Charting in the Active Trader Pro PlatformsSM

Charting lets you see the daily price and volume of a selected security over a specified period of time. You can view time frames ranging from the current day to 30 years, and compare your securities to other securities or indices, such as the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, or NASDAQ Composite Index. You can also:

  • View extended-hours data, add a variety of standard indicators, patterns, and technical events.
  • Change the chart style.
  • Add drawing tools such as trend lines or Fibonacci resistance lines
  • Display corporate events, view trades.
  • Save chart templates for future reference.

  • Changing Time Frame/Frequency

    There are three distinct ways to view chart time frames:

    • Select the time values at the bottom of the chart.
    • Enter dates into the date fields.
    • Use the slider below the chart.

    Once you have chosen your time frame, you can also select different frequencies, such as daily, weekly, and monthly, as well as different intraday intervals. Each time frame selection has primary and secondary frequency options. For example, if you are viewing a one-year chart, the primary frequency selections are daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

  • Tab Charts

    Use the tabs along the top of the chart to create up to 10 different views within a single chart window for a symbol. A new chart will open with 2 tabs by default, but you can use the + button to add up to 8 more. Each view—or tab—can have different settings and indicators. For example, for a given symbol, you can create a tab with a time and frequency of 1 year/daily, a second tab with a time and frequency of 6 month/daily, and a third tab with an intraday/1-minute time and frequency—allowing quick access to multiple chart views within a single window. You have the ability to move tabs in the chart window by selecting the tab and dragging it where you would like it to appear. You can save each tab, or export each tab singularly. Each chart is saved as a single file with all 10 tabs included in a workbook format.

    There are several ways to change your tabs:

    • To delete a tab, select the tab you want to delete and use the X icon.
    • To insert a new tab, use the plus symbol to the right of any existing tab. The maximum is 10 tabs.
    • To rename a tab, double-click on the tab name and enter a new name for the tab.

    Quick Tip: You can save time when creating a chart template with multiple tabs by right-clicking the menu on the chart and selecting "Copy Current Tab."

  • Inserting Blank Space on a Chart

    To get a better view of price targets, try adding a blank space above, below or to the right of the price pane. To do this, hover your mouse near the top, bottom or right side of the chart until you see the vertical / horizontal lines appear. Click and drag these lines to apply blank space.

  • Zooming and Panning

    To zoom in on a particular time range, use the Zoom In icon at the top of the chart window. Place your cursor on the start of the time range you would like to analyze, and simply drag your cursor to the end of the range you would like to see. When you release the mouse, the chart will zoom in to display a more detailed view of the specified range. To undo your zoom, use the Zoom Out icon.

    To pan within your chart horizontally, use the normal cursor tool or the Pan tool (hand icon in the Draw menu) and then drag left or right across the chart.

  • Enabling/Disabling the Crosshair Cursor

    The Crosshair cursor allows you to view price and date information for specific data points. To enable the Crosshair cursor, choose the + icon from the Draw menu. The price and date at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines display on the axis. To disable the Crosshair cursor, go back to the Draw menu and choose a different cursor.

  • Displaying Volume Chart

    From within Chart Settings, you can choose to display the security's Volume Chart as an underlay to the Price Chart. Selecting this option will display a series of vertical bars which represent the amount of volume which has traded in the security during the specified time frame.

    • If you are using a bar chart, red bars signify a lower close than the prior bar's close and green bars indicate that the security has moved up over the same time period.
    • If you are using a candle chart, red bars signify a lower close than open in the single bar and green bars indicate that the security has moved higher from open to close in the same bar.
  • Displaying Price Volume Distribution

    From within Chart Settings, you can also choose to display the security's Price Volume Distribution. Selecting this option will display a series of horizontal bars laid over the price chart, with the length of each bar representing the percentage of total volume that has traded at the corresponding price level. The sum of all horizontal volume bars will equal 100% of the volume traded for the chart time period.

  • Creating a Compare Chart

    Use the Compare feature, accessed from the menu at the top of the chart, to display the relative price performance for multiple securities or indices. You can enter multiple symbols separated by a comma and/or compare to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ Composite Index, or S&P 500. You may also view a comparison chart on a dual axis, where the price for all securities is displayed simultaneously on the chart.

