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> Using ChartNotes at StockCharts, (great tutorial)
TTHQ Staff
post Sep 30 2005, 09:24 AM
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StockCharts.com
Using ChartNotes


Overview
What are ChartNotes?
How can ChartNotes benefit me?

How Do I...
...add annotations to a chart I've created?
...interpret the annotations page?
...perform common ChartNotes activities?
...use the drawing toolbar?
...use the color, line width, and style toolbars?
...manage my annotated chart once it is completed?



ChartNotes is StockCharts.com's interactive chart annotation tool. This Java applet allows you to add trendlines, text, arrows, Fibonacci retracement lines, and much more to any bar, line, or candlestick chart. ChartNotes combines these options into one streamlined layout that gives you great control over your chart. Currently, ChartNotes only works with the SharpCharts charting tool (bar, candlestick, and/or line charts).

To see some examples of ChartNotes at work, visit the Public Charts List. It shows what other users are doing with the ChartNotes tool, and will give you some great ideas for your own charts.

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Sometimes chart patterns are not entirely obvious until they are actually marked and identified. ChartNotes allows you to do this in a very simple and intuitive way. Annotating your charts allows you to illuminate any important price action or trends to yourself or others.

ChartNotes are perfect for presentations, articles or journals for they allow you to clearly indicate significant aspects of a chart in a professional and visually pleasing manner.

 

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Adding annotations to your chart is as simple as clicking a button:

Step 1: Create the SharpChart for which you want to annotate.

Make sure the chart is exactly what you want to use before starting ChartNotes!

Once you start annotating a chart, you cannot change any of its "SharpCharts" attributes (size, indicators, etc.).


Step 2: When the SharpChart is completely ready, move down the page to below the Indicators section, and click the button.

A new window displays, and some onscreen processing takes place.








Step 3: Once processing is complete, you can begin annotating your SharpChart inside of the ChartNotes applet!



Note: If you don't see the chart appear in a reasonable amount of time, try using our Java Troubleshooter to see if your computer supports Java correctly.

 

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The ChartNotes applet that appears will include all the graphics from your chart, along with vertical and horizontal toolbars that you will use to make your annotations.

Through ChartNotes, you can add as many lines, arrows, and indicators that you want using the Drawing Toolbar.

Annotations are easily distinguished and made more visually pleasing by editing the Color, Line Width, and Style.

The Chart can be wiped clean, saved, or reloaded to a previous save when you are ready to finalize the chart.
Also, dragging your cursor over the chart will display the Quote Data at that point.

 

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The following list includes some of the most common activities you'll perform while working with the ChartNotes window:

Determining Price and Indicator Levels

  • Move your mouse over the chart. The date and value for the cursor's current position will appear at the bottom of the chart. If your cursor moves over a price bar/candlestick, the full quote for that time period will also appear. (See Info Modes)

 

Drawing a Trend Line



 
  1. Select the Trend Line Tool at the top of the screen.
    (See Line, Horizontal, or Vertical tool)
  2. Click and drag your mouse from the beginning to the end of the line.
  3. To change the line position, click the yellow squares ("handles") at either end.
  4. To shift the line's position without changing the angle, click on the center of the line.

Creating a Parallel Line

  1. Insert the trend line.
  2. Switch to the Selection Tool.
  3. Hold down the CTRL key, and click the center of the original line.
  4. Drag the new parallel line to the desired position on the chart.

Using a Callout Box

 

To create a callout box:

  1. Select the Callout Tool.
  2. Move to the location within the chart near where you want to insert the callout.
  3. Type your text into the box that appears.
  4. Hold down the CTRL key while pressing the Enter key.

To resize the callout box:

  • Click on the callout box, and drag the yellow handles until the desired size is shown.

To add callout pointers to the box:

  1. Press/hold down the CTRL key.
  2. Click in the center of the box.
  3. Drag the mouse to the location at which the callout pointer should end.

 

Deleting Single/All Annotations

To delete a single annotation:

  1. Move to the toolbar, and click the Selection Tool.
  2. Click on the annotation you want to delete so the yellow handles appear.
  3. Press the Delete key.

To delete all the annotations:

  • Click the button.

 

Adding Linear Regression (Raff) Channels



 
  1. Select the Raff Regression Channel Tool.
  2. Click on the beginning of a trend and drag your mouse to the end of the trend. The central line is the linear regression line. The upper and lower Raff channel lines are placed equidistant from the center line and parallel to it.

 

Adding Cycle Lines



 
  1. Select the Cycle Lines Tool.
  2. Click on a significant peak or trough on the chart. As you drag your mouse to the next significant reversal, vertical lines appear at intervals equal to the distance you have dragged your mouse.

 

Inserting Andrew's Pitchfork Lines



 
  1. Select the Andrew's Pitchfork Tool.
  2. Click once at a the start of a significant price movement. Click a second time wherever the first major reversal in the price movement happens. Finally click wherever the primary trend resumed.

 

Adding Fibonacci Retracements



 
  1. Select the Fibonacci Retracements Tool.
  2. Click your mouse at the start of a significant price move and drag it to the end of that price movement. "Fibo" lines will appear at key levels between the two corners you specified. Prices often find support or resistance at those levels after "retracing" part of the original move.

 

Adding Arrows



 
  1. Select the Arrow Tool.
  2. Click and hold on the chart where you want the arrow to start.
  3. Drag the pointer in the opposite direction from where you want the arrow to point.

