KnowledgeBase/Documentation

SharpCharts Workbench - User Documentation

StockCharts Support April 10, 2009

Using the SharpCharts Workbench

 

What Are SharpCharts?

 

StockCharts.com provides individual investors with the best financial charts on the web. The bar and candlestick charts that we provide are called SharpCharts™ and are created by our award-winning SharpCharts charting "engine." The SharpCharts engine runs on the computers in our offices but anyone on the web can access them using our web-based SharpCharts Workbench. This document describes all the features of the SharpCharts Workbench and will help you create professional-looking financial charts for any of the 25,000+ stocks, indices, and mutual funds that we track. To learn how to analyze and interpret the charts, please see our education area called ChartSchool.

Note: To learn how to add custom annotations to a chart, please see our ChartNotes Manual page.

 

Subscriber Levels

 

Before we dive into all the details of the workbench, it is important to note that, while most of SharpCharts' features are available to everyone, some features are reserved for our subscribers - either our entry level "Basic" subscribers or our advanced "Extra and PRO" subscribers.

The SharpCharts workbench provides all users - even free users - with access to every indicator and overlay that we support. All users can also create charts for every stock, index and mutual fund in our database. All users can also print charts, email them to friends, bookmark them for latest review, and analyze them inside our ChartNotes annotation tool. In addition, all of our paying subscribers can view intraday charts, save customized ChartStyles, and store charts inside of their account for access from any web connected computer. Subscribers to our "Extra and PRO" service can store charts in multiple ChartLists, store annotated charts inside their accounts and, optionally, view charts based on non-delayed data.

For a detailed breakdown of what each subscription level provides, please see our Subscription Comparison page.

Note: Throughout the rest of this document, sections that describe subscriber-only features are marked with an asterisk.

 

Accessing the SharpCharts Workbench

 

There are several ways to get to the SharpCharts Workbench. The most commonly used methods are listed below. Use whichever method(s) work best for you. 

start_to_chart.png

  • From the StockCharts.com homepage (http://stockcharts.com), use the Start a Chart box in the upper right hand side. 
  • Use the "Create a Chart" box that appears in the middle of almost every page as a ticker bar.
  • Click on almost any chart on our site. Chances are it will take you to the SharpCharts Workbench pre-loaded with that chart's ticker symbol.
  • Click on any of the charts on our Gallery View or CandleGlance Group pages.
  • Click on the "Free Charts" tab on the top of our pages and enter a ticker symbol into the SharpCharts box, then click "Go."
  • Click on any of the SharpCharts NavIcons - SharpCharts NavIcons - located next to our predefined charts and Scan Results.
  • Click on a link from another website or stored in your browser's "Favorites" list.

About Default Charts

 

 Our SharpCharts tool is designed to meet the needs of a huge range of chartists. When the SharpCharts workbench first appears, it usually displays a chart using the "Default" ChartStyle. If you are a free user, you will see a chart like this: »

StockCharts' Default Chart Settings

Members are able to change the Default ChartStyle to whatever chart configuration they prefer (see below for details). Size, duration, period, type, overlays, colors - all of these things can be customized and then saved as the Default ChartStyle. As long as you are logged into your account, any new charts you create will first appear with your default settings.

 

Entering Ticker Symbols

 

Once you have the SharpCharts Workbench open, you can enter a new ticker symbol in one of three different ways:

  • If you haven't clicked on any other part of the page, simply type in the new ticker and press the "Enter" key. A new chart will appear using the same settings as the previous chart you saw.
  • If you have clicked on something, click inside the "Symbol" box above the chart and then enter the new ticker symbol. A new chart will appear using the same settings as the previous chart.
  • To create a new chart using the Default ChartStyle, click inside the QuickAction box located in the upper right corner of the window, then enter the new ticker symbol and click the "Go" button.

Note: If you aren't sure of the ticker symbol, just type part of the company's name into the Symbol box and press the "Enter" key. We will search for any stocks/funds/indices in our database that contain what you typed and show you the results.

 

Updating the Chart

 

Whenever you make a change to any of the settings of a chart, you need to Update the chart in order for those changes to appear. To update a chart, simply click on any of the "Update" buttons located above and below the chart. Pressing the "Enter" key will usually update the chart as well.

Note: Members can use the "Auto-Refresh" dropdown box - located just below the ticker symbol - to have their charts automatically update throughout the day.

