Using Studies

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Studies are technical analysis tools based on trading concepts and formulas, and assist in evaluating market activity and making trading decisions.

Over 270 pre-built, customizable studies, covering the most popular trading concepts and indicators, are already included with the platform, and additional studies can be imported from a variety of sources. Basic adjustments to studies' logic can be made by simply changing the Input Values.

Studies can be fully customized, or entirely new studies created, using PowerLanguage® scripting in PowerLanguage Editor.

To learn more see Creating Studies.

Studies can be divided into Indicators and Signals:

  • An Indicator is a visual technical analysis tool, used to analyze market conditions and identify and forecast trends and market patterns. An indicator is a visualization of a mathematical formula, and consists of one or more Plots – lines, histograms, series of points or crosses, highs and lows, left and right ticks, or a combination of the above. Indicators are computed using only price, volume, and (occasionally) open interest data.
  • A Signal is a mechanical technical analysis tool, used to systematically specify market entry or exit points according to a set of trading rules implemented in the signal's algorithm. The trade points are indicated on a chart by ticks and arrows. Signals can be viewed as the basic building blocks of strategies.

An indicator is applied to a particular data series and can be displayed either in the same chart as the series or in another SubChart. A signal can only be applied to the series with the Data #1 and is displayed in the same chart as the series. If a parameter, such as symbol or resolution, of the data series on which the study is based, is changed, the study will be recalculated and redrawn. If the series, on which a study is based, is deleted, the study will be turned off. Studies can be Inserted (added) into, or Removed from a chart, and turned off and on. A list of all studies, inserted into a Chart Window, can be viewed according to type. Indicators can be Hidden, Redisplayed, and Moved between SubCharts. The Visual Order in which the indicators are displayed on the chart can be changed.


Inserting Studies

The number of studies that can be inserted into a chart is limited only by your computer's hardware configuration.
Studies can be inserted from the Insert Study window:

  1. Open the Insert Study window.

    To open the Insert Study window, click the Insert Study Insert Study.png icon on the Chart Analysis toolbar.

    The Insert Study window can also be opened by one of the following methods:

      - Click the Insert Signal Insert Signal.png icon on the Chart Analysis toolbar; or:
      - Right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Insert Study; or:
      - Use the F7 key; or:
      - Select Insert in the main menu and click Study; or:
      - Select Insert in the main menu and click Signal.

    The Insert Study window can also be accessed from the Format Objects window by selecting the Indicators or the Signals tab and clicking the Add button.

  2. Select the tab corresponding to the type of study to be added.
  3. Select a study from the list of available studies; the list can be sorted by any column, in ascending or descending order, by clicking on the column header; several studies can be selected at once by holding down Ctrl or/and Shift keys on the keyboard while making the selection.
    Note: Only the compiled (these with the Ready Status of Yes) studies can be inserted. To learn more see Compiling Studies.
  4. To format the selected studies prior to inserting them into a chart, check the Format check box; uncheck the box to insert studies without formatting. To learn more see Default Studies Properties and Default Studies Inputs.
  5. Double-click the selected study or click OK.


Removing Studies

A study can be removed using the Format Objects window:

  1. Open the Format Objects window.

    To open the Format Objects window, right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Signals.

    The Format Objects window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Signal.
      - Double-click any one of the signal's labels on the chart.
      - Position the mouse pointer over any one of the signal's labels on the chart; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click the label and then click Format Signals.

  2. Select the tab corresponding to the type of study to be removed.
  3. Select the study to be removed and click the Remove button.

Studies can also be removed by one of the following methods:

  • Position the mouse pointer over the study that is to be removed; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png , right-click and then click Remove Study; or:
  • Position the mouse pointer over the study that is to be removed; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png , click on the study and then press the Delete key on the keyboard.


Study Status Switch

Since MultiCharts 8.7 beta1 all the studies applied to the chart can be toggled on and off by a single click on their names in the status line.

