Chart


A Chart
Charts are graphical displays of prices for stocks, commodities, indices or funds. They can be used for:
  • Supporting trading decisions by following price development.
  • Making trading decisions solely on the basis of price development.
  • Gathering information about possible future price developments.
  • Preparing analysis for past price developments.
  • Visually following symbol positions.
  • Systematically developing signals for portfolio trading.
  • Graphically displaying trading system results.
  • Graphically displaying mathematical and statistical calculations.
  • Visualizing the performance development of a symbol.
With the help of simple methods it is possible to process price developments from the past to allow prognosis for the future. These methods are known by the term "chart analysis".

Charts have the following design parameters:
  • The maximum number of tools per charts is 250 (e.g. text elements, chart tools.
  • The maximum history length is 500000.
  • The maximum number of instruments per chart is 12 (including the subcharts, e.g. 6 instruments with one indicator each).
For additional information, also see these related topics:
  • In the chapters Using Indicators and Using Strategies, you can find information on how to add these to the chart for chart analysis. It is also possible to change their output using the available chart types.
  • In the chapter Chart Tools you find information on how to add and use these drawing tools for your chart analysis.
  • In the chapter Timespans and Periods you can find information on how to toggle quickly between different trading periods, how to define your own periods and how to set the visible time span and which pre-defined time spans are available.
  • In the chapter Chart Properties you can find information about layout settings that define the appearance of the chart and the displayed symbols. You can also find out about styles and templates that allow you saving your own configuration and applying them to other charts.
  • In the chapter Publishing you can find information on how to print your chart, save an image of it, or send it via E-mail or Tradesignal Online forum to other users.

Available Chart Types

SymbolNameDescription
Bar ChartPlots price movement; vertical bars indicate range; markers on the bar show open and close prices
Candlestick ChartPrice chart that shows the open, high, low, and close prices over a given time period
Line ChartPlots a line connecting consecutive prices
Stepped Line ChartSimilar to a line chart where price levels are connected to form a sequence of discrete steps
Symbol ChartPlots symbols at each price
Filled Area ChartPlots a filled region between two prices
Forest ChartPlots a histogram between prices by time
Linked Forest ChartA forest chart with a line joining the columns
Candle Volume ChartA candlestick chart with the width of each candle representing the volume
Equi Volume ChartPlots vertical bars showing price movement with the widths representing the volume
Kagi ChartPlots lines with different line width, independent of the time line
Renko ChartPlots a sequence of ascending and descending bricks to indicate price movement, independent of the time line
Three Line Break ChartPlots a sequence of bricks depending on close prices, independent of the time line
Heikin Ashi ChartSimilar to candlesticks, but uses averaged prices
Point&Figure ChartPlots price increases and decreases as a series of stacked Xs and Os, independent of the time line
Market ProfileInserts a market profile chart (various price and turnover data) in the workspace

Ways of Calling up a Chart

There are three main routes for calling up a chart for a commercial paper:
  • If you know the ticker symbol, enter it in the command line. (Tip: You can find ticker symbols in the Symbol Search.)
  • If you don't know the ticker symbol of the commercial paper, you can find it in the symbol lists.
  • If you receive an E-Mail with charts, you can save them and call up the charts.
You can also open symbols in subcharts.

Calling up a chart via the command line

  1. Type the ticker symbol (e.g. CAT) in the command line.
  2. Press ENTER. Alternatively, you can choose the entry New Chart from the pull-down menu

Calling up a chart from a symbol list

For this you need to have a symbol list, e.g. one for the USA Dow Jones.
  1. Click on the yellow star symbol in the lower area of the tool bar. The symbol list manager opens.
  2. Double-click on the symbol list to open it. There are two ways to open a chart for a list entry:
    1. If the working area doesn't display a chart, or if you want to substitute the symbols in an existing chart, double-click on the list entry.
    2. If you want to open a new chart, right-click on the list entry and choose New Chart from the context menu.
Now you can use the two green arrow buttons right next to the command line to move through the list and get each entry displayed in the chart.

Tip: You can also open the symbol list as a table in the Scanner, the Watchlist and as Portfolio and call up a new chart by right-clicking on a table entry and choosing New Chart from the context menu.

