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A Digital Code User Guide

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A Digital Code User Guide

Guidance Note


The Digital Code is intended to make it easier for anyone wanting to understand the BSC to find the documents they are after, and to navigate their way around and between the various documents that make up the BSC suite. It also provides enhanced search capabilities to help users find their way to the information they need as easily as possible.

The Digital Code is being developed using Agile methodologies. New features are deployed to the production system as soon as they have been developed and tested. This guide will be updated as new features are added.

How to navigate to documents

At a top level, the documents are available from a series of tiles. At the moment the tiles are categorised by type of document, but we are looking in the future to also develop a categorisation by topic.

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If you click on a tile you will get an alphabetical list of all the documents in that category. You can scroll up and down the list to find a specific document. You can also use the built in search facility to search across all documents, or use CRTL F to open a browser search box that only searches the current page. More on search below.

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You can open the document in a reading pane by clicking on the bold title of the document. You can also download a PDF version of the document for use offline by clicking on the Download button.

In the BSC Procedures section there is also the option to Download Forms as a word document for those BSCPs which have associated forms. In other sections there is a similar Download Supporting Documents button that is displayed if there are any related documents available to download. These may be in Word, Excel, PDF or ZIP format.

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Reading Pane

Once you open a document, you are presented with a screen with several components.

The main box in the centre of the screen contains the text of the document.

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The Navigation Pane on the left of the screen allows you to go directly to the chapter that you are interested in. By default just the top level section headings are displayed. Where more levels are available there is a + to the left of the title which allows you to open up the next level of headings. Depending on the document there are up to three levels of heading available.

You can adjust the width of the Navigation Pane. If you hover the mouse on the right edge of the light grey Navigation Pane then the resize icon complex image of process will appear. You can then use drag to adjust the column width.

If you need more screen space for the document itself you can close the navigation pane by clicking on the green < at the top of the pane. You can re-open the pane by scrolling to the top of the document and clicking on the green > button.

Above the Navigation Pane is the option to return to the document list by pressing the left arrow next to the name of the document list. You can also go back by using the breadcrumbs at the top of the screen.

Above the breadcrumbs there may be a message box. We will use this box to provide messages as needed, such as to draw attention to new features in the Digital Code, or to alert users to planned outages. You can see the full message by pressing the down arrow.

To the right of the screen is the option to download a PDF version of the document and, where appropriate, the option to download a word version of the associated BSCP Forms.

On the far right are three blue buttons allowing you to customise the reading pane.

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The top settings cog allows you to toggle the Defined Terms and Cross-reference features on and off. These are explained below.

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The middle Defined Terms button opens and closes the Defined Terms side bar.

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Similarly, the bottom Cross-references button opens and closes the Cross-reference side bar.

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Defined Terms

Section X of the BSC, with its Annexes, contain several tables of defined terms (Annex X-1 contains the BSC Glossary, for example). If you turn the Defined Terms option on under the Settings cog then any term that is defined in any of these tables appears with a dotted underline in any document where the term is used. If you click on the term then the Defined Terms sidebar will open and display the definition of the term from Section X.

You can adjust the width of the Defined Terms sidebar in the same way as for the Navigation Pane.

If the definition includes a Cross-reference (see below) then you can click on the Cross-reference and it will open below the definition in the sidebar.

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Secondary definitions

Some terms are defined in more than one table in Section X. For example, “Settlement Period” is defined in the General Glossary in Annex X-1, but is also defined in Tables X-2 (Terms and Expressions Applying Except in Relation to Section S), and X-6 (Definitions Applying to Section S) of Annex X-2. By default the Digital Code will display the definition that is applicable to the sections of text that you are currently reading. If there are multiple definitions then a toggle switch labelled Secondary definitions will appear at the top of the Defined Terms sidebar. If you turn Secondary definitions on then you will be shown all the available definitions of the term.

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The Defined Terms functionality also extends to acronyms defined in Section X. These also appear with a dotted underline and can be clicked on in the same way.

Superscript / Subscript meanings

Many of these acronyms have subscripts or superscripts which have a specific meaning (for example j refers to a Settlement Period). If an acronym has any of these defined subscripts or superscripts then another options button will appear at the top of the Defined Terms sidebar giving you the option to display the meaning of the acronym.

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Where an acronym is defined in multiple tables then you will be shown the relevant definition by default, and will have the options to turn on both secondary definitions and subscript / superscript meanings. In some cases there will be primary and secondary meanings of subscripts or superscripts.


References to paragraphs or sub-sections

The BSC contains a lot of cross-references, where one paragraph refers to content in a different paragraph or section. Cross-references have been added to the BSC Sections, and are currently being rolled out across other types of document.

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If you turn the Cross-references switch on (as shown in the diagram above), then these cross-references will be highlighted in blue. If you click on a cross-reference then the text from the cross-reference will open in a right hand sidebar.

If you click on a second cross reference then a second window will open below the first. You can have up to five sidebar windows open at the same time. There is a yellow reminder of the five limit at the top of the sidebar. This can be closed using the x icon. You can adjust the width of the sidebar, and the height of each window in the sidebar, in the same way as for the Navigation Pane and Defined Terms.

There are four icons at the top of each sidebar window.