  • Chart Settings

    In Chart Settings, you can customize the appearance and functionality of your charts in a number of ways:

    • Chart Type ‒ Allows you to choose how the chart is drawn. Choose from Candlestick, Line, Mountain, OHLC (Open, High, Low, and Close), or Point and Figure.
    • Pricing Axis ‒ Choose a linear or logarithmic price scale for your Y axis.
    • Colors ‒ By default, bars with upward price movement are colored green, and bars with downward price movement are colored red. These colors can be changed to suit your preference.
    • Show/Hide ‒ Choose to display or hide chart data, including Extended Hours Activity, Volume Chart, Price Volume Distribution Chart, or previous close line.
    • Grid Lines/Watermark Opacity ‒ Using individual sliders, you can choose to adjust the opacity of the grid lines or the symbol watermark of your chart.
  • Saving Charts

    After you have selected the desired chart type, time frame, indicators, and events, you may save these settings by selecting the Save option from the top of the chart window. Once you have named the chart view, it will appear in the Save menu so that you can easily return to this view in the future. You can also choose to save a specific chart view as your default, having it appear each time you launch a new chart from the main navigation menu. There is no limit to the number of chart templates you can save.

  • Export/Print

    Choose Export to export your chart data, including price, volume and indicators, into either Microsoft Excel (.xls) or Comma Separated Value (.csv) format and use the Print function to print an image of your chart. You can also choose to save an image by selecting the "Export chart as image" link available in the Export menu above the chart or on the right-click menu in PNG, JPEG, and BMP formats. The image will capture the data, events, indicators, and drawing tools displayed on the chart. The image will be saved to the default location you have selected for your browser or application.

  • Using Drawing Tools

    The Draw menu contains Drawing tools to help you perform additional analysis on a chart, letting you draw trend, support, or resistance lines, as well as a number of other helpful tools such as Fibonacci Retracements and Regression Channels. You can also add notes to your charts.

    You can add a Trendline, Snap Trendline, Resistance Line, Support Line or other Drawing tool to your chart by doing the following:

    1. Open the Draw menu and select the type of object you would like to draw.
    2. Place your cursor on the chart at the starting point for your indicator.
    3. Drag your cursor to your line's endpoint, and release.

    You can remove or edit a Trendline, Snap Trendline, Resistance Line, Support Line, or other Drawing tool by doing the following:

    1. Hover on the object you would like to remove or edit.
    2. When the object becomes highlighted, left-click your mouse.
    3. Select Remove to remove the object from your chart or make your desired edits and select Apply.

    The complete list of Drawing tools includes support, resistance, trend and other lines, Fibonaccis, Gann Fans, Regression Tools, and other technical shapes meant to help you identify price actions such as breakouts or breakdowns. Drawing tools are automatically saved on the chart on a symbol specific basis. As such, when you next request a chart with this particular symbol in focus, the Drawing tool will remain as an element of the chart.

  • Adding, Showing, and Hiding Text Annotations

    To add a text annotation to your chart, use the Text Note icon from the Draw menu to enter your annotation, and select OK.

    To edit a text annotation, open it, make your edit in the chart annotation box, and select OK. If the text annotation appears along an edge of the chart, before editing it, use the Zoom feature to center it on the chart. This makes the annotation easier to access and edit.

  • Adding Indicators

    Technical indicators are typically displayed within or below the main price panel. Examples of technical indicators include Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) and Relative Strength Index (RSI). To add an indicator to your chart, select it from the Indicators menu, where you will find a list of all indicators supported within the Active Trader Pro PlatformsSM.

    Many indicators allow you to modify one or more parameters of the information displayed, so you can customize your results. When an indicator is selected, default parameters will appear in the corresponding parameters box. If an indicator uses more than one parameter, each parameter is separated by a comma.

    To modify or delete an indicator from a chart, open the parameter box and simply select Modify or Delete. You may also add an indicator by opening the parameter box and selecting Add Indicator.

  • Understanding Chart Indicators

    See our Active Trader Pro Charting Indicator Definitions, Interpretations, and Calculations to learn more about indicators and for detailed descriptions.

