|Chart Buttons enable you to add push buttons or menu buttons to any chart window. The buttons enable you to quick change either the ticker symbol or the periodicity of the chart in which the button reside. Buttons can be added to any window pane in a chart window, using the "Add Indicator" toolbar button. The Setup for the "Button" indicator allows you to specify whether the purpose of the button is to change chart periodicity or to change the instrument in the chart. Further, you can specify whether the button will operate as a toggle button (push button) or whether it will activate a popup menu. If you choose the "Menu" option, you can enter one or more menu items separated by commas, otherwise you enter only one ticker symbol or periodicity. For example, to create a menu button of your favorite instruments your item list may look something like this:
Note that the list is comma separated and contains no spaces, just the tickers. If one of the items in the list is a hypen, that menu item will appear as a separator line when you use the menu button.
Similarly, a periodicity menu button could be created like this:
Note the separator between the intra-day and Daily/Weekly/Monthly periodicities.
After a button is in place in the chart window, click on it to choose from the popup menu. If the button is not a menu, then it's face will show the ticker symbol or periodicity it represents. Clicking on it will simply switch the ticker or periodicity to that shown on the face of the button.
If you right-click on a button (that's command-click for Mac users) then you will see a popup menu allowing you to add new buttons, edit the button, or delete it. Menu buttons show an icon image indicating the presence of a menu. Specific ticker or periodicity buttons show the ticker or periodicity instead.
Use this handy feature you can easily create a user interface that has just those tickers and/or periodicities that you use in your trading so you can easily switch to exactly what you want. If you do this setup on your default chart, then all of your charts will have these buttons.
New in 5.2: Chart Button Enhancements
Buttons now resize appropriately when you change the ticker or periodicity. Different icons are used for periodicity vs. ticker menu buttons. Deleting a button shifts the other buttons over. A bug was fixed that caused problems when button help was active. To edit a button, right-click on it and choose "Edit.." The Edit Button window appears, showing an image of the button to remind you wish button you are editing being edited. In the Edit button window, if you make a change and click Apply, the button is updated on the chart itself and the image in the Edit Button window also reflects the change
Two new special button types have been added. The first is called a ticker prompt button. Any ticker symbol button that has a ticker ending with a question mark is a ticker prompting button (the ticker could be simply ? or ??? or whatever, any text you want ending with a question mark. Clicking on a ticker prompt button causes a simple prompting dialog box to appear into which you can type a ticker symbol and press the enter key. The dialog auto capitalizes as you type the symbol. The key here is that the ticker you type in can be either an existing ticker or a brand new ticker symbol previously unknown to Investor/RT. When you press the enter key, if Investor/RT determines that the ticker is not yet defined to the system, a new instrument will be created, inserted into the chart and a
download from the historical server will be initiated automatically. In essence, the prompting button gives you the ability to type in tickers without regard to whether those symbols have been setup. New instruments will be created as required. Investor/RT will attempt to ascertain the security type by inspecting the ticker, e.g. tickers with digits or the myTrack ` grave character in them are setup as Futures, otherwise Stock is the security type.
The second special button type is called a mutli-link button. Any button setup as a ticker symbol or a ticker symbol menu button can be a multi-link button. To make the button a multi-link button simply add a plus sign to the end of the ticker, e.g. MSFT+. A button for MSFT+ when clicked does a "multi-link" of MSFT into all unlocked chart windows. You can add plus signs to the end of ticker is a menu as well so that choosing such an entry from a menu performs a mutli-link instead of just inserting the ticker into button's chart window alone. Another way to multi-link using chart buttons is by using the shift key when you click. If the shift key is down when you click on a ticker button or when you choose from a ticker menu button, Investor/RT reverses the meaning, that is, if the button is a plain button, shift-click performs a multi-link. If a button is a multi-link button (e.g. IBM+) then shift-clicking on it will NOT do the multi-link, it will only insert the symbol into the button's chart window alone.