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The first icon, View more ( complex image of process ) opens the referenced document in a new tab, and scrolls to the location of the cross-reference. This allows you to view the cross-reference in its wider context.

The second icon, zoom ( complex image of process ), allows you to open the cross-reference in a larger window in the centre of the screen. Tables and images can be viewed in this mode. From here you can View More to open the reference in a new tab, or x to close the zoom window.

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The third icon, minimise (complex image of process), allows you to minimise the cross-reference window within the sidebar, freeing up space for other cross-reference windows.

The final icon, close (complex image of process) allows you to close the individual cross-reference window.

Tables and images are not displayed in the sidebar as they would be difficult to read in the small side bar. Where a table or image is present in the cross-reference, a link will appear saying ‘Link to associated table’ or ‘Link to associated image’. Clicking the link will open the cross-reference in the zoom window, where the full text including tables and images will be displayed.

References to other documents or whole BSC sections

References to other documents, or to whole sections of the BSC, appear in pink and will open in a new tab.


A search box is available above the tiles in the home page, above the document lists in the individual category pages, and at the top of each document. Note that the search at the top of a document searches across all documents and not just the open one.

The search results show each paragraph that meets the search criteria, and you can click on each result to go directly to the relevant paragraph in the document. Where the sentence is longer than can be displayed on a single line an ellipsis (…) will be displayed. You can hover over the line to get the full sentence displayed in a pop up window.

Only the first ten results within each document are displayed. Clicking the down arrow at the bottom of the listing for each document causes another ten paragraphs to be displayed. Only the first 20 results are ever displayed. To see more results we recommend opening the document and using the CTRL F search functionality of the browser.

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The search tool uses a semantic search engine that seeks to understand more complex queries typed in plain English, and return answers to those questions. It will recognise the root of a word and return variants. For example searching for ‘meter’ will also return ‘meters’, ‘metered’, ‘metering’ etc.

The system we are using is still in Preview by Microsoft and so is not fully developed. For example it does not yet support spell checking and auto-completion in UK English. We are still developing how we make full use of all the features of the system. We are also still evaluating how well the AI copes with UK English legal text. We welcome feedback on how well the search performs. Please contact .

Advanced search options

If you click on Open Advanced Search under the search box then a new dialogue box opens. This allows you to build more complex queries. Note that this search uses a different algorithm and so results may be presented in a different order to those produced by the default Semantic search option.

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The Advance Search query builder allows you to refine your search by using the Add new clause button to add more criteria to the search.

You can exclude terms from a search using Does Not Contain

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You can also do an exact search which will look for the precise phrase you enter

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You can build queries with up to five clauses of any combination of Contains, Exact and Does Not Contain, linked by And or Or operators.

Search filter options

You can filter the search results by type of document. Click on the grey ‘Filter by’ option to the right of the search results and you can select which types of documents you want to be displayed. You will get a list of the document types. Tick the types of document that you want to be included in the results and click Apply Filters. You can change your selections and Apply Filters again, or Clear Filters to return to the full list of results.

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Historic Versions of Documents

The Digital Code allows you to view previous versions of documents. For Codes of Practice all historic versions have been made available, since all metering equipment and metering systems are required to be compliant to the latest version of the relevant CoP at time of installation, or following a Material Change. For all other types of documents, the Digital Code just displays those versions that have come into force since the Digital Code went live.

Where historic versions are available, then ‘Previous Versions’ is displayed underneath the document description in the document list. The list of available versions can be viewed by clicking on the caret symbol (˄), or hidden using the caron symbol (˅). Documents can be opened in the reading pane by clicking on the version number, or downloaded as a PDF using the Download button.

When you are viewing a historic version of a document then a warning message will be displayed at the bottom of the screen saying that the version of the document has been superseded.

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Linking to specific points within a document

The Digital Code uses static URLs which always point to the current version of a document (e.g. ). This means that you can copy a URL to a particular document and store it for future use, or send it to a colleague, without the risk that the link breaks when a new version of the document is published.

The Digital Code also has Anchor Points within the documents. This means that you can also store or exchange links to specific paragraphs within a document.

Anchor points in the BSC Sections have the format of the file name, followed by a #, followed by ‘section-‘, the section number in lower case, followed by ‘-‘, and then up to three levels of sub-headings, separated by ‘-‘. The complete number must be included at each level. For example, the link to Section A4 would be

The easiest way to create these links is to use the Navigation Pane to go to the section that you want, and copy the URL from the browser window. Note that this will only take you to level 2. The level 3, individual paragraph, reference will need to be added manually at the moment.

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Other document types use a slightly different format of anchor points, and it is best to use the Navigation Pane to find the anchor point. For example, the Guidance Note on BSC Sandbox does not have paragraph numbers and so the URL to the section on Who Can Use the BSC Sandbox is

Types of documents

The types of document used in the tiles (BSC Procedures, Codes of Practice etc.) are defined in the BSC itself, as well as additional documents related to the BSC documents, such as Guidance Notes.

The Category 3 tile includes all the documents defined on the Baseline Statement as Category 3, but also includes a few of other documents, such as the Party Service Line 100, that would otherwise require their own tile.

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Feedback and Suggestions

We welcome all feedback and suggestions for how we can improve the Digital Code. Please email .

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