Removing All Studies

To remove all studies, inserted into a Chart Window, right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Remove All Studies.


Inserted Indicators List

A list of all indicators, inserted into a Chart Window, can be viewed under the Indicators tab in the Format Objects window:

  1. Open the Format Objects window.

    To open the Format Objects window, right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Signals.

    The Format Objects window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Signal.
      - Double-click any one of the signal's labels on the chart.
      - Position the mouse pointer over any one of the signal's labels on the chart; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click the label and then click Format Signals.

  2. Select the Indicators tab.

The indicators list can be sorted by any column, in ascending or descending order, by clicking on the column header.

The columns display the following information:

Name – name of the indicator
Input String – input parameters of the indicator; to learn more see Default Studies Inputs and Setting Studies Inputs
Status – current status of the indicator: on – the indicator is turned on, or off – the indicator is turned off
SubChart – the SubChart, in which the indicator is plotted
Base Data # – the data series, to which the indicator is applied


Inserted Signals List

A list of all signals, inserted into a Chart Window, can be viewed under the Signals tab in the Format Objects window:

  1. Open the Format Objects window.

    To open the Format Objects window, right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Signals.

    The Format Objects window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Signal.
      - Double-click any one of the signal's labels on the chart.
      - Position the mouse pointer over any one of the signal's labels on the chart; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click the label and then click Format Signals.

  2. Select the Signals tab.

The columns display the following information:

Name – name of the signal
Input String – input parameters of the signal; to learn more see Default Studies Inputs and Setting Studies Inputs
Status – current status of the signal: on – the signal is turned on, or off – the signal is turned off


Moving Studies between SubCharts

An indicator in one SubChart can be moved to another existing or a new SubChart within the same Chart Window.

Each SubChart can contain a number of objects. To learn more see Using SubCharts.

The indicator's Base Data # will not be affected by moving the indicator to another SubChart.

A signal can only be applied to the SubChart containing the data series with the Data# 1, and can not be moved to another SubChart.


Moving Indicator to Existing SubChart

An indicator can be moved using the Format Indicator window:

  1. Open the Format Indicator window.

    To open the Format Indicator window, position the mouse pointer over the indicator; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png.

    The Format Indicator window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over an indicator; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click and then click Format Indicator Name
      - Open the Format Objects window; in the Indicators tab, select an indicator and click the Format button. See Opening Format Objects Window.

    Note: The Format Indicator window for the indicator being inserted will open automatically if the Format check box in the Insert Study window is checked.

  2. Select the Properties tab.
  3. In the SubChart section, in the SubChart scrolling list box, select the SubChart# you want to move the indicator to.

An indicator can also be moved by the following method:

  1. Position the mouse pointer over the over the indicator or the Status Line of the indicator to be moved;
  2. Once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, hold the left mouse button and drag the indicator to another SubChart.
  3. Release the mouse button to complete moving the indicator.


Moving Indicator to New SubChart

An indicator can be moved using the Format Indicator window:

  1. Open the Format Indicator window.

    To open the Format Indicator window, position the mouse pointer over the indicator; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png.

    The Format Indicator window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over an indicator; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click and then click Format Indicator Name
      - Open the Format Objects window; in the Indicators tab, select an indicator and click the Format button. See Opening Format Objects Window.

    Note: The Format Indicator window for the indicator being inserted will open automatically if the Format check box in the Insert Study window is checked.

  2. Select the Properties tab.
  3. In the SubChart section, in the SubChart scrolling list box, select the Show On Top or Show On Bottom to move the indicator to a new SubChart at the top or at the bottom of the Chart Window, respectively.

An indicator can also be moved by the following method:

  1. Position the mouse pointer over the indicator or the Status Line of the indicator to be moved;
  2. Once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png , hold the left mouse button and drag the pointer to the upper or lower border of the Chart Window, or of another SubChart.
  3. Once the pointer changes into the Create New SubChart Subgraph New.gif symbol, release the mouse button to create a new SubChart.