Calling up a chart from an E-mail

Tradesignal offers you the option to send charts or whole workspaces by E-Mail. In a similar way, you can import these sent objects into the program.
  1. If you receive an E-mail with a workspace, save it locally. We recommend that you choose the folder Tradesignal Files which is located in Personal Folder.
  2. Update the list of workspaces by right-clicking in the toolbar on the folder Tradesignal Files and choosing Update. The saved workspace appears in the list of workspaces and can be opened from there.

Copy, Paste and Delete Charts

You can edit charts with the functions in the Edit group in the toolbar:
  • Copy - Copy the current chart configuration into your Windows clipboard.
  • Paste - Paste the copied chart configuration into a currently opened chart, a new workspace, an office document or an image processing application.
  • Delete - Delete the currently active chart.

Navigation in the Chart

To activate a chart, click on its tab. In the active chart, the small plug symbol on the lower right of the chart or a portfolio is visible, see the chapter Automatic Order Routing.

The axes and visible areas can be set up relatively flexible. To return to the default settings, you can either press the key F8 or click on the axes symbol on the lower right of the chart. More information you can find in the chapter Timespans and Periods.

Move (scroll) Axes

You can move (scroll) the x- and y-axes (usually time and price axes) by clicking on them with the mouse and keeping the mouse button pressed while moving it up/down or left/right.

Alternatively, you can scroll the axes by pressing the cursor keys (up/down, left/right). To speed up the scrolling, press the STRG key in addition to the cursor keys.

Stretch/shrink Axes


Chart with shortened axes
You can change the scale of the axes, so that more or less of the range is shown. To do this, click on it with the right mouse button and keep it pressed while moving the mouse left/right or up/down.

Alternatively, keep the SHIFT key pressed while pressing the cursor keys (up/down, left/right).

Use the x-axis Scrollbar

You can also scroll the x-axis by using the scrollbar, which is situated on the lower right corner, to the left of the axes symbol. Click on it and keep the mouse button pressed to drag the scrollbar to the left or right. The scroll speed depends on how much the time axis is currently stretched or shrunk.

Panoramic Scrollbar


Chart with panoramic scrollbar
In Tradesignal you can use the panoramic scrollbar to move (scroll) the x-axis by dragging it or clicking on the axis itself. The background always shows all available data as a filled area chart to give you additional information about your current viewport. It is possible to stretch/shrink (zoom) the axis by dragging the grippers of the new panoramic scrollbar. New buttons replacing the axes button makes it easy to toggle between normal and panoramic scrollbar or show recent/all data. In the chart properties you can change the height of the panoramic scrollbar or switch to the normal one.

Change Scale Align

You can change the scale align for the y-axis via the properties inspector (left, right, left/right), or via the chart legend (left and right).

For the latter, click on the chart legend and and keep the mouse button pressed while dragging it to the left or right side of the chart, until a little arrow symbol appears. Then release the mouse button. This way, you can drag and drop the scale to the left or right side of the chart.

Use the Zoom Function


Chart with zoomed area
If you want to take a closer look at certain chart regions, price patterns or signals of trading systems, the Zoom function is the right tool.
  1. Activate the Zoom tool by clicking on the small icon with a magnifying glass and a plus symbol in the Chart area of the toolbar.
  2. Click on the first corner of the area you want to enlarge.
  3. Draw the rectangle around the area.
  4. Release the mouse button. The area is zoomed.
To reset the Zoom and return to the previous view, click into an empty area of the chart with the activated Zoom tool.

To deactivate the Zoom tool, click on another tool like the select tool or target cursor. Alternatively, right-click into the chart and then click with the left mouse button into the empty area next to the context menu. This way, you return to the select mode. Although the second variant may sound complicated, it's a lot faster than the first one.

Use the Target Cursor


Using the Target Cursor
To retrieve detailed information about the region below the mouse cursor, you can use the Target Cursor.

Activate the Target Cursor by clicking on the small cross-hairs icon in the Chart area of the toolbar. When you click into the chart now, information about that position, the trading period, prices, indicators, etc. is displayed in a pop-up window. This window remains visible as long as the Target Cursor is active.