 

Changing the Chart's Period

 

Each bar or candle on a chart represents a unit of time called a "period." Examples of periods include 1-minute bars, 10-minute bars, 60-minutes, daily bars, and weekly bars. You can change the period of a chart by using one of the "Periods" dropdowns. There's one above the chart next to the Symbol box and one below the chart in the "Chart Attributes" area.

Free users can select either "Daily" or "Weekly" chart periods. In addition, subscribers can select "1-minute", "2-minute", "3-minute", "5-minute", "10-minute", "15-minute", "30-minute", "60-minute" "12-=minute", and "Monthly" chart periods.

PRO members have access to quarterly and yearly bars.

Note: All of the time-based parameters that our indicators use are based on the chart's "Periods" setting. For example, a Moving Average with a parameter of 5 will create a 5-day MA on a "Daily" chart but if the chart's period is change to "Weekly", that same setting will result in a 5-week MA on the new chart.

 

The Inspector

You can use the "Inspect" feature to see the values of the bars and lines on your chart, to measure a price move's percent change, and to count the number of bars between two dates.  Click on the "Inspect" checkbox above the chart to enable the Inspector, then move your mouse around the chart to see the data values that make up the chart.  To measure a price move's percent change, click and drag vertically from the starting point to the ending point of the move.  To count the number of bars between two dates, click and drag horizontally.

Holding down the Shift key hides the information box.

 

Reviewing Saved Charts Quickly*

 

Subscribers will find two arrows - Screen_Shot_2013-07-27_at_6.49.36_AM.png - located just to the right of the "Update" button above the chart. These arrows allow you to quickly review your saved charts one at a time using the Workbench. Click the right arrow to see the next chart in your ChartList (or the first one if you are already at the bottom of the list). Click the left arrow to see the previous chart (or the last one if you are at the top). Combined with the StyleButtons feature (see below), this can be a very powerful feature for tracking your stock holdings.

Warning: Clicking either of these arrows will instantly load the appropriate chart, overriding any unsaved changes you have made to the chart you are currently looking at.

Note: For instructions on how to save a chart into your account, see the section "Adding a Chart to Your Saved Charts" below.

 

Selecting Saved Charts from ChartLists*

 

Subscribers to our site will see a couple of additional controls above the chart for selecting and managing any charts that they have saved into their accounts. Basic members will see one dropdown that contains all of their stored charts while Extra members will see two dropdowns - one containing all of their ChartLists and the other one containing all of the charts in the currently selected ChartList. The use of these dropdowns is pretty straightforward - just click the down-arrow and then select the chart (or ChartList) that you want to see. As soon as you click on a chart's name, it will be downloaded and displayed with all of its settings.

Warning: Selecting something from these dropdowns will instantly load the appropriate chart, overriding any unsaved changes you have made to the chart you are currently looking at.

Note: For instructions on how to save a chart into your account, see the next section.

 

Adding a Chart to Your Saved Charts*

 

For members to save a chart into their account click the "Save As" link located just below the Chart dropdown above the chart and then click the "Add" button in the box that appears. You will see a suggested name for your chart appear (ex. "$INDU - Daily Candlesticks, 520"). You can choose to keep that suggested name or change it by simply typing a new name in the box before clicking the "Add" button. You can dismiss the popup box without adding a chart by clicking on the little "X" icon in the upper right corner of the popup.

 *To learn more on Saving and Managing your chart check out our video here.

Viewing Multiple Saved Charts at Once*

 

Members can use the "View All Favorites" link located just above the chart on the right to switch to a 10-charts-per-page view of their saved charts. See our Basic Members and Extra Members user manuals for more details.

Note: Once they stop making lots of changes to their charts, many members find that it is faster to review their charts in 10-per-page view rather than one at a time in the workbench.

 

Using StyleButtons*

 

 Members can choose to have one or more thin vertical buttons (called "StyleButtons") added to the left side of their charts. StyleButtons provide one-click access to any ChartStyle in your account. (See below for more on ChartStyles.) You can move your mouse over any of the buttons to see the name of the corresponding ChartStyle. To apply that ChartStyle to the current chart, simply click the button. StyleButtons can be configured using the controls on the ChartStyle area (see below).