New in 5.2: Small, Medium, Large
Chart buttons have been further enhanced in version 5.2 to allow buttons to be "small, medium, or large". This is a global option specified in Setup: Preferences: Charts: Technical Indicators: Buttons. The "large" size is the size used universally in Version 5.1. We have removed the restriction that ticker symbol buttons (and menus) use capitalized ticker symbols. If the small button size is used, lower case ticker symbols are recommended. The first letter of the periodicity (daily, weekly, monthly, or tick) maybe be capitalized or now as you like. If you have a series of button indicators that you wish to appear in every chart, designate each button as "All Charts, Any Instrument" using the new indicator "Scope" feature discussed in item #1 above. Once you do this, any chart you open or create in the future will have the these ticker and periodicity buttons.
in 5.3: New Chart Button Types
Chart buttons can be used as single-click buttons or menu buttons for changing the ticker symbol, periodicity, or the override session of a chart window. In 5.3 Rev 1 two more button types are available: Chart Toolbar Buttons, and Technical Indicator Preset buttons.
Chart Toolbar Buttons
Chart Toolbar Buttons enable you to have any of the 24 charting toolbar buttons embedded directly in the chart. These are icon buttons with the same graphic images as the buttons on the chart toolbar. This feature enables you to put your most often used toolbar buttons into the chart window, eliminating or reducing the need to have the full charting toolbar visible. For example, if you typically draw many Trendlines and Fibonacci Retracements, the toolbar buttons for these drawing tools can be added to your
chart(s). By specifying the "Scope" of the buttons to be "All Chart, Any Instrument", toolbar buttons can be made available for all chart windows automatically.
Technical Indicator Preset Buttons
Technical Indicator Preset Buttons enable you to create single-click buttons for adding (or removing) preset technical indicators to the chart. A preset, is a collection of settings for some technical indicator that is saved under a user specified name. Presets can be easily created from any technical indicator setup window by operating the Presets Menu, choosing the "Save Current Prefs As..." menu item. Once you have created presets for the indicators you use, indicator preset buttons can be added to the chart. Preset Buttons act as "toggle buttons", that is, when you click a preset button, I/RT will check to see if the associated preset is already present in the chart window. If not, a new technical indicator with those settings is added to the chart. If the preset does exist, the indicator is removed from the chart. Thus you can click once to see the indicator. click again to remove it. Preset buttons are small with a short "token" title on the face, e.g. MA for moving averages, MACD, CCI, BB for Bollinger Bands, etc. Pointing the mouse at a preset button activates a tool tip window showing the user specified name of the indicator preset. This facility makes it very easy to setup an array of buttons for the indicators you like to use with the settings you typically use. Indicators can be added or removed with a single click. This can reduce the clutter when many indicators are present in the same pane.
When combined with ticker, periodicity, and session buttons, these two new button types enable you to essentially pre load your chart windows with a row buttons customized to the way you use the chart to watch the market, Operations that in the past required access to the toolbar and/or dialog boxes can now be completed with single-clicks or quick menu choices directly from the chart itself.
New in 5.3: Chart Button for Changing
As mentioned in item #2 above, the Button indicator for traditional charts has been enhanced to add the ability to switch the chart's override session. To create a session button in your charts, add a button indicator, set the "Purpose" of the button to "Change the Session...". In the entry box enter one or more session button specifications separated by commas. Multiple specifications are appropriate for "Menu" style buttons. Each specification has the format
dd:label, where dd is the session number and label is the text you wish to appear either in the menu or on the face of the button. For example, the specification 31:Globex for a single session pushbutton would result in a button titled
"Globex". Clicking the button in the chart switches the charts override session to session #31. If you enter 99 instead of a real session number, the purpose of the button will be to return the chart to the regular trading hours dictated by the session of the instrument in the chart. A specification like "99:RTH" has this effect. If you wish to have a chart session menu button, enter a specification like:
99:RTH, 0:Stocks, 3:Grains, 31:Globex
This results in a button having four menu choices: RTH, Stocks, Grains, and Globex
New in 5.4: Indicator Preset Button
When setting up a chart Button as to represent a technical indicator preset, there is a new menu of choices for where to place the indicator in the chart window. The five choices for pane placement are:
1. Default Pane
2. Create a New Pane
3. Overlay the Instrument
4. Overlay the Same Indicator
5. Add to Indicator-Only Pane
Choice 1, "Default Pane", means to let Investor/RT decide where to place the indicator based on the indicator's type. Some indicators, like moving averages, Bollinger Bands, etc. are "overlay" indicators and will always be placed in the pane containing the instrument. Other indicators like RSI, MACD, etc. have a price scale much different than the instrument and are by default put into a newly created pane.