To return to the select mode, click on the select mode button in the toolbar. Alternatively, right-click into the chart and then click with the left mouse button into the empty area next to the context menu. This way, you return to the select mode. Although the second variant may sound complicated, it is a lot faster than the first one.

You can change the appearance of the Target Cursor in the chart properties, Target Cursor Style. Select Thin Line or Whole Column.

To have a temporary "target cursor" with an information pop-up, click and keep pressed the left mouse button in the select mode. The mouse pointer changes into a target cursor and a pop-up window with information appears. The window disappears when you release the mouse button.

Context Menus in the Chart

If you right-click on an element in the chart, a context menu opens, offering you various functions for this element. The most important functions are:
  • Delete the selected element
  • Show properties of the selected element
  • For the symbol: starting the price editor and trading time manager, changing the period, saving chart as template, report bad ticks, trade symbol (automatically opens the order bar).
  • For the indicators / trading systems: starting the program editor, request online information.

Subcharts

Subcharts are a special form of chart. They can be recognized by not having their own tab. Subcharts can have the same date axis or a different one than the main chart. As subcharts, the following documents can be displayed: symbols, indicators, strategies, equity curves (e.g. of the portfolio).

Opening a Subchart

To open an instrument as a subchart, proceed as follows:
  1. Click on the symbol button in the toolbox to open the symbol lists manager.
  2. Double-click on the symbol list to open it.
  3. Right-click on a symbol in the list to open the context menu. You have two options:
    • If you want to open the subchart with the same time axis as the main chart, select Insert Symbol from the context menu.
    • If you want to open the subchart with its own time axis, select Insert Symbol with new Date Scale from the context menu. (The y-axes are always independent of each other.)
  • The subchart opens below the main chart in the same tab.

    Note that this action also depends on the option Open symbols in their own subchart. This defines how the program reacts to Insert Symbol. If the option is selected, symbols are opened in a subchart. Otherwise, the symbol gets added to the existing chart.

    Closing a Subchart

    To close a single subchart, click on the x button in the upper right corner of the subchart. Alternatively, right-click into the subchart and select Delete subchart from the context menu.

    When you close a chart, all its subcharts are closed automatically.

    Navigation in Subcharts

    • To maximize a subchart, click on the button with the window symbol in the upper right corner of the subchart. Two little arrow buttons appear (right/left). Click on them to move between subcharts.
    • To display all subcharts again, click on the button with the staggered windows.
    To activate a subchart, click on the subchart legend. In the active subchart, the small plug symbol is visible on the lower right, just like for the chart. (See the chapter Automatic Order Routing).

    Editing Subchart Properties

    When you change the trading period for a chart via the Period button of the command line (see the chapter Timespans and Periods), the period for all subcharts is changed accordingly.

    To change the period for a single subchart, right-click into the subchart and select another Period for Object in the context menu.

    Moving Instruments between (Sub-)Charts

    If an instrument is opened in a chart and you would like to move it into a subchart, you can drag and drop the instrument.
    1. Click on the instrument in the legend and drag the instrument down. A little down-pointing arrow is added to the mouse cursor.
    2. Drop the legend into another subchart or pull it down until the edge of the window, so that a new subchart is opened.
    In the same way, you can move instruments from one subchart into another or into the main chart. This way, you can display two symbols together in one chart even though the option Open Symbols in their own Subchart in the Tradesignal Options is active.

    Indicators and Strategies in Subcharts

    Whether an indicator is opened in a subchart depends on their Equilla programming. You can move indicators by dragging them into other (sub-)charts, as described above. To which instrument an indicator is applied to is given in the indicator legend and is independent from the arrangement on the user interface. (See also the chapter Using Indicators.)

    For strategies, the same rules apply in principle. However, usually their graphic output are only a few arrows at the instrument curve. As this doesn't make not much sense in a subchart, most strategies are opened in the same (sub-)chart as the instrument they are applied to.

