Landscape or portrait: choosing the right format for your regulatory reports

ESEF, UKSEF or even iXBRL... Regardless of the regulations you should refer to, no xHTML page formating is imposed for financial reports. And for good reason, many companies are wondering if they should publish in portrait or landscape format. Here are some keys to help you make your choice!

Portrait: the reference in printing

The financial report is an excellent communication media for displaying the performance of a company. Like the magazines available in doctors’ waiting rooms, it is not uncommon to come across printed copies in company lobbies. If it is quite possible to print a copy in landscape mode, the portrait format remains the reference in terms of printing, for practical and historical reasons.

As for the digital version of the report in portrait (PDF or xHTML), navigation requires a lot of scrolling: positioning the pages in double mode makes it possible to overcome this, but pay attention to the arrangement of the elements which are found side by side instead of from top to bottom.

Landscape: the perfect match for tables

When companies make the choice of originality, they use the landscape format. It reflects the creative qualities of a company, and also turns out to be the graphical elements’ best friend in the reports, especially the tables’. When these have many rows and columns, the landscape format matches them perfectly and easily adapts to the content.

As for its digital version, the report in landscape format generates less scrolling because its reading can be organized from left to right, unlike portrait mode which is read from top to bottom. Also, its dimensions best suit a computer or smartphone screen and allows to better enhance the pictures and illustrations of the document.

Mixed: take advantage of both formats

Some companies prefer to take advantage of both formats and mix them according to the elements of the document. If this solution allows to adapt to each content, it only suits xHTML document and will not be able to be printed: it will then be necessary to choose between one or the other…


In conclusion, there is no better format than the one that matches the content and destination of your company’s report. The larger the tables, the more it will be recommended to use the landscape format. If you are willing to print the document, it is better to favor the portrait format. Whatever your choice is, be sure to check its rendering in digital version (PDF or xHTML).