Choice 2, "Create a New Pane" means that the preset indicator will always be placed into a new pane regardless of its type.
Choice 3, "Overlay the Instrument" means that the preset indicator will always be directed to the pane of the instrument regardless of its type.
Choice 4, Overlay the Same Indicator, means that Investor/RT will search the chart to see if there is another indicator present of the same kind, e.g. RSI. If there is one, the new preset will be added to the same pane. So for example, if you had presets for several RSI setups, choosing this placement option would superimpose all RSI presets into a single pane. If the default placement (choice 1) was used, each RSI would go into its own pane.
Finally choice 5, "Add to Indicator-only Pane", means that Investor/RT will look for a chart pane that contains only indicator(s) and no instrument and add the preset to that pane if so, otherwise the indicator will go into a new pane.
When a preset button resides in a chart, the button itself has an associated instrument. This is an important consideration when there are multiple instruments in the chart or multiple periodicities of the same instrument. The instrument/periodicity that the button is associated with is the instrument that the preset will be associated with. However, when you click on a preset Button Investor/RT does look to see if you have first selected some other instrument in the chart window (by clicking on it or tabbing to it) and if so, the preset indicator will be added to the instrument that is selected and NOT to the instrument that is associated with the Button itself.
in 5.6: Button Titles and Colors
Any chart button that is not a menu can now have a user-specified background color. To adjust the button color, right-click on the button to access the setup, check the “Custom Color” checkbox and pick the background color you want. The button title color is black so lighter background colors work best. Menu buttons for tickers and periodicities have a standard icon appearance and cannot have a custom color background. Non-menu buttons have a default title based on what they do. You can use a custom title if you wish by checking the “Custom Title” checkbox and entering your own title text. Note that a single space or two as the button title results in a button with a blank title. The number of spaces controls the width of the button in this case. Thus you can have very small color coded buttons that do various things in the chart. Pointing the mouse pointer at a blank button will popup a tip window telling you what the button does.
New in 5.7: Button for Adjusting Pixels
You can now add Periodicity buttons and Periodicity menu buttons that reference periodicities expressed in seconds or number of ticks (tickbar). Specify the periodicities in any of the following formats when setting up the button preferences (where dd represents one or more numeric digits:
- Minutes and Seconds: dd:dd
Seconds 0:dd (or simply :dd)
Seconds dds (e.g. 30s, 45 s, s must be lower case)
TickBars ddt (e.g. 25t or 50 t)
New in 5.7: Button for Adjusting Pixels
The "Button" indicator has been enhanced to add another "purpose", changing the pixels per bar property of the chart window. Either a Menu Button listing several pixels/bar numbers or a single pixels/bar number button can be added to charts. This button purpose makes it more convenient and faster to make quick adjustments to the pixels per bar without using the keyboard arrow keys. For example, you could have a button with 6 and 60 choices for quickly zooming in (6 pixels) or zooming out (60 pixels) a chart.
If you prefix the number of pixels per bar with a plus or minus sign, IRT will take this to mean "increase" (+) or "decrease" (-) the current pixels per bar. For example, a pixels per bar menu with four menu items can be defined as:
The first choice increments pixels/bar by 4, the second decrements by 4, the third and forth choices set pixels/bar directly to 16 or 60 respectively.
in 5.8: Buttons for Changing Chart Style
A new button purpose, "Change the Chart Style" has been added. Chart buttons of this type can be created as pushbuttons or menu buttons. Each of the styles supported by Investor/RT has a two letter abbreviation that can be used to identify the
style(s) associates with a particular button, e.g. CA for candlestick, or BA for bar, or LI for line. When the change style purpose is selected, the setup window for the button will show a menu of available styles. Choosing a style from the menu will add that style to the entry box defining the pushbutton or menu button. To create a menu button for quickly changing the chart from bar to line to candle, enter the styles codes as:
Investor/RT uses the first two letters of the word (not case sensitive) to identify the style you want.
in 5.9: Chart Button Improvements
Chart buttons add convenient push buttons and menu buttons to any chart window. As the use of this feature has become more extensive, some Investor/RT users have found that too many buttons present in the same chart window pane can obscure the actual graphs within the pane. Investor/RT now has a convenient way to create a "button pane" if desired. By placing all (or most) of your buttons in a dedicated pane, they will not interfere with the instrument and indicator graphics in other panes.
