Getting Help With Scans

Getting Help With Scans

Scanning is as much art as it is science, which means it will take practice to get comfortable with it. The best way to learn is to experiment as much as possible. You can find many ways to accomplish the same general task with slightly different results. However, if you are having problems, we have many resources that may help.

Online Resources

  • Scanning Documentation - The in-depth user guide for our powerful stock screening tool, the Scan Engine. We particularly recommend the Troubleshooting Scans section if you are struggling with writing a specific scan.
  • Scanning Tutorials - Eight easy-to-follow tutorials that will teach you everything you need to know about how to create and run advanced technical scans.
  • Instructional Videos - We currently offer seven instructional videos covering various aspects of scanning, from planning to syntax to troubleshooting.
  • Scan Syntax Reference - Our detailed reference on scan syntax, showing you how to write scan clauses for every indicator, function, etc. available in our Scan Engine.
  • Advanced Scan Library - We've collected a treasure trove of sample scans for you from our own Predefined Scans page, from articles, books, our Predefined Scans page and even StockCharts user contributions. These scans are available for you to study and reuse.
  • StockCharts Answer Network (also known as S.C.A.N.) - Search S.C.A.N. to learn how other Scan Engine users have approached common scanning problems. Seeing how someone else went about creating a scan and viewing other users' suggestions is one of the best ways to learn new methods of finding stocks.

Contacting Support

If you still are having problems, you can also contact our Support Team. While the Support Team can't write your scan for you, they may be able to assist if you can't get past a particular problem. When opening a support request, provide the following information:

  • What is your scan expression?
  • Is the date offset something other than 0?
  • Is your scan based on the last intraday update or the last market close?
  • Are you getting syntax errors or other results you don't feel are valid?
  • Give specific examples (e.g. “I ran my scan on Jan 10th using intraday data and got back IBM as one of the results. Looking at the chart, I don't understand why it is there.”).

The faster the support team can understand exactly what you have tried and what the problem is, the faster you are likely to get a resolution.


The Scan Engine is one of the most powerful tools available at StockCharts. Learning the nuances of scanning as it relates to your investment objectives does take a bit of time. However, the time you will save in the long run by finding more winners quickly will vastly outweigh the time spent learning. The key to becoming an expert scanner is to continue to experiment with different ways of finding your best leads.

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