Chart Resolution

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A Tick is the information about each real trade (or each bid, or each ask, of a potential trade) received from a data vendor. A tick consists of the price, time, and volume.

A Bar Chart is the most popular format for visually presenting a Data Series. Each Bar is a vertical line connecting the High and the Low price points (ticks), and graphically represents the range of an instrument’s price movement over a defined Interval. The price of the first tick of the group, on which the bar is based, is indicated on the left side of the line by a mark known as the bar's Open component. The price of the last tick of the group, on which the bar is based, is indicated on the right side of the line by a mark known as the bar's Close component.

Defining the Interval on which each of the chart's bars is based determines the Chart Resolution. Chart resolution is also sometimes referred to as the Chart Compression.

Chart resolution can be based on a Time interval (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years), or on a Count interval (tick, volume, change, or range).

The choice of time- versus count-based charts depends on the user's preference and trading style. Daily or weekly bars can be used to help identify long-term trends, while tick bars are better suited for day trading.

Count-based charts are becoming increasingly popular because they focus in on the price movement and filter out the periods of low market activity.


Contents

Understanding Tick-Based Charts


Each bar in a tick-based chart is based on a tick group that consists of a defined number of successive ticks. The first tick of the group forms the bar's Open component, the tick with the highest price forms the bar's High component, the tick with the lowest price forms the Low component, and the last tick of the group forms the bar's Close component. The bar is closed once the defined number of ticks has been reached. The first tick of the following group forms the next bar’s Open component.

A 1-tick chart consists of the dots, representing the price values of each of the incoming raw ticks (quotes).

Note: If 1-Tick resolution is used, only the following chart types are available: Dot on Close, Line on Close, Invisible Bar

You can elect to use the price data from Trades, Asks, or Bids by Setting Quote Field.


Setting Resolution of Tick-Based Charts

Resolution of tick-based charts can be set from the Format Instruments window:

  1. Open the Format Instruments window.

    To open the Format Instruments window, click the Format Instruments Format Instrument.png icon on the main toolbar;
    if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

    The Format Instruments window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png;
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png right-click and then click Format Symbol Name;
      - Right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Instruments; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button;
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Instrument; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. In the Chart section, in the Resolution Interval text box, enter the number of ticks to be used for each bar.
  4. In the Resolution Unit drop-down list box select Tick.

Note: The maximum number of ticks that can be used to create a single bar is 1,000,000.

Resolution of tick-based charts can also be set by one of the following methods:

  • Click the Tick Bar Resolution Tick.png icon on the Resolution toolbar; from the drop-down list select the number of ticks to be used for each bar; or:
  • Click the down-arrow to the right of the Resolution Resolution.png icon on the Command Line toolbar, then point to Tick Bar and select the number of ticks to be used for each bar from the drop-down list;
    or:
  • Enter the appropriate command into the Command Line toolbar combo box.

Click here to find out how to use the Command Line.


Understanding Time-Based Charts

Each bar in a time-based chart is based on a tick group that consists of all ticks over a defined interval of time. The first tick of the group forms the bar's Open component, the tick with the highest price forms the bar’s High component, the tick with the lowest price forms the Low component, and the last tick of the group forms the bar's Close component. The first tick with a time stamp past the original bar’s interval forms the next bar’s Open component.

You can elect to use the price data from Trades, Asks, or Bids by Setting Quote Field.


Setting Resolution of Time-Based Charts

Resolution of time-based charts can be set from the Format Instruments window:

  1. Open the Format Instruments window.

    To open the Format Instruments window, click the Format Instruments Format Instrument.png icon on the main toolbar;
    if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

    The Format Instruments window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png;
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png right-click and then click Format Symbol Name;
      - Right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Instruments; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button;
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Instrument; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. In the Chart section, in the Resolution Interval text box, enter the number of time periods to be used for each bar.
  4. In the Resolution Unit drop-down list box select the time period.

Note 1: If a daily-based interval (day, week, month, quarter, year) is selected, the Build from minutes checkbox becomes available. By default the box is cleared and it means daily bars will be requested from data provider to built the chart (session settings will not affect the bars themselves, only the closing time of bars will be depend on sessions). If the box is checked, minute data will be requested from data provider to build the chart; in this case the bars will be formed according to applied session, but the historical data range may be decreased in comparison to daily data.

Note 2: The maximum interval values that can be used for each of the time period units are: 86400 seconds, 1440 minutes, 24 hours, 30 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, 4 quarters, or 10 years.

Resolution of time-based charts can also be set by one of the following methods:

  • Click the Second Bar Resolution Seconds.png or the Minute Bar Resolution Minutes.png icon on the Resolution toolbar; from the drop-down list select the number seconds or minutes, respectively, to be used for each bar; or:
  • Click the Hourly Bar Resolution Hours.png, the Daily Bar Resolution Daily.png, the Weekly Bar Resolution Weekly.png, the Monthly Bar Resolution Monthly.png, the Quarterly Bar Resolution Quarterly.png, or the Yearly Bar Resolution Year.png icon on the Resolution toolbar to select a 1-hour, 1-day, 1-week, 1-month, 1-quarter, or 1-year bar, respectively;
  • Click the down-arrow to the right of the Resolution Resolution.png icon on the Command Line toolbar and select the time period. For Second and Minute bars the number of time period units can also be selected from a drop-down list;
  • Enter the appropriate command into the Command Line toolbar combo box.


