Most TradeStation users are probably familiar with the basic plot types such as Points, Lines, and Histograms which are the standard plotting methods utilized in most indicators.
However, with the expansion of available plots from 4 per indicator to 99, and the introduction of 32-bit colors and gradient color functions, there are now additional opportunities to provide much richer displays of information in graphical form than ever before in TradeStation.
Some of the more innovative approaches that have been utilized include:
- Creating 2-Dimensional “HeatMaps” drawn from a grid of plots
- Background shading of the chart and regions of the chart subgraph
- Dynamic gradient shading of cells in RadarScreen and Line plots
(see the built-in “Momentum” Indicator)
- Usage of multiple plot statements to create a “ribbon” of line plots representing many different lookback periods of analysis
(see the built-in “Mov Avg Exp Ribbon” Indicator)
- Plotting synthetic OHLC bars or Candlesticks
- Drawing trendlines within chart sub-graphs
- Sending plot information from a strategy to a “shadow” indicator
“The “Shadow indicator” approach is particularly interesting because it can provide a mechanism to graphically display plot information which originates from a strategy, even though a strategy can’t issue plot statements directly.
The approach presented is to have the strategy store into global memory values that it wants to be plotted, and the shadow indicator retrieves the values from memory and does the actual plotting on the chart. In the example provided, Bamboo’s ELC library was used to pass the information between a “sender” strategy and a “receiver” indicator. With this architecture ELC provides a convenient data storage approach since the plotted values can be indexed and retrieved by bar number, allowing the indicator to plot both in history and in real-time.
There are many other examples of innovative usage of EasyLanguage for visual plotting in the EasyLanguage support forum. I would encourage interested readers to examine the topics referenced above and ask questions in the EasyLanguage support forums in order to learn how to get the maximum usage of the graphical technology that’s available in TradeStation.