Adding Shaded Areas

  1. Select the Box or Circle tool.
  2. Select the color that you want from the color palette.
  3. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.
  4. Click and drag on the chart to create the shaded area.

 

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The Drawing Toolbar is located along the top of the ChartNotes window. It includes (from left to right) tools for modifying existing objects, creating trendlines, creating horizontal and vertical lines, creating rectangles and ovals, creating text and callout boxes, and creating arrows. Finally, there are five specialized line studies that can be drawn - Fibonacci retracements, cycle lines, Andrew's pitchforks, Linear Regression (Raff) channels, and Auto Support/Resistance lines. The Drawing Toolbar contains a series of icons. When you press the icon, the corresponding function can be performed.
Selection Tool
  • Allows you to select a specific annotation to which you can then make modifications.
  • Can be used to shift, stretch, or change the color of an object.
  • Double clicking a text box or callout box with the selection tool allows you to edit the text.
Line Tool
  • Creates a line of any angle by clicking and dragging your mouse from the beginning to the end of the line.
  • Line will be drawn in the color that is selected.
Horizontal Line Tool
  • Creates a horizontal line that goes all the way across the chart.
  • Useful for marking support/resistance lines.
Vertical Line Tool
  • Creates a vertical line from the bottom of the chart to the top.
  • Useful for connecting indicators or volume levels to price movements.
Box Tool
  • Draws a box around a specific area within the chart.
  • Useful for identifying important price movements .
Circle Tool
  • Draws a circle around a specific area within the chart.
  • Useful for identifying important price movements.
Text Tool
  • Opens a free-form text box into which you can enter text.
  • Use this to make notes/comments or add titles to charts.
Callout Tool
  • Opens a free-form box into which you can enter text or numbers.
  • More than one callout "pointers" can be inserted into a chart.
  • A great way to annotate specific movements or trends.
Arrow Tool
  • Inserts an arrow at selected points in the chart.
  • Can point up, down, left or right.
Fibonacci Retracements Tool
  • Creates five lines that identify price levels and retracement percentages.
  • Identifies the beginning and end of a significant price move.
Cycle Lines Tool
  • Creates multiple vertical lines across the chart.
  • Provide assistance in spotting cyclical price movements.
Andrew's Pitchfork Tool
  • Creates one line that splits into three in the form of a pitchfork.
  • Identifies where prices should go as long as the primary trend remains intact.
Raff Regression Channel Tool
  • Creates three parallel lines along the price line.
  • Identifies the highest high or lowest low value within a specified date range.
Auto Support-Resistance Tool
  • Creates a horizontal line that is green when price is above it, and red when price is below.
  • Identifies where price is in relationship to the line, showing how a support line can often turn into a resistance line and vice-versa.
Expand Left/Right
  • The Chart Sizing buttons lets you add more room for commentary on either side of the chart.
  • Hold Ctrl while clicking on them to shrink instead of expand.
Undo
  • Removes the last edit/annotation.
  • Multiple undo's can be executed.
Change Info Mode
  • There are four different cursor choices for displaying quote data:
  1. Standard Cursor : Displays quote data at the bottom of the chart.
  2. Crosshairs : Turns the mouse pointer into crosshairs. As you move over a point, the coordinates are shown below the chart.
  3. Data Popup : As you move the mouse pointer over a specific point, the details for that point are shown in a popup box.
  4. Chart Magnifier : Turns the mouse pointer into a square that contains a magnified view.

 

 

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While working with the drawing toolbar, you have the following other additional options located along the left side of the ChartNotes page:

 

Color Toolbar:


 

You can change the color of any line or box to one of 16 different colors. Simply click on the desired color, and draw your object. Or, select an object you've already drawn, and then click a color on the toolbar.

Line Width Toolbar:



 

You can also change the look of any line by selecting one of three line widths, or the dashed line option.

 

Style Toolbar:


After selecting a text or callout box, font style choices appear to make the text larger, smaller, or bold.

 

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Whether you want to start clean or save your chart, these tools are here for when you have finished with your ChartNotes.

 

  • Delete All: Restores the chart to its original condition, erasing all annotations currently shown. When you click the button, a confirmation window displays. WARNING: This process cannot be undone!
  • Reload: Reloads the chart using the last uploaded version (if any); e.g., if you have made a series of annotations that you are not happy with, instead of deleting each item one-by-one, click this button to erase the annotations and start with a "clean slate" (per se).  Before your annotations are removed, a confirmation window displays.
  • Upload:  Allows Extra! users to store their "masterpieces" on StockCharts.com for later review and sharing with others.  When uploading your file, you specify a name, and whether or not it should be a static image or a live, annotated chart.

  • Detach: Located in the bottom right, this button allows you to resize the ChartNotes tool itself. This can be very useful after using the Chart Sizing buttons.

 

Saving/Sharing Annotated Charts

Free and Basic users:

You can save annotated charts to your own hard disk by taking a "screenshot" (click here for instructions).

Extra! users:

Extra! users can save annotated charts in any of their Favorites lists. You have the option to either save a "live" annotated chart (one that updates over time) in one of your regular lists, or to save the chart as a static image (a chart that does not update over time) in your "SnapShot" list.

Simply press the button in the upper right corner of the ChartNotes window to store your annotations. You will be prompted to select where you wish to save the chart.

Note: If you are annotating a chart you selected directly from one of your Favorites lists, the chart with annotations is automatically saved back into the original list, and overwrites the original chart.

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