What's New in Version 4.4
The new features and miscellaneous enhancements outlined below were
introduced in the 4.4 Version.
Product Enhancements for version
Release Date: May 11, 2000
- New RTL Tokens for
Calculating QuotePage Custom Columns
There are now twelve quote page columns (named V#1, V#2, V#3, ..., V#12) designated as user-defined variables. V#7 through V#12 are new in version 4.3. These are columns whose value for each instrument can be calculated and set using a scan, a trading signal or a custom indicator. Tokens having the same names have been added to the RTL Language for referencing the current value of these variables. The first six variables have the property that the calculated values are retained in the Investor/RT database. The second group of six (V#7 through V#12) are temporary variables whose values are set to zero each time Investor/RT starts up. The SET command can be used to set the value of a variable to any user-specified formula. For example, the RTL scan request:
SET(V#1, HIALARM - CL)
Sets the value of V#1 for each scanned instrument to the amount each issue is currently trading from its high alarm value. Since the variables V#1 - V#12 are sort fields, the scan can also "rank" the quote page, showing you which issues are closest to their alarm levels. Unlike normal calculated values in scans, the values for V#1 thru V#6 are permanently maintained (on the database) for each instrument. The values are saved when you quit Investor/RT. These new columns are available for display in any quote page, not just the quote pages produced by scans. The displayed values for V#1 - V#12 will always reflect the results of the most recent RTL calculation that set the value. The RTL variables may be referenced by several scans (or trading signals) in succession. One scan sets the value of a variable for each instrument. Subsequent scans or trading signals base their results on the value of one or more variables calculated earlier. Using the "auto scan" method, a particular calculation of interest to the user could be performed at some periodic interval and the most recently calculated values for each instrument can be displayed in any quote page.
- Ticker Symbol Pop-Up Menu
A right-click (command-click on Macintosh) on a ticker symbol in a quote page, portfolio, quick quote, or any other displayed list of tickers brings up a pop-up menu. The "Chart" menu item in the pop-up menu has been expanded into a sub-menu containing all of the chart types available in Investor/RT. At the top of the Chart sub-menu is a menu item titled "Default Type". Choose "Default Type" to access the default chart type as setup in the system preferences. This new sub-menu makes it easier to quickly open charts of various kinds on a ticker, eliminating the need to use the File: New: Chart menu repeatedly.
- Importing Volume
A new data column named "Volume (Hundreds)" has been added. When displayed in a quote page, this data column simply shows the current trading volume of the issue expressed in hundreds rather than units. This new data column can be designated as a data item in the Import Format used when importing historical or intra-day data (see File: Import). When the data being imported is expressed in hundreds, use this column to instruct Investor/RT to multiply the imported volume by 100 to get the actual trading volume.
- RTL SET Command
The BID and ASK can be used in the RTL SET command to clear (zero) the value of each instrument's bid and/or ask. For example, run a scan on the ".All Symbols" quote page with the formula:
SET(BID, 0) and SET(ASK, 0)
This scan sets all bid/ask values to zero.
- Color Control Appearance
The color control for "lines" is now displayed with the line thickness and line type options in black. The line color is displayed in a rectangle at the left of the control. Click on a line thickness to select it. A black dot will appear to the left of the selected thickness. Click on a line type (solid, dotted, dashed) to select it. A black dot will appear to the left of the selected line type. This kind of color control is typically found in the preferences for technical indicators.
- Bar Chart Drawing Refined
The drawing of bar charts was enhanced to make the open and closing price tick marks more prominent in the display.
- Portfolio Row and Column
Portfolio row and column highlighting is now supported in the same way as with quote pages. When you highlight a particular ticker in a quote page or portfolio (using the popup menu), that instrument will also highlight in all other quote pages and portfolio. In the portfolio, right-click (command-click on Macintosh) on a column to access a pop-up menu for adding new columns, deleting the column, or highlighting the column. Highlighting every other column in a portfolio is also supported. The background and highlight colors used in portfolios are those specified as the default background and highlight color in Setup: Preferences: Quote Page.
