9) Working With Charts



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The StrataSearch charts provide a great deal of functionality, and can be very helpful in examining not just a stock's historical prices, but a trading system's indicators and the calculations that drive them.  Charts are used in many places throughout StrataSearch, but in this tutorial we'll limit our description to the main charts.


Opening a New Chart

Zooming In and Out

Changing the Settings

Creating Line Studies

Adding and Removing Panels

Adding and Removing Calculations

Adding and Removing Indicators

Saving and Reopening a Chart




Opening a New Chart


To open a new chart, open the Display > Charts menu, and then click the New button.



Once the chart is open, you can navigate to specific Sectors by changing the Sector selection in the upper left.  You can also navigate to other symbols by changing the Symbol selection.  With both options, you can scroll backward and forward with the <--- and --> scroll buttons. 


To jump directly to a specific symbol, click the = button and enter the symbol:



If you wish to view the prices or calculations for any bar in the chart, left-click and drag the cursor across the chart:





Zooming In and Out


While you can right-click in the chart to select the zoom options, the easiest way is to select them directly from the toolbar on the left side of the chart.



By clicking the Zoom In, Zoom Out and Zoom Out Full buttons once, the zoom task will be performed.  The Zoom Select is unique in that the first click identifies the starting point at which you'd like to zoom in, while the second click identifies the ending point.




Changing the Settings


You can change a large number of the settings in the chart by right-clicking anywhere within the chart and selecting Chart Settings.



After selecting Chart Settings, you'll be provide with the Chart Settings window:



This Chart Settings window allows you to make a large number of changes to the appearance and configuration of the chart.  For example, you can select chart styles like Equivolume, Kagi, Point and Figure, and Renko.  You can change the various chart colors, including the background, and you can display or hide the grid lines.  You can also change the Periodicity to weekly, monthly or yearly bars.




Creating Line Studies


The charts allow you to draw a variety of line studies on the chart.  While these line studies are not stored when the chart is saved, they will remain when zooming in and out of a chart.  Each line study from the toolbar on the left of the chart has its own behavior, but you can experiment with any of them to see how they work.



It is possible to select a single line study by clicking on its boundary.  When selected, you will see small blocks at intervals throughout the line study.  You can then right-click on the chart and select Edit Chart Value to update the line's colors, or Delete Chart Value to remove it from the chart altogether.




Adding and Removing Panels


Panels allow you to display different values against different numerical grids.  For example, prices might be placed in one Panel, volume placed on a second, and perhaps an oscillator on a third.  Panels can be easily added, moved or deleted by right-clicking in the chart. 



After selecting Add Panel Below from the top panel, a new panel will be placed directly beneath it.



Once the panel has been added, you can add calculations or alternate prices as desired.  To remove the panel, right-click within the panel and select Delete Panel.




Adding and Removing Calculations


Calculations are lines in the chart that display technical analysis formula values over time.  In this example, we'll add a 14-Day Relative Strength Index calculation to the panel we added in the above step.


To add a calculation, right-click in the panel in which you'd like to add the calculation and select Add Chart Value.



After selecting Add Chart Value, you'll then see a Chart Value Setup window:



First, change the Value Type to Calculation, as that's what we'll be adding at this point.  Within the Calculation field, enter: rsi(14).  You can use the Builder button to the right of the Calculation field, just as we used the Builder button when creating a Strategy in Step 2.  You can also change the color or weight of the line if you wish.


When you are done, click OK to add the Calculation to the chart.



As with Line Studies, you can select the calculation by clicking on its boundaries.  When selected, blocks will display at intervals along the line, and you can then right-click and select Edit Chart Value or Delete Chart Value.




Adding and Removing Indicators


Indicators are normally placed alongside prices, and they display buy and sell signals for a particular trading system.  In this example, we'll add a simple indicator based on the 14-Day Relative Strength Index dropping below 30 and rising above 60.


To add a new indicator, right-click in the chart and select Add Chart Value.



You'll then be provided with the Chart Value Setup window.



Change the Value Type to Indicator, and then enter the desired Entry and Exit Strings.  You can use the respective Builder buttons to identify the StrataSearch formulas, just as we did when creating a Strategy in Step 2.


When you are done, click OK to add your indicator to the chart.



To remove or update an indicator, first select it by clicking on a buy or sell arrow.  You can then right-click on the chart and select Edit Chart Value or Delete Chart Value.




Saving and Reopening a Chart


You can save a chart by right clicking anywhere in the chart and selecting Save Chart or Save Chart As...



If the chart does not yet have a name, you can enter a name for your chart.



After your chart has been saved, you can reopen it through the Display > Charts menu.



The StrataSearch charts are filled will many features, but most users have very specific tastes regarding which features they wish to use.  For this reason, the charts tutorial has remained rather brief.  Some simple exploration and experimentation will allow you to locate and master the features that are most important to you. 


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Next Step: Using the Screener


See Also: Charts, Chart Settings, Chart Panels, Chart Prices, Chart Volume, Chart Calculations, Chart Indicators