Hiding Indicators

In some instances displaying an indicator may not be necessary. Hidden indicators retain their full functionality and continue running. Please note that a signal can not be hidden.
An indicator can be hidden using the Format Indicator window:

  1. Open the Format Indicator window.

    To open the Format Indicator window, position the mouse pointer over the indicator; double-click once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png.

    The Format Indicator window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Position the mouse pointer over an indicator; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click and then click Format Indicator Name
      - Open the Format Objects window; in the Indicators tab, select an indicator and click the Format button. See Opening Format Objects Window.

    Note: The Format Indicator window for the indicator being inserted will open automatically if the Format check box in the Insert Study window is checked.

  2. Select the Properties tab.
  3. In the SubChart section, in the SubChart scrolling list box, select the Hide.

An indicator can also be hidden by one of the following methods:

  • Click the Hide Object Hide Indicators new.png icon on the Control toolbar; or:
  • Select Format in the main menu and click Hide Object.


Redisplaying Hidden Indicators

To redisplay a hidden indicator in a Chart Window:

  1. Open the Format Objects window.

    To open the Format Objects window, right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Signals.

    The Format Objects window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Signal.
      - Double-click any one of the signal's labels on the chart.
      - Position the mouse pointer over any one of the signal's labels on the chart; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click the label and then click Format Signals.

  2. Select the Indicators tab.
  3. Select the indicator to be redisplayed and click the Format button to display the Format Indicator window.
  4. Select the Properties tab.
  5. In the SubChart section, in the SubChart scrolling list box, select Show On Top, Show On Bottom, or SubChart #n, to redisplay the indicator in a new SubChart at the top, a new SubChart at the bottom, or in an existing SubChart, respectively.


Turning Studies Off and On

Studies may be turned off or on. A study that is turned off will stop running and become hidden.

When the study is turned back on, it will resume running and re-appear in the original SubChart.

An indicator, based on a data series that has been deleted, will be turned off, and can only be turned back on after it has been reassigned to another, existing data series. To learn more see Setting Base Data Series.

A study can be turned off or on from the Format Objects window:

  1. Open the Format Objects window.

    To open the Format Objects window, right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Format Signals.

    The Format Objects window can also be opened by one of the following methods:
      - Select Format in the main menu and click Signal.
      - Double-click any one of the signal's labels on the chart.
      - Position the mouse pointer over any one of the signal's labels on the chart; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png, right-click the label and then click Format Signals.

  2. Select the tab corresponding to the type of study you want to turn off or on.
  3. Select the study that you want to turn off or on, and click the Status button.
  4. The study's status, displayed in the Status column of the Format Objects window, will change.

Recalculating All Studies in One Click

  • For Indicators right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Recalculate All Indicators.
  • For Signals right-click on an empty area of the chart and then click Recalculate Strategy.


Changing Visual Order

The Visual Order in which the indicators are displayed can be changed. When a number of objects are displayed in a single SubChart, the objects are displayed in "layers" – one object is in the "front", the next is "behind" it, and so on.

The order of the layers constitutes the Visual Order of the objects.

The Visual Order can be changed to prevent a thick line in the "front" layer from obscuring a thin line in the "back" layer.

The Visual Order can be changed by one of the following methods:

  • Right-click on the chart area and then click Visual Order; in the Visual Order window that appears, select an object and use the order buttons to change its visual order; or:
  • Position the mouse pointer over an object; once the Pointer Pointer.png changes into a Hand Hand.png , right-click, then point to Visual Order and use the shortcut menu order commands to change the visual order of the object.

Visual Order commands/buttons:

Bring to Front – the object will be placed in the front of all other objects
Send to Back – the object will be placed behind all other objects
Bring Forward – the object will be moved one layer to the front
Send Backward – the object will be moved one layer back