To create a button pane, right-click on any existing button and choose "All to Button Pane". All of the buttons in the pane will be moved to a new pane at the top of the chart window. This pane will NOT have a pane title bar, thus the buttons will appear just like a toolbar strip across the top of the chart window. When adding new button to the chart, direct them to this button pane to keep all chart buttons arranged neatly at the top of the window.
Arranging the order (left to right sequence) of buttons within a pane has been made much easier. When a chart pane contains two or more buttons, right-click on any button in the pane and choose "Adjust Order…", the last item in the menu. The Order Chart Pane Elements window will appear, listing all of the graphic elements in the pane, including all of the buttons. Each button in the list will begin with
BUTN. Make sure that the Apply All Changes Immediately check box is checked, so that as you adjust the top to bottom order of the BUTN's in the list, the changes are immediately reflected visually in the button arrangement in the chart window itself. You can move the Order Pane… window off to the size to you can see how the arrangement actions affect the appearance of the buttons arrayed in the chart pane. The buttons will be drawn from left to right using the top to bottom order shown in the Order Pane… window. Note that some buttons may be designated as "Display at Top" buttons. You can have a mixture of buttons in a pane, some arrayed at the top of the pane and others arrayed at the bottom of the pane. If you have one of more "Button Panes" in the chart, each button pane will be sized tall enough to show only a single row of buttons. There is no top/bottom distinction for buttons in a button pane. Note also, that a button pane may have some unused blank space to the right of the array of buttons in the pane. There is no restriction on how you use this space. You can add more buttons as needed or add an annotation indicator to display some values of interest there for example.
in 5.9: New Chart Button For Setting User Data
The Chart Button indicator has been enhanced to add a new button purpose: Set User Data. A Set User Data button has an associated word or phrase. Clicking the button inserts that word into the User Data of the instrument in the chart. For example, one way to use this new facility is to add buttons to the chart with the words BUY, or SELL. As you quickly cycle through charts in a slide show, you can click the appropriate button to "mark" certain instruments as BUY or SELL just by clicking the appropriate button. After you review all you charts you can easily obtain a list of all of the BUY stocks by running the scan: USERDATA = "BUY", or the SELL stocks with scan USERDATA = "SELL".
Set User Data menu buttons are available as well, e.g. setup one button as a menu button and use
"BUY,SELL,NEUTRAL" as the button text to get three menu choices for setting the instrument's user data.
If the text of a Set User Data button begins with a plus sign, e.g. +BUY, then the text BUY will be appended to the user data text that already exists for the instrument. If the text begins with a question mark, Investor/RT will prompt you to enter the user data text. The prompting window will show the existing user data for the instrument so you can replace it entirely, edit it, or append text to it as you wish. If the text begins with something other than + or ?, Investor/RT will replace the current user data with the text specified for the button.
When using this facility it may be useful to add an Annotation box to the chart window with the annotation text
%USERDATA. This will cause the current user data of each instrument to appear as text in the chart window as you switch tickers.
New in 5.9: New Chart Button Type for
Chart Buttons can now activate any keyboard shortcut that is defined in Setup: Preferences: Keyboard Shortcuts. When setting up the chart button, choose "Shortcut Key" as the button purpose. Then enter the shortcut key name. You can copy/paste the shortcut name from the "Legend" window if you wish. To see the names of keyboard shortcuts that are presently defined to Investor/RT go to Setup: Preferences: Keyboard Shortcuts and click the Legend button. The shortcut name must include the capital letter F followed by a number, e.g. F10. You may prefix the name with modifier words, e.g. Shift-Ctrl-F9. When creating a menu of shortcut keys just list the shortcut names separated by a comma, e.g. F2,Shift-F2,Ctrl-F2 to create a three entry menu. If you wish you can prefix the shortcut descriptor with arbitrary text followed by a color so that your menu choices are more descriptive. For example, the following text will create a more descriptive menu for the same shortcut keys:
Open Chart A: F2,Run Scan ABC: Shift-F2,Open Quote Page XYZ: Ctrl-F2
If you create a shortcut button (not a menu) with a long description, e.g. "Verify Historical Data: Shft-Ctrl-F2", by default the button face text will be the entire string. In such case it is recommended that you provide a brief custom title for the button, e.g.
