What is the ChartNotes Annotation Tool?
ChartNotesTM is StockCharts.com's interactive chart annotation tool. This Flash/Java applet allows you to add trendlines, text, arrows, Fibonacci retracement lines, and much more to any bar, line, or candlestick chart. It also allows you to examine all of the data on the chart just by moving your mouse. ChartNotes combines these options into one streamlined layout that gives you great control over your chart.
To see some examples of ChartNotes at work, visit the Public Charts List. It shows what other users are doing with the ChartNotes tool, and will give you some great ideas for your own charts.
Adding annotations to your chart is as simple as clicking a button:
Step 1: Create the SharpChart for which you want to annotate.
Make sure the chart is exactly what you want to use before starting ChartNotes!
Once you start annotating a chart, you cannot change any of its "SharpCharts" attributes (size, indicators, etc.).
Step 2: When the SharpChart is completely ready, click either Annotate (Flash) or Annotate (Java) link on the action bar, immediately beneath the chart.
A new window displays, and some onscreen processing takes place.
Step 3: Once processing is complete, you can begin annotating your SharpChart inside of the ChartNotes applet!
Note: If you don't see the chart appear in a reasonable amount of time, try using our Java Troubleshooting - Step 1 to see if your computer supports Java correctly.
Interpreting The Annotations Page
The ChartNotes applet that appears will include all the graphics from your chart, along with vertical and horizontal toolbars that you will use to make your annotations.
Through ChartNotes, you can add as many lines, arrows, and indicators that you want using the Drawing Toolbar.
Annotations are easily distinguished and made more visually pleasing by editing the Color, Line Width, and Style.
The Chart can be wiped clean, saved, or reloaded to a previous save when you are ready to finalize the chart.
Also, dragging your cursor over the chart will display the Quote Data at that point.
The following list includes some of the most common activities you'll perform while working with the ChartNotes window:
Determining Price and Indicator Levels
Move your mouse over the chart. The date and value for the cursor's current position will appear at the bottom of the chart. If your cursor moves over a price bar/candlestick, the full quote for that time period will also appear.
Drawing a Trend Line
Select the Trend Line Tool
at the top of the screen.
(See also Line, Horizontal, or Vertical tool)
Click and drag your mouse from the beginning to the end of the line.
To change the line position, click the yellow squares ("handles") at either end.
To shift the line's position without changing the angle, click on the center of the line.
- If you mouse over the Trend Line Tool a new icon will pop-up below which is the Speed Resistance Line Tool.
- For Speed Resistance Line tool CTRL+ drag to toggle the display of extra fan lines.
- If you mouse over the Trend Line Tool a new icon will pop-up below which is the Parabola Tool.
- For the Parabola Tool click and drag to draw a parabola or click any three points on the chart to draw the parabola. You can learn more from this blog article.
*For more information on drawing Trend Lines refer to this video.
Creating a Parallel Line
Insert the trend line.
Switch to the Selection Tool.
Hold down the CTRL key, and click the center of the original line. If on a Mac hold down the COMMAND key, and click the center of the original line.
Drag the new parallel line to the desired position on the chart.
- For more information on how to draw Parallel lines please refer to our You Tube Video "Adding Trendlines and Channels".
Using a Callout Box
To create a callout box:
Select the Callout Tool.
Move to the location within the chart near where you want to insert the callout.
Type your text into the box that appears.
Hold down the CTRL key while pressing the Enter key (for Apple computers, hold down the Command key while pressing the Enter key).
To resize the callout box:
To add callout pointers to the box:
Press/hold down the CTRL key (Command on Mac)
Click in the center of the box.
Drag the mouse to the location at which the callout pointer should end.
Deleting Single/All Annotations
To delete a single annotation:
Move to the toolbar, and click the Selection Tool.
Click on the annotation you want to delete so the yellow handles appear.
Press the Delete key.
To delete all the annotations:
*For more information on modifying trend lines refer to this video.
Adding Linear Regression (Raff) Channels/ Quadrant Lines
Select the Raff Regression Channel Tool.
Click on the beginning of a trend and drag your mouse to the end of the trend. The central line is the linear regression line. The upper and lower Raff channel lines are placed equidistant from the center line and parallel to it.
- If you mouse over Raff Regression Channel Tool you will get another option to use Quadrant Lines Tool.
- This tool created five parallel lines splitting price movements into quarters.
Adding Cycle Lines
Select the Cycle Lines Tool.
Click on a significant peak or trough on the chart. As you drag your mouse to the next significant reversal, vertical lines appear at intervals equal to the distance you have dragged your mouse.