The red arrow points to the two style buttons in this picture. »StyleButtons Location

Note: These buttons can allow you to quickly switch between different types of chart analysis in order to evaluate a stock or index in several different ways. For instance, you might set up "Short-Term", "Medium-Term" and "Long-Term" buttons and then, using the blue arrows above the chart, step through your saved list of stocks, stopping to use the StyleButtons to check out each stock from those three perspectives.

 

Common Action Links

 

A collection of links to common chart actions is located just below the chart. Each link is described below:

  • Print - displays a popup window with a copy of your chart in it along with controls that let you change the printed versions size and/or convert it to monochrome.
  • Annotate - display a popup window with your chart loaded inside of our ChartNotes annotation tool. See our ChartNotes manual for more information.
  • Send - sends a copy of your chart to a friend via email.
  • Linkable Version - creates a version of your chart than can be saved into your browser's "Favorites" list or into other programs.
  • Past Data - displays a page of daily historical data. Only available to members.
  • Instructions - takes you directly to this page.
  • Report Problems - takes you to our Customer Support page.

Note: Use the "Print" link to print just the chart you are looking at. Use your browser's "File/Print" command to print out the chart with all of its settings.

 

Using ChartStyles*

 

Screen_shot_2012-02-23_at_2.35.28_PM.png

A ChartStyle is a collection of all the settings that go into making a SharpChart without including the ticker symbol. ChartStyles help you look at the same stock in a variety of different ways with just a couple of clicks. Basic members can store up to three different ChartStyles in their account, Extra and PRO members can store up to twenty. Members can see all of their saved styles in the "ChartStyles" dropdown located just below the chart. In addition to your own ChartStyles, that dropdown also contains several predefined styles that we provide (e.g., John's Daily Stocks). To use a ChartStyle from that list, simply click on it and your chart will be redrawn immediately with the saved settings for that style.

ChartStyles can also be accessed by clicking on one of the StyleButtons located just to the left of the chart. Note: StyleButtons will only appear if they have been configured to do so.

 *To learn more on creating and managing ChartStyles refer to our video here.

Creating and Managing ChartStyles*

 

To the right of the ChartStyles dropdown is a collection of links that can be used to create and manage your ChartStyles.

  • Make Default - saves the current chart's settings into the special "Default" ChartStyle for your account. All new charts will appear with those settings. See the "About Default Charts" section above for more details.
  • Add New - saves the current chart's settings into a new ChartStyle inside your account. A popup box allows you to specify the new style's name and, optionally, assign it to a StyleButton position. Button #1 is at the top left corner of the chart, button #2 is below that one, etc.
  • Replace - allows you to change the settings for an existing ChartStyle. A popup box allows you to select the style that you want to update. When you click the "Replace" button, the selected style is overwritten with the current chart settings.
  • Edit Properties - allows you to change the name and/or ChartStyle button of the currently selected ChartStyle. Be sure to choose a ChartStyle from the ChartStyles dropdown before clicking this link. A popup box allows you to change the name and/or StyleButton settings for the selected style.
  • Delete - deletes the currently selected ChartStyle. Be sure to choose a ChartStyle from the ChartStyles dropdown before clicking this link.

Setting Chart Attributes

 

Screen_shot_2012-02-23_at_2.36.12_PM.png

Chart Attributes are settings that affect either the entire chart or the price plot portion of the chart. Each of the attributes is described below. All of the Chart Attributes are grouped together in the first large area below the chart

 

  • Periods - Same as the "Periods" dropdown above the chart (see above)
  • Range - Sets the start and end points for the chart. See the "Range Settings" section below for more.
  • Type - Sets the kind of symbols that are used to represent the price information. See the "Chart Types" section below for more.
  • Size - Sets the horizontal width of the chart. The "Portrait" and "Landscape" sizes fix both the horizontal and vertical sizes (for printing purposes). Extra members can create charts up to 1600 by 1200 pixels using the "Custom" size choice.
  • Color Scheme - Sets the color collection that is used to create the chart. Note that subscribers can override many of these color choices using the advanced settings "pull-outs" located throughout the workbench.
  • Volume - "Overlay" draws volume bars behind the price bars with the scale of the left side of the chart. "Separate" draws volume bars in a separate panel below the price bars. "Off" removes the volume bars from the chart.
  • Full Quote - When checked, adds a special panel to the top of the chart with detailed quote information including bid and ask data (when available).
  • Price Labels - When checked, adds small flags with price data at significant highs and lows to the chart.
  • Log Scale - When checked, uses a logarithmic scale on the vertical axis of the price plot panel creating a semi-log chart.
  • Smoothed Lines - When checked, removes the stair-step effect from indicator and overlay lines that occurs on lower resolution charts. Uncheck this setting if lines appear "fuzzy" on your display. Important: Using larger chart sizes is the best way to increase visual accuracy.
  • Y-Axis Labels - When checked, adds small flags to the right edge of the chart with the values for each indicator and price line on the chart.
  • Up-Color and Down-Color-  These drop-downs allow you to select what color CandleStick you want to use for up and down days.
  • Colored Volume - When checked, draws price bars on "down" periods in a different color. "Down" periods are defined as periods where the closing value is less than the previous period's closing value.
  • Legends: Allows you to display the charts title on the chart. You can select to have it turned on, off, default, or verbose. Verbose option will show the entire name of the stock, index, etf etc. rather than just the ticker symbol in all the price panels.