"VerHist" or "VHD" to keep the button width smaller. When you point the mouse at a button, the full text description will appear in a help tip window.
Note that the descriptor for the shortcut key follows the colon and the text must end with the capital letter F followed by the function key number.
Function keys F1 through F24 are available even though F13 through F24 are typically not present on most keyboards. The F13 and higher shortcut key names can be assigned to those shortcuts that will only be invoked from chart buttons.
The ability to invoke keyboard shortcuts from chart buttons opens up many new possibilities. Buttons in charts can now run scans or initiate schedules. Buttons can be present for opening quote pages, charts, and other window types, or to perform various database management and utility functions. In fact, you may wish to simply create special "chart" windows whose sole purpose is to serve as a container for an array of shortcut buttons to make it convenient to access various Investor/RT functions with a single
New in 6.0: Chart Buttons for Scaling
Buttons and button menus can be added to chart window panes for making scaling adjustments to that pane's vertical scale. The "text" of the button is a code that tells Investor/RT how to adjust the scale. For example, a "Change Scaling" button with a text code of "LOG" will toggle logarithmic scaling on/off when you click the button, while "Auto" will switch the chart pane to automatic scaling. The text codes are not case sensitive, i.e. a scaling button of "Auto", "AUTO" or "auto" will set the scaling to automatic. "Manual", "Man", or simply "M" will set the scale to manual and will open the vertical scaling preferences window so you can set the manual range there.
Range based scaling options take a three or four letter code followed by a colon and a number, e.g. RAR:10. All range based scaling codes begin with R (for range based). The second letter can be either A or I for automatic or instrument only ranged based. Last one or two letters indicate the type of scaling, e.g. L for "Last N bars", or "S" for slope, or "R" for range. Thus, RAR:10 means "Range-based automatic scaling with a range of 10 units on the vertical scale. RAL:50 means "Range-based automatic scaling using the last 50 bars", while "RIL:30" means "Range-based instrument only scaling using the instruments last 30 bars.".
Menu buttons can be created by listing a series of scaling codes separated by commas, e.g.
Auto, Man, Inst, RAR:10, RAR:20, RIL:20
Here is a complete list of the scaling codes:
Auto - automatic scaling, can be abbreviated with just letter "A"
Man - manual scaling, opens dialog box, abbreviated "M"
Inst - instrument only auto scaling, abbreviated "I"
Log - toggle logarithmic scaling on/off
Alt - switch to the next alternate scale
· RAR:n - range-based auto scaling using range of n
· RAPU:n- range-based auto scaling using n pixels/unit
· RAPP:n- range-based auto scaling using n percent of price
· RARP:n- range-based auto scaling using n percent of range
· RAS:n - range-based auto scaling using slope of n
· RAL:n - range-based auto scaling using last n bars
· RIR:n - range-based instrument scaling using range of n
· RIPU:n- range-based instrument scaling using n pixels/unit
· RIPP:n- range-based instrument scaling using n percent of price
· RIRP:n- range-based instrument scaling using n percent of range
· RIS:n - range-based instrument scaling using slope of n
· RIL:n - range-based instrument scaling using last n bars
New in 6.0: Technical Indicator Preset
Buttons and Drawing Tools
Buttons can be added to traditional charts with a purpose of "Add/Remove Preset Indicator". Such buttons provide a convenient way to "toggle" an indicator on and off using a predefined setup. The Preset name specified in the button setup provides all of the indicator settings. This feature of Investor/RT works very well for most indicators, those with instrument independent settings, e.g. Moving Average, MACD, RSI, etc.
A few indicators, however, have date/time or other settings that are very specific to an instrument. For example consider a trendline from some significant high to a significant low. Since the trendline setup needs the specific dates to use when drawing the trendline, a preset which specifies those date in advance is of little. All of the technical indicators that are date/price dependent have a drawing tool on the chart toolbar. To draw a trendline, for example, you click on the trendline drawing tool, use the mouse to connect two significant points in the chart, and the default trendline preferences are used to draw the trendline with the color and line width and other options.
