Universal DDE

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DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) is a widely used protocol for exchanging data between applications in the MS Windows environment.

Please see the Developer's website for more detailed information on DDE.

Features and limitations


  • User-definable DDE Server/Topic/Item for Trade Price, Trade Volume, Bid Price, Bid Size, Ask Price, Ask Size
  • Rapid creation, editing and application of DDE Templates
  • Testing the functionality of a DDE server or a newly created template
  • Support for various server types. Some DDE servers contradict the Microsoft specifications.
    For maximal user convenience the program has a set of deeply customizable options (not described here).
  • Automatic reconnection in case the connection to the DDE server is lost


  • Presently the following field types are not supported: Time, Open, High, Low, Close, Total Volume, Change
  • The program receives ticks only and assigns the current system time to them. Sometimes the tick's real time may differ from the assigned one due to delay
  • The Status Bar is not displayed on the chart as there aren't enough fields to chart it

Setting up

  1. On the Tools menu, click Data Sources.
  2. Select Universal DDE and click Settings.
  3. Indicate a template name in Template (up to 20 characters long).
  4. Indicate the DDE Links in the corresponding sections (the sections include Trade, Bid and Ask. The Price and Volume/Size must be indicated in each section; if Volume/Size cannot be used (e.g for Forex), indicate Price instead. Since for every price the program queries for a volume, this field will never be empty as the program will be waiting for volume data to form a new tick.
  5. Before creating DDE links in Universal DDE make sure they are functional in Excel.
    After that, copy the link to the corresponding field in Universal DDE and replace the static symbol name with the asterisk symbol *.
    For instance, replace =WINROS|LAST!MSFT with =WINROS|LAST!*. After that the program will automatically use the symbol name for which the given template is used. Do the same for all fields.
  6. To make sure that the created template is functional, click Test. Enter the symbol name in Symbol and click OK.
    If the DDE Server is running, the template is properly created and the queried symbol is accessible, you'll see the current value for each field and the number of updates. If quotes do not arrive, check the template and symbol name.
    If fixing them does not resolve the problem, please send an e-mail to support@multicharts.com and indicate the DDE Server, symbol and template names, confirm that an identical template functions in Excel and share any other information you deem important.

To create a symbol using Universal DDE as the Data Source see Adding Symbol(s) to Symbol list section for more detailed information.

To use several DDE servers at once you should clone the Universal DDE and assign new settings.

See Cloning Data Sources section for more detailed information.

Setting up Universal DDE for Excel

Excel DDE.png
1. Open the Universal DDE data feed settings.
2. Create an Excel book, e.g. Book1.xls and save it to the Documents folder on your PC.
3. In Excel set the coordinates to R1C1 format in File → Options → Formulas → in the Working with formulas section check the R1C1 reference style box.
The cell coordinates will change from, e.g. A1 to R1C1 that is “Row 1, Column 1”.
4. The formula for the prices and volumes in Universal DDE settings should be as follows:
Where * is the reserved place for R1, R2, R3,...RN that should be your symbol names.
5. Add your instruments manually and name them R1, R2, R3,...RN so that when they are added in place of * to the formula, a complete cell address is formed.
6. When you create a chart for one of the instruments it will reference the corresponding cell according to the formula.