In addition, subscribers have the ability to "pull-out" the advanced chart settings by clicking on the green arrow to the left of the "Color Scheme" dropdown. They can then change the following settings:

  • Grid - Sets the density of the grid lines that appear on the chart. Important: Using higher grid densities can greatly increase the download size of the chart.
  • Color - Sets the color of the price bars/candlesticks.
  • Opacity - Sets the opacity (i.e., the transparancy) of the price bars/candlesticks. A setting of 1.0 is completely opaque ("solid, non-see-thru"). A setting of 0.5 is somewhat transparent. A setting of 0.0 is invisible.

Note: If your charts are taking a long time to download, try disabling Line Smoothing and using a coarser Grid setting - especially if you are looking at a chart with a large number of data points on it.

 *For additional help with Chart Attributes check out our part 1 and part 2 tutorial videos.

Setting the Chart's Range

 

There are three different ways to set the duration of our charts. Each method fits the needs of a different group of analysts. Be sure to understand the pros and cons of each technique before deciding which one is best for you. Often, a combination of Range settings is used. The three techniques are Fill-the-Chart, Predefined Range, and Select Start/End.

The Range dropdown contains entries for each of the three techniques as well as some commonly used Range settings for quick access.

 

Fill-the-Chart Mode

 

Fill-the-Chart mode will fit as many correctly-sized price bars as it can into the chart's area. In this mode, the size of the bar (and the size of the gap between the bars) is the highest priority. It's for people that want to study the most recent chart developments using undistorted charts. Fill-the-Chart charts always end on the most current date. The starting date for these kind of charts varies based on the number of undistorted bars that can fit within the width of the chart.

Fill-the-Chart mode can be customized by changing any of three settings:

  • Bar - The width of the bars (in pixels). Positive numbers between 1 and 10 can be used. Odd-number bar widths (e.g., 3, 5, 7) work best.
  • Gap - The width of the space between the bars (in pixels). Non-negative numbers from 0 to 10 can be used.
  • Extra Bars - The amount of additional space (specified in bars) you'd like us to add to the right side of the chart as blank space. This space is especially useful for future trendline and price projections.

Suggestion: Always start by creating a Fill-the-Chart chart. Once you've got everything else looking correct, you can then come back and change the Range setting as needed.

 

Predefined Range Mode

 

Predefined Range mode will show you all of the bars for the duration you selected ending on the most current closing date. The size of the bars will be automatically adjusted to use the space that's available. If there is lots of room and relatively few bars, they will be large. If there is not enough room for all the bars during that period, they will be compressed and possibly distorted. To avoid this kind of distortion you can either widen your chart, change to a longer chart period (e.g., weekly bars) or change to a shorter duration.

The Range dropdown contains the general "Predefined Range" choice as well as a collection of commonly used "short cuts" (e.g., 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, etc.). The short cut versions are indented in the dropdown. With the commonly used "short cutes" in the dropdown you will be presented with three additional dropdowns - Years, Months, Days - and an Extra Bars field. If you use one of the short cuts, the drop downs will be pre-filled with your choice, otherwise you will have to select the duration yourself using whatever combination of Years, Months and Days that you want. When you're done, click the "Update" button to see the results.

The Extra Bars field works just like it does in Fill-the-Chart mode (see above).

Note: Free users are restricted to no more than 3 years of historical data regardless of the settings selected.