Click here to find out how to use the Command Line.


Understanding Range-Based Charts


Each bar in a range-based chart is based on a tick group that consists of successive ticks over a defined price range. The bar's Open component is always one tick above or below the Close component of the previous bar, and the bar’s Close component is always at the High or the Low of the bar. All the bars are of the same height, equal to the range. The next bar is started once the tick with a price outside of the original bar's range has been received. If the price movement is greater than the combined range of two consecutive bars, additional "virtual" bars are inserted between the bars to fill the gap.

You can elect to use the price data from Trades, Asks, or Bids by Setting Quote Field.

A range-based chart can only be created from tick data.


Note: The maximum period of the price data that can be used to create a single bar in a range-based chart is one trading day, including all of the trading sessions on that day.


Setting Resolution of Range-Based Charts

Resolution of range-based charts can be set from the Format Instruments window:

  1. Open the Format Instruments window.

    To open the Format Instruments window, click the Format Instruments Format Instrument.png icon on the main toolbar;
    if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

    The Format Instruments window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png;
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png right-click and then click Format Symbol Name;
      - Right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Instruments; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button;
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Instrument; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. In the Chart section, in the Resolution Interval text box, enter the price movement, in points, that is to trigger creation of the next bar.
  4. In the Resolution Unit drop-down list box select Point.

Note: The maximum number of points that can be used to create a single bar is 10,000.

Resolution of range-based charts can also be set by one of the following methods:

  • Click the Range Bar Resolution Range.png icon on the Resolution toolbar; from the drop-down list select the number of points to be used for each bar;
  • Click the down-arrow to the right of the Resolution Resolution.png icon on the Command Line toolbar, then point to Range Bar and select the number of points to be used for each bar from the drop-down list;
  • Enter the appropriate command into the Command Line toolbar combo box.


Click here to find out how to use the Command Line.


Understanding Volume-Based Charts

Each bar in a volume-based chart is based on a tick group that consists of successive ticks for a defined number of contracts. The first tick of the group forms the bar's Open component, the tick with the highest price forms the bar's High component, the tick with the lowest price forms the Low component, and the last tick of the group forms the bar's Close component. The bar is closed once a tick, bringing the current bar’s total to the defined number of contracts, has been received. If the last tick’s volume is grater than is required to complete the current bar, the tick is split. The volume required for the current bar is used for that bar, and the balance is used to start the next bar.

You can elect to base this chart on the actual volume of all transactions, or on the total number of transactions (ticks) only, by using the Build Volume On selector.

You can elect to use the data from Trades, Asks, or Bids for this chart by Setting Quote Field.


Setting Resolution of Volume-Based Charts

Resolution of volume-based charts can be set from the Format Instruments window:

  1. Open the Format Instruments window.

    To open the Format Instruments window, click the Format Instruments Format Instrument.png icon on the main toolbar;
    if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

    The Format Instruments window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png;
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png right-click and then click Format Symbol Name;
      - Right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Instruments; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button;
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Instrument; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. In the Chart section, in the Resolution Interval text box, enter the number of contracts to be used for each bar.
  4. In the Resolution Unit drop-down list box select Contract.
Note: The maximum number of contracts that can be used to create a single bar depends on the data vendor.


Resolution of volume-based charts can also be set by one of the following methods:

  • Click the Volume Bar Resolution Volume.png icon on the Resolution toolbar; from the drop-down list select the number of contracts to be used for each bar
  • Click the down-arrow to the right of the Resolution Resolution.png icon on the Command Line toolbar, then point to Volume Bar and select the number of contracts to be used for each bar from the drop-down list
  • Enter the appropriate command into the Command Line toolbar combo box. Click here to find out how to use the Command Line.


Build Volume On Selector

You can elect to base a chart on the actual volume of all transactions, or on the total number of transactions (ticks) only, by using the Build Volume On selector.
Build Volume On selector is set from the Format Instruments window:

  1. Open the Format Instruments window.
  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. In the Chart section, in the Build Volume On drop-down list box, select Trade Volume or Tick Count to base the chart on the actual volume, or on the number of ticks, respectively.


Understanding Change-Based Charts

Each bar in a change-based chart is based on a tick group that consists of successive ticks over a defined number of price changes.

The first tick of the group forms the bar's Open component, the tick with the highest price forms the bar's High component, the tick with the lowest price forms the Low component, and the last tick of the group forms the bar's Close component.

The bar is closed once the tick with a price, bringing the current bar's total number of price changes to the defined number, has been received. The first tick of the following group forms the next bar’s Open component.

You can elect to base this chart on the Trades, on the Asks, or on the Bids by Setting Quote Field.

Setting Resolution of Change-Based Chart

Resolution of change-based charts can be set from the Format Instruments window:

  1. Open the Format Instruments window.

    To open the Format Instruments window, click the Format Instruments Format Instrument.png icon on the main toolbar;
    if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

    The Format Instruments window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png;
      - Position the mouse pointer over the symbol's data series; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png right-click and then click Format Symbol Name;
      - Right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Instruments; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button;
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Instrument; if the Format Objects window appears, select the symbol and click the Format button.

  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. In the Chart section, in the Resolution Interval text box, enter the number of price changes to be used for each bar.
  4. In the Resolution Unit drop-down list box select Change.


Resolution of change-based charts can also be set by entering the appropriate command into the Command Line toolbar combo box.

Click here to find out how to use the Command Line.

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