RightEdge - The Ultimate Backtesting and Trading System Development Platform

Charting Overview

Charts are one of the most important components of any trading system development package.  After all, that's where all of the action is displayed in living color.  We made it a point to create flexible chart settings and navigation with features that not only make it easier to get from point A to point B, but to do it in style.

A chart can be displayed in any number of ways in RightEdge, but the easiest way is to double click a symbol in the Watchlist pane.  If the Watchlist pane is not visible, enable it by selecting Watchlist from the View menu.

fullchart

First some points about data display control.  RightEdge charts provide the standard way of zooming in and out using the toolbar buttons (Zoom-In and Zoom-Out) to show more bars or less bars.  However, in addition to this, RightEdge will also allow a finer control by dragging the mouse over bars to be displayed.  This is done simply by starting at the left side of the chart, clicking the left mouse button and dragging to desired bar on the right.  Once the mouse button is released, the new selection is zoomed in.

chartselection

For navigation, RightEdge also provides the familiar controls, but in addition to using the scrollbar, RightEdge makes use of the mouse wheel.  Move the mouse wheel down to go back in time and up to move forward in time.

Finally, the chart package in RightEdge provides a combination of scrolling and navigating within the X and Y axis.  Both axes are broken up until thirds.  If you place the mouse cursor on left third of the X axis (date/time axis), the cursor becomes a "sizing" cursor.  Click and hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse left or right and more or less bars will become visible in the left side of the chart.  Release the mouse button when the desired number of bars come into view.  Now move the mouse cursor to the middle third of the X axis and the cursor becomes hand with an extended index finger.  Click and hold the left mouse button and this will move the chart from left to right based on the mouse movement.  Finally, move the mouse cursor to the right third of the X axis and click and hold the left mouse button.  This will allow finer control of the bars displayed on the right hand side of the chart.  This logic holds true for the Y axis as well.

Changing Frequencies

RightEdge supports a number of frequencies.  The most common frequencies are shown on the chart toolbar alongside the zoom features discussed previously.  The default is daily, abbreviated as "1D".  Click the "1D" text to display the frequency drop down.  Depending on the data that is currently loaded, the available frequencies are enabled.  For example, if the lowest frequency of the data is daily bars, anything less than one day is unavailable.  Select Weekly from the dropdown to automatically rebuild this chart with the same data except for that bar data is aggregated to weekly.

Using Indicators

Of course, indicators are tightly coupled with charts.  Putting indicators onto a chart is accomplished but a simple drag and drop operation.  All of the indicators available for drag and drop and system developers are located in the Indicators panel.  This panel is on by default, but if it cannot be located, select the Indicators menu option from View menu.

showindicatorlist

The indicators are grouped.  Out of the box, RightEdge ships with over 80 indicators in five separate groups.  For simplicity sake, let's plot a simple moving average (SMA) onto this chart.  Click the Simple Moving Average once and hold the left mouse button down.  Drop the indicator onto the chart frame and the following dialog is presented:

plotsma

The defaults are presented and clicking OK will plot a 50 period simple moving average onto the chart.  It's that simple.

The indicator can be removed from the chart by selecting the indicator with the left mouse button to "highlight" the indicator line and hitting the delete key.  The plotted 50 day simple moving average selected is shown below.

chartwithsma

Not all indicators are useful on the price pane of course.  When dragging an indicator onto a chart, a default pane is recommended.  This pane can be named anything.  If the pane name does not exist, a new pane is created.  Dragging a Relative Strength indicator onto the chart demonstrates this.

RSIChart

To remove user defined panes, right click in the pane and select Close Pane.

Using Chart Objects

Chart objects encompass all items that are related to shapes and not necessarily price information.  Chart objects are used to help identify or outline patterns such as support and resistance lines or channels.  Chart objects are useful to both pure technical as well as discretionary traders.  The Chart Objects pane is located in the upper left pane by default.  If the Chart Objects pane is not visible, select Chart Objects from View menu.

The Chart Objects panel breaks the objects down into logical types.  Simply click an object heading to expand the group and reveal the underlying available objects.  To start, expand the Lines group.  Click the Line object and drag it onto an open chart.  Release the mouse button to establish the first point of the line.  Move the mouse to change the length and direction of the line.

chartwithline

Once the line is in the desired position, click the left mouse button to finish the line creation.  Once the line is created, items specific to this object will show in the properties window.  Objects that are created using this method are changeable, movable, and can even be removed.  To change the direction or size of this line object, click either end of the line on the end points and hold the left mouse button down while moving the mouse.  When the mouse is released, the object will snap to its new position.  Move towards the middle of the line and a "hand" mouse cursor will appear.  Click the left mouse button drag the object to the desired location.  Release the mouse button and it will be placed in this location.  Hitting the delete key will remove the line object from the chart.

Notice that the chart objects maintain their location.  Scrolling the chart will keep the line in its original position.  The same holds true for various time frames.  If the line was drawn on a chart showing daily bars, then the chart timeframe is switched to weekly, the line will update accordingly.

Object properties are updated in real time.  Select the Color property in the property grid and select any color.  The color of the line will change to the selected color.  The width indicates how many pixels are used to draw the line.  The larger the number, the wider the line.  Transparency controls how much of the background is blended with the object.  The range is 0 through 255.  0 indicates complete transparency, in other words, an invisible object.  255 indicates that the line will be solid and the background of the chart will not show through.  To demonstrate how all of these settings effect this simple line, change the width to 3, the transparency value to 40 and the Smoothing Mode to Anti Alias.  With these settings, it's quite obvious how a support or resistance line could be drawn without getting in the way of the price movement.

The chart objects also support basic shapes such as circles, rectangles, ellipses, and parallelograms.  Expand the Basic Shapes chart object group and drag a Rounded Rectangle onto the chart.  There are more properties for this object as shown below.

chartrectangle

In this example, the line color was changed to dark gray.  The Filled flag was set to true, the fill color to light green and fill transparency to 120.

To demonstrate a more complicated object and show how several objects might work together, go back to the Lines object group and drag a Fibonacci Line onto the chart.  Set the properties for this object as shown below.

chartfibonacci

The Fibonacci line draws lines at the well known Fibonacci retracement values.  Stretch the rounded rectangle to highlight these important retracements.  It now becomes clear when the price penetrates that retracement area.  All of these objects are still not in the way of the price bars.