will then need to find out if the figure in question or the layer it is placed on is arranged to appear behind the background.
Notice that the issue of PDF doubling occurs in the PDF creation process, and as such you, your design team or your design agency needs to figure out why this happens and correct it.