 

Select Start/End Mode

 

Select Start/End Mode allows you to specify a starting and ending date for your chart. Just like with Predefined mode, the size of the bars will vary depending on the room available in the chart and bars may be distorted if there isn't enough space.

The Range dropdown contains the general "Select Start/End" choice as well as one short cut - "Year-to-Date". If you select "Year-to-Date", the starting and ending date fields will be filling in automatically, otherwise you will have to fill in those fields. Use the format "YYYY-MM-DD" to enter your dates - i.e., four numbers for the year, a dash, two numbers for the month, another dash, and two final numbers for the day.

Notes:
- Leave the "Ending Date" box empty if you want your chart to always end on "today" regardless of what date you look at the chart.
- You cannot specify parts of a day (i.e., the last 2 hours). All charts must start at the market open.
- You must be a member to create charts with intraday information.

 

Setting the Chart's Type

 

 The chart's Type setting determines how the individual price quotes are represented graphically. For instance, if the chart's Type is set to "Candlesticks", each period's price data will be drawn (typically) as a wide box with lines sticking out from the top and bottom. SharpCharts supports a large variety of chart Types and we encourage our users to explore all of them and their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Candlesticks - Also called "Japanese Candlesticks," these charts are explained in detail in this ChartSchool article.
  • OHLC Bars - Also called "Open/High/Low/Close Bars," these traditional charts are explained in detail in this ChartSchool article.
  • HLC Bars - Very similar to OHLC Bars except that the open tick on the left side of the bar is omitted.  Instead the close tick is extended across both the left and right sides of the bar to make the close value more prominent.
  • Line - Simpler charts where the closing value for each period are connected by various styles of lines. Available line styles are Thin, Solid, Thin Dashed and Solid Dashed.
  • Dots - Charts with dots at each period's closing value.
  • Area - Line charts with the area below the line filled in with a semi-opaque color.
  • Histogram - Charts with vertical bars for each period extending from the bottom of the chart to the closing value.
  • CandleVolume - Similar to Candlestick charts except that each candle's width is proportional to its corresponding volume value. Important: The time axis for these charts is not uniformly spaced. Trendlines may be misleading on such charts. Example»
    Candlevolume Chart
  • Three Line Break - Charts with hollow rectangles that represent complete uptrends and downtrends. Please see this article for more details. Important: Three Line Break charts are interpreted very differently from other types of charts. The time axis for these charts is not uniformly spaced. Trendlines may be misleading on such charts. Example»
    Three Line Break Chart
  • Kagi - Time-independent charts with L-shaped thick and thin lines. See this article for more information.
  • Renko - Time-independent charts with filled and hollow boxes that move up and down at 45 degrees.  See this article for more information.
  • EquiVolume - Charts with boxes that represent highs and lows and widths that are proportional to their corresponding volume values. Important: The time axis for these charts is not uniformly spaced. Trendlines may be misleading on such charts.
  • Invisible - Charts where the main ticker's data is not displayed. This can be useful with overlaid charts where the overlay is more important that the underlying data it is based on.
  • Cumulative - Line charts where the value for the next time period is equal to the sum of the closing values for all the visible time periods before it. This chart type is typically used with volatile market sentiment indicators that oscillate around zero such as "Advancers-Decliners." Note: The ending value for these charts will change whenever the range of the chart changes due to how these charts are calculated.
  • Performance - Line charts where the value for each time period is the percentage change of the closing value compared to the value for the left-most bar. This chart type can be used to duplicate the charts you can create with our Dynamic PerfChart tool. Note: The ending value for these charts will change whenever the range of the chart changes due to how these charts are calculated.Example»
    Performance Chart

Adding Price Overlays

 

Screen_shot_2012-02-23_at_2.37.08_PM.png

Overlays are collections of lines and symbols that are designed to appear on top of price bars in the price plot area. Examples include moving averages and price channels. To add an overlay to your chart, simply select it from an unused dropdown on the left side of the "Overlays" area. The dropdown contains a list of all the overlays we support including:

  • Horizontal Line - A solid line at the specified price level.  Multiple lines can be specified, separated by commas.
  • Simple Moving Average - A running average of a specified number of closing values.
  • Exponential Moving Average - A exponentially weighted average.
  • Bollinger Bands - Bands above and below the prices that show volatility around a central average.
  • Moving Average Envelopes - Bands located a fixed distance above and below a central average.
  • Keltner Channels - Bands based on the Average True Range (ATR) and a central average.
  • Price Channels - Bands based on the maximum and minimum price values for a specified number of periods.
  • Ichimoku Clouds - A system of lines and area fills ("clouds") that is explained here.
  • Parabolic Stop-and-Reverse (SAR) - Dots that indicate where trailing stop-loss points should be set.
  • Volume-by-Price - A horizontal histogram that sums volume for a variety of price levels.
  • ZigZag - Lines that connect significant turning points on the chart.
  • ZigZag (with Retracements) - ZigZag lines with percentage change values.
  • VWAP- An intraday indicator based on total dollar value of all trades for the current day divided by the total trading volume for the current day.
  • Pivot Points- A chart overlay that shows reversal points below prices in an uptrend and above prices in a downtrend.

Detailed descriptions of most overlays can be found in the Indicators section of our ChartSchool area. The "About Overlays" link at the bottom of the Overlays area will take you there.

Many overlays take one or more additional parameters that can modify the information they display. Whenever an overlay is selected from its dropdown, sample parameters will be inserted into the corresponding "Parameters" box. If an overlay takes more than one parameter, commas are used to separate them. Most parameters are optional - if you do not specify a parameter, we will either substitute in a sample parameter value or remove the corresponding features from the chart. See the Indicators section of our ChartSchool area for detailed information on when each parameter for each overlay does.

To delete an overlay from a chart, simply select the "- None -" entry from the top of the dropdown box. To quickly delete all overlays, click the "Clear All" button at the bottom of the Overlays section.

 

Changing Advanced Overlay Options*

 

example of the advanced overlay pullout

Click on the green arrow located to the right of the first overlay to "pull out" the Advanced Overlay Options pull-out. This pull-out is only available to members.

Occasionally, the order in which overlays are specified matters. In those cases, you can use the Reorder arrows to the right of each overlay to rearrange things. Overlays can be displayed using several different line Styles including Solid Lines, Dashed Lines, Area fills, Histograms, and Dots. Finally, you can also change each overlay's Color and Opacity.

Tip: For "banded" oscillators like Bollinger Bands and Price Channels, try using the "Area" style with an opacity of 0.3.

 

Adding Technical Indicators

 

Screen_shot_2012-02-23_at_2.38.06_PM.png

Indicators are collections of lines and symbols that are typically (but not always) displayed in additional panels located above or below the main price panel. (SharpCharts also allows you to create "Overlaid" charts where indicators can be positioned behind the price bars or behind other indicators.) Examples of technical indicators include the MACD and the RSI. To add an indicator to your chart, simply select it from an unused dropdown on the left side of the "Indicators" area. The dropdown contains a list of all the indicators we support including:

  • Price - The price data for a specified stock. Typically used to create overlaid charts or charts that compare one stock to another. Combined with our Ratio Symbol Notation), it can be used to create "Price Relative" charts (see below).
  • Price Performance - The percentage change of the closing values of the specified stock. The first closing value on the left edge of the chart is the starting point for the calculations. Often used in combination with the "Performance" chart type to create SharpCharts versions of our dynamic PerfCharts tool.
  • Volume - The volume data for a specific stock. Can be used to position volume several panels away from the price data or to overlay volume on an indicator.
  • RSI - Common bounded momentum oscillator with overbought/oversold lines at 70 and 30.
  • MACD - Moving Average Convergence/Divergence. Common unbounded momentum oscillator formed from the difference of two specified EMAs. A signal line is often added to generate buy/sell signals. The difference between the indicator and the signal line is displayed as a histogram in the middle of the indicator.
  • MACD Histogram - The difference between the specified MACD line and its signal line displayed as a histogram. This version only displays the histogram, not the MACD Line or the signal line.
  • Percentage Price Oscillator (PPO) - A percentage-based version of the MACD.
  • Detrended Price Oscillator (DPO) - Removes long-term trend information from the data so that shorter-term cycle information can be studied.
  • Commodity Channel Index (CCI) - Removes statistical mean information from the data so that unusual short-term divergences can be better identified.
  • Rate-of-Change (ROC) - The difference between current prices and prices 'n' periods ago. Almost identical to the "Momentum" indicator (which we do not support, use ROC instead).
  • Ultimate Oscillator - Weighted sum of three different oscillators - a short-term one, a medium-term one, and a long-term one.
  • TRIX - A momentum oscillator that shows the percent rate-of-change of a triply smoothed average of the stock's closing prices.
  • Force Index - Is a price-and-volume oscillator that helps technical analysts determine if a stock's trend is strengthening or weakening.
  • Williams %R - A common overbought/oversold momentum indicator that is similar to an inverted stochastics plot.
  • Full Stochastics - A common bounded oscillator that shows where prices are now relative to where they have been in the past. Full stochastics takes three parameters allowing for complete control over the calculation.
  • Slow Stochastics - An easier-to-use, 2-paramter version of the Stochastics oscillator for longer-term trading.
  • Fast Stochastics - An easier-to-use, 2-paramter version of the Stochastics oscillator for shorter-term trading.
  • StochRSI - A bounded oscillator that uses the stochastics oscillator on the RSI indicator (instead of on closing values).
  • On Balance Volume (OBV) - A cumulative sum of volume for up days minus volume for down days. Note: The actual value of the OBV changes depending on where the left edge of the chart is and therefore is not displayed.
  • Accumulation/Distribution Line - A weighted sum of volume for up days minus volume for down days. Note: The actual value of the OBV changes depending on where the left edge of the chart is and therefore is not displayed.
  • Chaikin Oscillator - An oscillator based on the movement of the Accumulation/Distribution Line.
  • Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) - An oscillator that combines price and volume to estimate money moving into and out of a stock.
  • Money Flow Index (MFI) - An RSI-like oscillator that includes volume in its calculations.
  • Percent Volume Oscillator (PVO) - A volume-based version of the PPO.
  • Average Directional Index (ADX) - Shows whether a stock is trending or oscillating.
  • Average True Range (ATR) - A volatility indicator based on an average of each period's "True Range."
  • Aroon - A trend-determination system based on the number of days since a recent high or low has been set.
  • Aroon Oscillator - An oscillator formed from the two lines that make up the Aroon system.
  • Bollinger Band Width - The absolute distance from the top Bollinger Band to the bottom one.
  • Bollinger's %b - An oscillator showing where prices are currently located relative to the upper and lower Bollinger Bands.
  • Standard Deviation - A statistical measure of volatility.
  • Slope - The rise (or fall) in closing values divided by the specified number of periods.
  • Date/Time Axis - An additional horizontal axis for your chart.
  • Coppock Curve- An oscillator that uses rate-of-change and a weighted moving average to measure momentum.
  • Correlation Coefficient- Shows the degree of correlation between two securities over a given time frame.
  • Ease of Movement (EMV)- An indicator that compares volume and price to identify significant moves.
  • Know Sure Thing (KST)- An indicator that measures momentum in a smooth fashion.
  • Mass Index- An indicator that identifies reversals when the price range widens.
  • Negative Volume Index (NVI)- A cumulative volume-based indicator used to identify trend reversals.
  • StockCharts Technical Rank (SCTR)- Provides a technical rank based on six technical indicators. Can be use to find stocks showing relative strength or avoid stocks showing relative weakness.
  • StochRSI- Combines Stochastics with the RSI indicator. Helps you see RSI changes more clearly.
  • True Strength Index- An indicator that measures trend direction and identifies overbought/oversold levels. 
  • Ulcer Index- An indicator designed to measure market risk or volatility. 
  • Vortex Index- An indicator designed to identify the start of a new trend.

Detailed descriptions of most indicators can be found in the Indicators section of our ChartSchool area. The "About Indicators" link at the bottom of the Indicators area will take you there.

Many indicators take one or more additional parameters that can modify the information they display. Whenever an indicator is selected from its dropdown, sample parameters will be inserted into the corresponding "Parameters" box. If an indicator takes more than one parameter, comma's are used to separate them. Most parameters are optional - if you do not specify a parameter, we will either substitute in a sample parameter value or remove the corresponding features from the chart. See the Indicators section of our ChartSchool area for detailed information on when each parameter for each indicator does.

To delete an indicator from a chart, simply select the "- None -" entry from the top of the dropdown box. To quickly delete all indicators, click the "Clear All" button at the bottom of the Indicators section.

 

Setting Indicator Positions

 

Indicators also have a "Position" dropdown box that allows you to set the location for each indicator's panel. Here's what each of the Position settings mean:

  • Above - The indicator is displayed in a panel above the price plot area.
  • Behind Price - The indicator is displayed in price plot area behind the price bars/candles.
  • Below - The indicator is displayed in a panel below the price plot area.
  • Behind Ind. - The indicator is displayed in the same panel as the indicator on the line directly above it.