- Internet Web Site
Integration with Help Button, F1 Key
Over the past year the Linn Software web site has become an increasingly valuable source of customer support information, in many cases providing richer content illustrating the use of Investor/RT than the built-in help texts. In Investor/RT Version 4.3, the web site content has been integrated into the product to enable the user to quickly access context sensitive help via the Internet in most cases. A new option is available in Setup: Preferences: Mail and Internet. Check the box titled "Access Help Info via the Internet" to turn on this new feature. Whenever you press any Help button or press F1, Investor/RT will determine if there is an associated web page for the current window and display that web page in your designated web browser. If the "Help...via the Internet" check box is not checked then the built-in help topic will be displayed.
By holding down the Shift or Ctrl key (option key on Macintosh) while pressing F1 or any Help button Investor/RT will override the preference setting. Shift+Help will display Internet help if available. Ctrl+Help will always display the built-in help regardless of the preference setting.
- Dial/Data Trial
The automatic signup process for a Dial/Data free 30 day trial has been fixed. Investor/RT users who are interested in evaluating the Dial/Data service as a source of historical and/or fundamental data can do so by clicking the "Dial/Data Free Trial" button in the Setup: Preferences: Registration window. The assigned Dial/Data account is free for 30 days. If you use the account to download after that, a monthly fee is charged.
- Collecting Historical Data
for RTL Calculations
The SET command in the RTL language provides a means of setting any calculated value into a custom variable V#1 through V#12 (see item #1 discussion above). These values can be viewed by adding the appropriate V# columns to your quote pages.
Investor/RT Version 4.4 provides a new twist to the use of V# variables: a method for recording the results of any such calculation historically. This new capability is best explained by way of example. Suppose you want to track the tick velocity (ticks per minute) for some instrument or group of instruments. This can be done by running an auto scan to periodically calculate the TV (tick velocity) indicator. The scan formula would be simply:
TV > 0
Using one of the new custom variables you can revise the scan to read:
Running this scan periodically with auto-scan (say once a minute) causes the V#1 data column in any open quote pages to update dynamically for each scanned instrument. The V#1 quote page column shows the tick velocity of each instrument.
To inform Investor/RT that you wish to record the values of tick velocity over time, you must define a special instrument to Investor/RT having a ticker symbol in a prescribed format. The purpose of the special instrument is to "hold" the collected data. The ticker symbol must have the format:
"xxxx(V#n)" where xxxx is a valid ticker symbol and n is a number from 1 to 12. For example
"INTC(V#1)" would be the ticker of a special instrument that tracks the values of V#1 for INTC over time. Each time Investor/RT executes a
SET(V#1, ...) command for INTC, the computed value that is "set" into V#1 is used generate a "tick" for the ticker symbol
The ticker symbol "INTC(V#1)" is just like any other instrument in Investor/RT. You can chart it, view it in a quote page or quick quote window, or view each tick in a time and sales window if you like. All of the charting facilities of Investor/RT can be used to watch
INTC(V#1) throughout the trading session. You can view technical indicators on
INTC(V#1), e.g. add a moving average to the INTC(V#1) chart so see a smoothed tick velocity line.
In summary, the "Auto Scan" feature of Investor/RT in concert with the SET command causes updates to occur on any special instrument you have defined. This is a very powerful new capability. An auto scan can be used to calculate several V#n variables periodically while the instruments with ticker format
"symbol(V#n)" are used to track the results intra-day. For example:
SET(V#1, TV) and SET(V#2, CL/CL(INDU)) and
This scan calculates the tick velocity and the price of an issue relative to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index. For any symbol scanned you can create the tickers
symbol(V#1), symbol(V#2) and symbol(V#3) to track the intra-day values of the three V# variables.