    Set New Default Chart Style


    Chart settings in the Tradesignal Options
    When Tradesignal is first installed, the default chart style is the candlestick chart. However, you can also set the bar and line chart as default. Proceed as follows:
    1. Open the File menu.
    2. Select the Tradesignal Options.
    3. Open the Chart settings.
    4. In the Default Chart Style area, select whether you want the candlestick, line, or bar chart as standard. Confirm the new settings by clicking OK.
    As of now, all new charts are displayed according to the new default setting.

    Comparing Symbols

    If you want to compare several symbols in the chart, it may be essential to normalize their measuring unit to get meaningful results. Tradesignal offers you different possibilities to achieve this goal. The following examples use Tradesignal Realtime as data provider:

    Currency Conversion

    If you are trading the same symbol on different exchanges you may encounter the problem that they are displayed in different currencies. The following example shows you how to unify the currency in the chart:
    1. Open a chart with Microsoft, MSFT NAS, a symbol traded on the American market in US Dollars.
    2. Add another Microsoft symbol traded on a different exchange, e.g. MSF GER, which is traded in Germany in Euro.
    3. Select the symbol traded in Germany in the chart and change the currency to US Dollars in the instrument properties.
    4. Select the first Microsoft symbol and add the Spread Diff indicator from the Tradesignal package. In the dialog, choose the symbol traded in Germany as second input.
    Please note that the currency conversion is not available for all symbols, such as indices which are displayed in index points. The list of available currencies depends on the selected data provider.

    Unit Conversion

    Unit conversion can be interesting for comparing symbols that are traded in different measurement units, e.g. barrel, bushel, tons, etc. This information and the list of available units and used abbreviations depends on the data provider .

    Example for soy beans and soy oil:
    1. Create a Continuous Contract for soy beans and choose S as Future Root Code. The future is traded in US Cent per Bushel (Bsh).
    2. Create another Continuous Contract for soy oil and choose BO as Future Root Code. This one is traded in US Cent per Pound(Lbs).
    3. Add both UDCs to a chart and select the soy oil symbol.
    4. Change the unit in the instrument properties from Lbs to Bsh.
    5. Add one of the Spread indicators from the Tradesignal package to display the difference.

    Display Unit

    Symbols can have different display units which refer to the displayed numbers of decimal places. For example, the Dow Jones index has two decimal places while the Euro has four decimal places. This is how you normalize the display of symbols in the chart:
    1. Create a chart with the Dow Jones, .DJI.
    2. Add the Euro (EURUSD) symbol to the chart and select it.
    3. Open the properties and change the instrument property Display Unit to 0.01 to display the Euro with two decimal places.
    The default value is provided by the data provider. It can be changed in the session properties for each symbol by opening the Session Manager via the context menu or the toolbar.

    Tip: You can change the display unit also for indicator and strategy outputs. Select the element in the chart and change the value in the properties. The default value of the output is based on the underlying symbol display unit.

    The display unit is also available in the Scanner, Watchlist and Portfolio and can be used to align the decimal point for all symbols below each other in the chart.

    Seasonal Charts

    With the seasonal mode in the chart properties, Tradesignal offers you the ability to overlay the prices of different years for one or more symbols. Comparing the symbols this way emphasizes seasonal pattern, e.g. if used with commodities that have seasonal variations. See the article Seasonal Chart for more details

    Percent Performance Charts

    You can display the price movements of a symbol as percentage increase/decrease relative to a start price by using percent performance transformation. This makes it easier to compare the performance of symbols since their absolute price values are converted to relative price movements. See the article Percent Performance for more details.

    Semi-Logarithmic Display


    Context menu of value scale
    The value axis can be displayed using a logarithmic scale. This is mainly used for symbols with a long history, to emphasis fluctuations in prices. The changes are not displayed linearly but perceptually, therefore the increase from 1 to 10 is identical to the increase from 10 to 100.

    Example for changing the Dow Jones display from linear to logarithmic:
    1. Open a chart with the Dow Jones, '.DJI.'
    2. Open the context menu for the symbol (see picture) and choose Logarithmic. To return to the linear display, repeat this action but select Linear instead.
    You also have the option of inverting the value scale by selecting Inverted, this will cause the lowest values to be displayed at the top.

    Please note that the left value axis can be separately changed in display if you have a second symbol in the chart.