Inserting Andrew's Pitchfork Lines
Select the Andrew's Pitchfork Tool.
Click once at the start of a significant price movement. Click a second time wherever the first major reversal in the price movement happens. Finally click wherever the primary trend resumed.
*For more informaion on drawing forks and channels check out this video.
Adding Fibonacci Retracements
Select the Fibonacci Retracements Tool.
Click your mouse (holding CTRL for additional retracement lines on Windows and holding down Command on Macs) at the start of a significant price move and drag it to the end of that price movement. "Fibo" lines will appear at key levels between the two corners you specified. Prices often find support or resistance at those levels after "retracing" part of the original move.
- To add Fibonacci Arc, Fans and Time Zones mouse over the Fibonacci Retracement Tool and the other Fibonacci icons will appear below.
- Select the option you want to add those specific annotations to your chart by clicking on the icon.
- For Fibonacci Arcs CTRL+ Drag to toggle display of extra arcs.
- For Fibonacci Fans CTRL+ Drag to toggle display of extra fan lines.
- For Fibonacci Time Zones click the icon and draw the time zones onto the chart.
*For more information on drawing Fibonacci lines refer to this video.
Select the Arrow Tool.
Click and hold on the chart where you want the arrow to start.
Drag the pointer in the opposite direction from where you want the arrow to point.
Adding Shaded Areas
Select the color that you want from the color palette.
Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard. Hold down COMMAND key if using a Mac.
Click and drag on the chart to create the shaded area. The object is automatically set to 30% opaque.
- For the Triangle shift+ drag a handle to toggle the fill. On a Mac click Command + drag a handle to toggle the fill.
- To control your own opacity follow the first two steps and draw your object onto the chart. On the left vertical toolbar click the "fill" icon to fill your object.
- To change the opacity click the "opacity" icon and use the slider to set the opacity to the level you want.
- If you want rounded edges click the "corner type" icon.
To learn more about creating shaded objects please refer to this blog article or this video.
The Drawing Toolbar
The Drawing Toolbar is located along the top of the ChartNotes window. It includes (from left to right) tools for modifying existing objects, creating trendlines, creating horizontal and vertical lines, creating rectangles and ovals, creating text and callout boxes, and creating arrows. Finally, there are five specialized line studies that can be drawn - Fibonacci retracements, cycle lines, Andrew's pitchforks, Linear Regression (Raff) channels, and Auto Support/Resistance lines. The Drawing Toolbar contains a series of icons. When you press the icon, the corresponding function can be performed.
||- Allows you to select a specific annotation to which you can then make modifications.
- Can be used to shift, stretch, or change the color of an object.
- Double clicking a text box or callout box with the selection tool allows you to edit the text.
Speed Resistance Line Tool.
- Creates a line of any angle by clicking and dragging your mouse from the beginning to the end of the line.
- Line will be drawn in the color that is selected.
- Parabola tool creates a curved line.
|Horizontal Line Tool
||- Creates a horizontal line that goes all the way across the chart.
- Useful for marking support/resistance lines.
|Vertical Line Tool
||- Creates a vertical line from the bottom of the chart to the top.
- Useful for connecting indicators or volume levels to price movements.
|- Draws a box around a specific area within the chart.
- Useful for identifying important price movements.
- Press SHIFT after starting to draw in order to create a perfect square.
||- Draws an oval around a specific area within the chart.
- Useful for identifying important price movements.
- Press SHIFT after starting to draw in order to create a perfect circle.
||- Opens a free-form text box into which you can enter text.
- Use this to make notes/comments or add titles to charts.
||- Opens a free-form box into which you can enter text or numbers.
- More than one callout "pointers" can be inserted into a chart.
- A great way to annotate specific movements or trends.
||- Inserts an arrow at selected points in the chart.
- Can point up, down, left or right.
|Fibonacci Retracements Tool
- Creates five lines that identify price levels and retracement percentages.
- Identifies the beginning and end of a significant price move.
- Click on Fiboannci Arcs, Fans or Time Zones to add to the chart.
|Cycle Lines Tool
||- Creates multiple vertical lines across the chart.
- Provide assistance in spotting cyclical price movements.
|Andrew's Pitchfork Tool
||- Creates one line that splits into three in the form of a pitchfork.
- Identifies where prices should go as long as the primary trend remains intact.
Raff Regression Channel Tool
Quadrant Line Tool
|- Creates three parallel lines along the price line.
- Identifies the highest high or lowest low value within a specified date range.