Note: The "Behind Price" and "Behind Ind." settings are used to create Overlaid charts.

 

Changing Advanced Indicator Options*

 

example of the advanced indicator pullout

Click on the green arrow located to the right of the first indicator to "pull out" the Advanced Indicator Options pull-out. This pull-out is only available to members.

The order in which indicators are specified determines their position on the chart. For example, the first indicator with it's "Position" set to "Above" appears at the top of the chart, the second one with "Above" appears below that, and so on. Members can use the Reorder arrows to the right of each indicator to rearrange things.

If a "Price" indicator has been added to the chart, a Style dropdown appears allowing you to choose the manner in which the price data should be displayed such as Candlesticks, OHLC bars, Line, Area, etc. Color and Opacity dropdowns are also available.

 

Setting the Indicator Height

 

For indicators with a Position setting of "Above", "Below" or "Behind Price", the Height setting is the vertical size of the indicator's display as a percentage of the height of the Price Panel. For example, if the Price Panel was 100 pixels tall, an "Above" indicator with a Height setting of "0.6" would be 60 pixels tall. For indicators with a Position setting of "Behind Ind.", the Height setting is the vertical size of the indicator's display as a percentage of the height of the panel it appears in (typically the panel of the indicator lists above it). For example, if the first indicator's panel was 40 pixels tall, and the second indicator had a position of "Behind Ind." and a height of "0.5", the second indicator would occupy the middle 20 pixels of the first indicator's panel.

To reset all of the indicators to the same height, use the Reset All Heights dropdown located at the bottom of the Indicators area.

 *For additional help with indicators and overlays refer to our videos part 1 and part 2.

Charting Indicator Overlays*

 

Members can also chart indicators that are based on the values of another indicator using the final dropdown in the "Advanced Indicator Options" pull-out. These are called Indicator Overlays. Unlike normal overlays (which are calculated from the main stock's price data), Indicator Overlays are calculated from the values of the indicator they are associated with. The following Indicator Overlays are supported: Horizontal Line, Simple Moving Average, Exponential Moving Average, Bollinger Bands, Channels (like "Price Channels"), Moving Average Envelopes, Keltner Channels, ZigZag, ZigZag with Retracements, Labels (like "Price Labels"), Bollinger Band Width, CCI, Full Stochastics, Rate-of-Change, Standard Deviation and Slope.

 

Managing Your Saved Charts*

 

Screen_Shot_2013-07-27_at_6.52.58_AM.png

The final area near the bottom of the workbench page is the ChartLists area. It contains  the control to  change the look of all the charts in a ChartList. This feature is called Apply Style to All.

 

Adding a New Chart to a ChartList

 

To add the current chart to an existing ChartList, click on "Save As" link located at the top of the SharpCharts area. Make any changes to the chart's name, select the list that you wish to store it in (Extra  and PRO members only), and click the "Add" button.

 

Changing an Existing Chart

 

To change an existing chart, first select the chart that you wish to edit from the "Chart" dropdown at the top of the page. Next, make whatever adjustments you want to make and click the "Update" button. Next click the Save  link located directly below the ChartList drop-down above the SharpChart, adjust the chart's name (optional), and finally click the "Save" button in the popup that appears.

 

Deleting an Existing Chart

 

To delete an existing chart, first select the chart that you wish to delete from the "Chart" dropdown at the top of the page, then click on the Delete link in the ChartLists area. Click the "OK" button to confirm your deletion request.

 

Changing All Charts in a ChartList

 

To set all of the charts in a ChartList so that they use the same settings, first (if you are an Extra or PRO member) select the ChartList that you want to modify from the "ChartList" dropdown at the top of the page. Next, modify the current chart so that it has the style that you wish to use. Finally, click the Apply Style To All button in the ChartLists area. Click "OK" to confirm your decision.

 

1) 20 days of 1-minute, 2-minute, 3-minute, 5-minute and 15-minute bars; 40 days of 10-minute and 30-minute bars; 60-minute, 120-minute bars going back to 2003
2) To create a Ratio chart, enter two symbols separated by a colon. ex. IBM:$SPX

For additional help on managing your ChartLists check out this video.

 

 
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