Investor/RT 6.0 incorporates improved behavior of indicator preset buttons for those indicator presets that have drawing tools on the chart toolbar. When you click on a Preset Button in the chart for such an indicator, Investor/RT will first attempt to find an indicator with that identical setup and if present, the indicator will be deleted. If no matching indicator is found, Investor/RT will determine if the preferences of the preset are sufficient to draw the indicator. If so, the indicator will be added to the chart. If not IRT will activate the corresponding drawing tool for the indicator and will set the drawing preferences so that upon completion of the drawing activity using the mouse, the preset settings of the button will be used to add the new indicator to the chart. This new method opens up the possibility of have several "trendline" preset buttons for example. You could have one button for drawing red trendlines, another for drawing green trendlines. When you click either preset button, the trendline drawing tool is activated. After drawing the line connecting the two points in the chart, the trendline will be drawn using the setup (red or green) of the preset button you used to initiate the trendline drawing tool.
There are three indicators (Reference Lines, Linear Regression, and Fibonacci Retracements) that have setup options that "automate" the drawing of the indicator. For example, a regression line setup may have the "Automatic Using Last N Bars" option turned on. This preset will cause the regression indicator to be added immediately to the chart, whereas a regression preset with the "Automatic…" option turned off would invoke the regression line drawing tool. A similar option exists for an automated Fibonacci Retracement indicator using the "Automatic Using Last N bars" option. For Reference Lines, the line drawing tool is activated only when the reference line preset calls for a "Specific Price" level. Other options that peg the reference line to a particular price value such as high, or low price will cause the reference line to be added immediately when you click the preset button.
There are rare cases where a "non-automated" setup for some indicator may in fact be saved as a preset and assigned to a button. In such cases it would be unnecessary (and even inconvenient) to invoke a drawing tool rather than adding the indicator immediately. In such cases, the user can "force" a preset to be added immediately to the chart by holding down the ctrl key (option key on Macintosh) when clicking on the preset button. The ctrl key tells Investor/RT to add the preset indicator to the chart immediately regardless of the indicator type and settings of the preset. Some users might use the ctrl-click method to quickly add some indicator and then use the keyboard or mouse to adjust it, for example.
Here is a list of indicators for which preset buttons activate the corresponding drawing tool (unless the ctrl key is held down when clicking the button)
Fibonacci Retracements (with the "Automatic" option unchecked)
Fibonacci Time Zones
Reference Lines, Horizontal (with Price Source set to "Specific Price")
Regression Lines (with the "Automatic" option unchecked)
Spirals (Logarithmic Spirals)
Vertical Reference Lines
New in 6.0: New Chart Button Type for
Changing Chart Appearance Settings
The chart "Button" indicator has been enhanced with a new
button type that allows the user to quickly change the appearance of
the button's chart based on the appearance settings of some other
chart. See the complete list below of the chart appearance
preferences that are applied.
The new chart button purpose setting is called "Chart Appearance".
The button setup includes a single chart name or a comma delimited
list of chart names (for a menu button). When the button is clicked
or when a chart name is chosen from the button's menu, Investor/RT
will extract certain appearance settings from that chart and apply
them to the subject chart that owns the button. Any saved chart can
serve as the source for the appearance settings. If you want, you
can create your own set of "profile" charts, simple charts that
serve as containers for the appearance settings you wish to apply
elsewhere. You can take any existing chart that has the appearance
you want and use the "Save As" command to save it under a name such
as "Profile 1". You can eliminate all but one pane in the chart and
eliminate all indicators if you like. All the appearance preferences
can be hosted by a single pane chart having only one instrument.
Note that once you have setup chart buttons that reference a
particular chart name, e.g. Profile 1, you can make modifications to
the appearance of Profile 1 later. After saving the changes for
Profile 1, the modified settings will take effect the next time you
use a button to switch to the Profile 1 appearance.
The appearance settings that are applied are listed below:
1. Pixels Per Bar
2. Lookahead Bars
3. Chart Color Scheme (foreground/background color, gridline color,
pane title background/foreground)
4. Multi-link color
5.Various appearance related settings:
a. gridlines on/off
b. hollow/solid upcandles
c. hollow/solid histogram
d. candle border on/off (and candle border color)
e. mouse feedback on/off
One click or menu selection from a chart appearance button can
transform a chart's appearance quickly, saving the time required to
perform multiple steps in a chart preferences window.