Auto Support-Resistance Tool
Elliot Wave Tool
- Creates a horizontal line that is green when price is above it, and red when price is below.
- Identifies where price is in relationship to the line, showing how a support line can often turn into a resistance line and vice-versa.
-Click to lay down a series of Elliot Waves
*For additional help with Elliot Waves refer to this video.
||- The Chart Sizing buttons lets you add more room for commentary on either side of the chart.
- Hold Ctrl while clicking on them to shrink instead of expand.
||- Removes the last edit/annotation.
- Multiple undo's can be executed.
|Change Info Mode
||There are four different cursor choices for displaying quote data:
1. Standard Cursor : Displays quote data at the bottom of the chart.
2. Crosshairs : Turns the mouse pointer into crosshairs. As you move over a point, the coordinates are shown below the chart.
3. Data Popup : As you move the mouse pointer over a specific point, the details for that point are shown in a popup box.
4. Chart Magnifier : Turns the mouse pointer into a square that contains a magnified view.
Color, Line Width, And Style Toolbars
While working with the drawing toolbar, you have the following other additional options located along the left side of the ChartNotes page:
You can change the color of any line or box from the color palette. Simply click on the desired color, and draw your object. Or, select an object you've already drawn, and then click a color on the toolbar.
The three small color boxes located above the color box icon are the last three color choices you have selected. These three boxes will appear different for every user since its based on the color choices you have recently made.
Line Width Toolbar:
||You can also change the look of any line by selecting the black solid line icon. Click the icon multiple times to cycle through the different widths. For a dashed line select the dashed line icon. To add an arrow to the end of a line click on the arrow icon and select the arrow style you want.
||After selecting a text or callout box, font style choices appear to make the text larger, smaller, or bold.
There are certain hotkeys supported by ChartNotes to make editing your charts easier. When a '+' occurs between two keys this means that the key on the left should be pressed and held, then the key on the right should be pressed. Unless specified 'click' means pressing either the left or right mouse button. (Note: Mac uses may need to use the Command key instead of the CTRL key.)
||Cycles through the annotation items on your chart.
||Changes current tool to Selection Tool until release of SHIFT button.
||Move currently selected item in direction of arrow key.
|CTRL + z
||Undo last action.
|CTRL + d
||Duplicate currently selected item (except text-based items).
|CTRL (Command on Mac)+ create new Box or Oval
||Create filled Box or Oval.
|CTRL (Command on Mac) + create new Fibonacci Retracements
||Create Fibonacci Retracements with additional two retracement lines.
|CTRL (Command on Mac)+ click Box or Oval
||Toggle fill status.
|CTRL (Command on Mac)+ click Fibonacci Retracements
||Toggle display of price data.
|CTRL (Comman on Mac)+ click Line
|SHIFT after starting to drag a Box or Oval handle
||Create a perfect circle or square.
Finalizing The Chart
Whether you want to start clean or save your chart, these tools are here for when you have finished with your ChartNotes.
Delete All: Restores the chart to its original condition, erasing all annotations currently shown. When you click the button, a confirmation window displays. WARNING: This process cannot be undone!
Reload: Reloads the chart using the last uploaded version (if any); e.g., if you have made a series of annotations that you are not happy with, instead of deleting each item one-by-one, click this button to erase the annotations and start with a "clean slate" (per se). Before your annotations are removed, a confirmation window displays.
Upload: Allows Extra! users to store their "masterpieces" on StockCharts.com for later review and sharing with others. When uploading your file, you specify a name and list you want the chart saved to.
- Close: If you are finished with annotating and are ready to the close the annotation window please click the X in the upper right hand corner. A pop-up will appear asking you "Are you sure you want to close ChartNotes? You will lose any unsaved annotations." please click OK if you are ready to close the window. If you prefer to not close the window please hit cancel.
- Clicking help icon will bring up a ChartNotes Help Guide that explains how to use the different buttons. It also provides a list of Hot Keys. (see image below).
Saving/Sharing Annotated Charts
Free users: You can save annotated charts to your own hard disk by taking a "screenshot".
Basi, Extra and PRO users: Members can save annotated charts in any of their ChartLists. You have the option to save a "live" annotated chart (one that updates over time) in one of your regular lists.
Simply press the button in the upper right corner of the ChartNotes window to store your annotations. You will be prompted to select where you wish to save the chart.
Note: If you are annotating a chart you selected directly from one of your ChartLists, the chart with annotations is automatically saved back into the original list, and overwrites the original chart.