- Getting Started
Charts and Data
You should now have completed the QuotePage section of Getting Started. The last step was to double-click on the ticker symbol MSFT in the quotepage in order to bring up a chart on that symbol. So now you see your daily chart. But you don't like the colors, it's a Daily chart and you like to look at 3 minute data, there's not enough data in your chart, you want to add a Stochastics and a couple of moving averages, the bars are too small, etc. Don't worry! We will address all these concerns below.
Let's address the most important concern first: DATA! Data is the most important aspect of your system. When you add a new symbol to Investor/RT, you may want to download historical Daily and Intraday data. You can do that with all the Internet data services that we support.
Before going into the various ways you can download data, let's first discuss the ways Investor/RT will keep your data. In your quotepage, right-click (cmd-click on Mac) on one of the ticker symbols (let's say MSFT) and choose "Setup". This window (the setup instruments window) shows the individual settings of that ticker symbol, as seen below...
These are the current properties of MSFT. When you added MSFT to your quotepage, it inherited the default characteristics that are specified in the Instrument Preferences window ("Setup Prefs: Instruments"). It is important that you have the "Security Type", the "Session" and the Monitoring options specified correctly. Generally, you want to leave the Exchange as "COMP" or composite. The "Monitor" options tells Investor/RT what data you would like to store on this particular symbol. If you would like to maintain Intraday data (tick, 1-minute, 5-minute, etc.) on that symbol, then check the Intraday checkbox in addition to the Daily checkbox. If you choose only to check "Daily", then you will still see live price data in your quotepages and charts, but Intraday bars will not be kept for future reference or scanning. For our purposes, let's check "Intraday" for MSFT so we can download some Intraday data and explore some Intraday charts. Now just click "Modify" to save your changes. Then click "Close".
Now, back to our focusing on our chart. By default you may see something like the chart below...
Now, you are probably asking yourself several questions. Why is there a big gap in my data and how can I fill the gap? How can I add and remove technical indicators? How do I switch to a different periodicity? How do I save this chart for future reference? Why did this chart come up and how can I control which chart appears when I double-click?
First, let's discuss the data issue. Investor/RT comes preloaded with several years of data on about 50 symbols. The data that you see in the chart is the data that was loaded into the program before the latest Investor/RT installers were made. If you are using an Internet-based data feed, filling in that gap should be simple, or may have actually already occurred. There is a preference in "Setup Prefs: Charts: General" that reads "Automatically Download historical data into charts when needed". If you check this, Investor/RT will generally attempt to fill in gaps automatically. If this option is not checked, then the user has control over when historical downloads occur. Clicking on the download button in the lower right of the corner chart window will cause Investor/RT to download data for the viewable date/time range in the chart. For instance, if I clicked on the download button in the chart above, Investor/RT would attempt to download daily data on MSFT from 11/3/00 to 2/12/01. To do more specific or advanced downloading operations, click on the Download Data button in the Main Toolbar.
Once you have downloaded historical data up to the current date and time, Investor/RT should then keep up with your data from that point on and you should not need to perform the download again, except on new symbols you may add to the system. Keep in mind, unless you have your symbol marked for "Intraday" tracking in the Setup Instruments window above, Investor/RT will not maintain your Intraday (1-minute, 5-minute, etc.) bars. A useful tip on keeping track of instrument (symbol) properties using a quotepage can be found here.
Now, let's add a few technical indicators. Click on the "Add Technical Indicator" button in the charting toolbar and let's add a 20 period simple moving average on the close, as seen below....
Clicking "OK" should add the Moving Average to your chart. Now, if you would like to edit this moving average, or any other element in the chart, simply click on the chart and start hitting the "Tab" key until you see your element highlighted, and then press "Enter". The preferences for that element should appear. Similarly, you can delete an element by highlighting it (selecting it) and then hitting the "Delete" key on your keyboard. You may add as many technical indicators to your chart as you wish, and you may also drag and drop indicators between window panes inside the chart. To adjust the drawing order of the chart elements, simple "Shift-Click" in the vertical scale of the window pane. To adjust the vertical scale preferences, double-click in the vertical scale of the window pane. To adjust the general chart preferences, double-click in the horizontal scale of the chart. Click the up and down arrow keys to zoom in and out on your chart. You can find many more charting shortcuts like these by going to the Chart Shortcuts Tip.
Now, we want to switch our chart from a Daily chart to a 1-minute chart. There are a few ways to do this. You can right-click (Cmd-click on Mac) in the chart and choose "Periodicity". You can change the periodicity from the Chart Preferences window, or you can Ctrl-Click on the right and left arrow buttons in the charting toolbar. You can also assign keyboard shortcuts to different periodicities. Once you have changed your chart to a 1-minute chart, you will need to download data to fill it in. Again, if you have "Auto download" specified in "Setup Prefs: Charts: General" this should be done automatically for you. Otherwise, you can click the download button in the chart or use the Download Data option in the main toolbar. All indicators should be maintained and should now apply to 1-minute data.
Now, you have your chart looking essentially like you like it (you may want to change the colors using in the Chart Preferences window) and you would like to save this chart and have it be your default chart in the future. From the menu, choose "File: Save: Save As" and give your chart a name. Now, go to "Setup Prefs: Charts: General" and specify that you would like your specific chart to be used as the default chart. You may also want to explore the additional options available in this window.