Guide to using the online Official Report

Browsing the Official Report

The browse function allows you to quickly search by date.

The Official Report can be browsed by date by selecting the date range required. By default, the last 7 days will be selected and if you press browse these will be displayed with the most recent at the top. It is possible to access all three versions (pdf, debate contributions view and accessible html) from this search method.

You should use the Search option for all other searches. To restrict a search to specific terms, speakers or date ranges, use the basic search, and to find results from specific meetings of Committees, meetings of the Parliament or items of business use the Advanced search.

Viewing the Official Report

The Official Report is available in three formats, each having different properties. 


The PDF replicates the look of the hard-copy version of the Official Report and includes column numbering. This view is formatted in two columns and is fully searchable using the ‘find’ feature in all PDF viewers and internet browsers. This is the best format for copying and pasting text, and for printing out.

HTML view

The HTML view provides an accessible view of the Official Report that is compatible with screen-reading software. Due to screen-reader requirements, the only clickable data are the links at the top of the report to specific debates. The formatting of decision time is simplified and no column numbers are shown.

The HTML view can be useful for linking to a debate—right-click (or ctrl-click) the debate heading, select ‘copy shortcut’, and paste the link as needed.

Debate view

This view is accessed after browsing or searching by clicking the title of the Official Report. It allows a debate, or specific parts of a debate, to be opened by clicking the plus (+) symbol beside the title. The debate view includes useful clickable data—for instance, clicking an MSP’s name accesses their parliamentary web page.