Making a chart style for bar charts in Stockcharts
Looking at SharpCharts Voyeur, it seems many people use the default chart settings. That's fine, but Stockcharts offers so many options for SharpCharts, I thought a brief (as possible) step by step tutorial on how to create a SharpCharts chart style might move people, especially newbies, to experiment a little and get more value out of their subscriptions. Have no fear. I know the process is pretty obvious if you work it out on your own, but a walk through with comments may be helpful.
In a way, designing a chart style is a chicken and egg situation. How do I make a chart when I don't know what I want? I say, make a chart style first, then modify it as you go along until it works for you.
This is just one way to do it. All the choices are in the drop downs under the chart on the Chart Workbench. You can explore each choice, or just choose on for now and come back later to see the other choices.
Begin in the Chart Attributes section. After each selection, click the Update button.
From "Period", choose a time period and click the Update button.
– daily weekly monthly, five minute, one minute, hourly, etc.
(eventually, you will want at least one style for each, but for now choose just one - say daily)
From "Range", choose a time window (and update)
– 3 months, 6 months, a year, etc. (note – for intraday, you can’t choose less than a day – you may have to choose “fill the chart” to get a readable one)
From "Type", choose a bar style
– candle, ohlc, etc.
From "Size", choose a chart size
- if you have time, experiment with "Custom" - enter your own values for Width and Height to see what happens.
From "Color Scheme", choose a background.
"Sunset" is nice.
At this point, click Update again and let's save the chart and give it a name. We're not done yet, but let's not lose what we have.
Click on "Add New" and give the style a name - e.g. "Daily Sunset"
Now we will add a few more things and when we are done, you can select "Replace", choose Daily Sunset from the drop down list of styles and save.
Move down to the "Overlays" section.
Open the first drop down and add or replace an overlay. Accept or change the default parameter(s) and click Update.
If you want more than three overlays, a new drop down will appear after your add the third overlay.
Move down to the "Indicators" section.
Open the first drop down and add or replace an indicator, accept or change the Parameter(s) and click Update.
Note the "Position" drop down. You can use it to place the indicator above, below or behind the chart. If you use the same indicator twice, you can put the second instance behind the first.
Now, choose "Replace" to save your work.
Things to think about in making a chart style:
Can you see the whole chart without scrolling?
Its better if you can see the whole chart. Scrolling up and down is distracting, especially when you are reviewing a list. So, choose a chart size that fits in your browser window. That way you can move easily from chart to chart.
Three things affect chart size – the number of indicators you add to your chart, the chart size you choose and the resolution of your monitor.
Each time you add an indicator to a chart, its vertical size increases. Eventually, the next indicator will not be visible unless you scroll down. There are three ways to deal with this: limit the number of indicators, overlay multiple instances of the same indicator, re-size the chart on the Size drop down.
You should limit the number of indicators you use in any case. Information overload leads to analysis paralysis. See the Chart School article on Multicollinearity for an overview of indicators and overlays and hints on how to select them (one of the most important articles on the site). It will take time settle on the indicators that work best for you. While you are learning, it's probably better to create several chart styles, each with at most three indicators, than make one style with ten or twelve indicators.
Note: the article doesn’t say this, and some people will disagree, but for stocks, really there are only four things you need to know: is price losing momentum, is price reaching support or resistance, is price gaining relative strength vs. its peers, is cumulative volume confirming price. You may want to answer these questions in more than one time frame, but for each time frame, you really need only one indicator or overlay for each question.
When you are experimenting with adding indicators, you can try letting the indicators go off the bottom of the screen and then re-size the chart to bring them back into view. To do this, play with the Custom option in the Size drop down. Enter different values in the Width and Height boxes until you get what you want.
You can also adjust the resolution of the monitor in Windows (type “resolution” in the search window on the task bar). Higher resolutions give you more screen space, so you can fit more on a chart without scrolling. But everything on your screen gets smaller, so the resolution that works for your charts may not work for email, Facebook, etc. So choose a resolution that works across applications (or just stick with “Recommended”). Otherwise, you have change resolutions each time you enter and leave Stockcharts.