  • Adding Corporate Events and Tax Lot Data

    An Event is an action, announcement, or transaction that might affect the price of a security. Examples include earnings reports, stock splits, or declarations of dividends. You may choose the types of events you would like to see represented on the charts by using the Events menu. Opening the Events menu will display a number of icons, each of which represents a different type of event, and each of which can be turned on and off individually.

    Splits ‒ Splits are represented by a circle with an S. Hover on a split circle to see the date and type (e.g., 2 for 1, 3 for 1, 1 for 2, etc.) of the split.

    Dividends ‒ Dividends are represented by a square with a D. Hover on a dividend square to see the date of the dividend payment and the dollar amount per share.

    Earnings ‒ Historical quarterly earnings are displayed on your chart in two ways. Green triangles with an E indicate a higher quarterly Earnings Per Share (EPS) as compared to the same quarter one year ago. Red triangles indicate a lower quarterly EPS as compared to the same quarter one year ago. Hover on a triangle to see the EPS amount and the date on which the data was released. When possible, the EPS data appears on the date it was reported by the news media. Otherwise, the EPS data appears on the date the report was filed with the SEC. If neither is available, the EPS data appears on the last day of the quarter.

    Lots ‒ You can also display your personal lot information in the chart window. A diamond will appear in white for every lot position that is opened at the appropriate date and price. When a position is closed for a gain, a similar diamond will appear, but will be colored green. When a position is closed for a loss, the diamond will again appear, but will be colored red. All lot icons on the chart will feature a subscript of:

    • B for buy events
    • S for long sale events
    • SS for short sale events

    Note: Lots only display on charts with a frequency of daily or greater.

  • Technical Analysis

    You can view a variety of technical analysis provided by Recognia in the Technical Analysis menu. This analysis includes Patterns and Events, Support & Resistance, and Stops.

    To do so hover on an Analysis icon and select the View Details link. A pop-up window will appear with more information. Should you wish to learn more about this pattern or event, use the Learn More link.

    To learn more about Advanced Charting, watch this video.

  • Patterns and Events

    Patterns and events are typically displayed within or below the main price panel. Examples of patterns and events include MACD (Moving Average Convergence/Divergence) and RSI (Relative Strength Indicator). To add a patterns or event to your chart, select the Technical Analysis menu from the top of the chart window. Use the + icon to open the Patterns and Events menu to see a list of all patterns and events that can be added to your chart. You can narrow your search by multiple criteria.

    You can also:

    • Choose a trading horizon of Short, Medium, or Long term.
    • View and select Technical Events and Anticipated Events that are either Bullish or Bearish.
    • Utilize Classic Patterns, Candlestick and Multi-Bar patterns, Indicators and Oscillators to help you identify opportunities.

    Many patterns and events allow you to modify one or more of the relevant inputs to customize the results. When a pattern or event is selected, default parameters will appear in the corresponding parameters box.

    To delete a pattern or event from a chart, simply uncheck the appropriate checkbox from the Patterns and Events main menu. You can also delete patterns and events from your legend.

  • Support & Resistance

    Support and resistance lines are displayed within the main price panel. These lines are calculated on a daily basis by Recognia, using their proprietary methods based on the security's prior close. To add support and resistance lines to your chart, select the Technical Analysis menu from the top of the chart window. Using the = icon will open the Support and Resistance menu. When you activate this functionality, the appropriate lines will be added to your chart, providing you with important technical information with respect to key levels in the security you are charting. To modify the trading horizon parameters used to calculate the support and resistance lines, or to delete the Support and Resistance lines, hover on a line until your cursor turns into a hand and then select it to display the Modify/Delete menu.

  • Stops

    Stops are also displayed within the main price panel. They are calculated on a daily basis by Recognia, using their proprietary methods based on the security's prior closing price. To add a stop to your chart, select the Technical Analysis menu from the top of the chart window. Use the Stop Sign icon to add a stop line to your chart at the appropriate level using a calculation based on the prior day's closing price. To modify parameters used to calculate the suggested stop level, the placement of the Stop, or to delete the Stop, hover on the line until your cursor turns into a hand and then select it to display the Modify/Delete menu.