Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Charting Software
  1. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Introduction
  2. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Services Offered
  3. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Opening A Demo Account
  4. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Basic Navigation
  5. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Charting Software
  6. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Trade Management
  7. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Advanced Features And Resources
  8. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Conclusion

Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Charting Software

Trading Station offers an advanced charting package. When you first use the software, you will need to open charts manually. Quickly open a chart by clicking on the Charts menu along the top of the screen, selecting Open Chart and selecting your desired time frame from the drop down list. The drop down list has abbreviations for the time frames: "m" means minute, "H" means hour, "D" means day, "W" means week and "M" means month. Therefore, "m1" will open a one-minute chart, and "H4" will open a four-hour chart, for example.

Figure 17: Open a chart
When a chart is opened it will open inside "Marketscope." This is FXCM's chart management platform. You can open as many charts as you like by going through the steps shown in Figure 19.

Once the charts are open, there are many potential options that can be utilized for aesthetic reasons as well as analytical.

The basic navigational tools for Marketscope are available through the Main Menu and the Shortcuts Bar, similar to the main FXCM platform. Between these, you will see the charts that are currently open. If there are multiple charts open, you can flip back and forth by left-clicking the corresponding chart tabs. (For related reading, see Point And Figure Charting Basics.)

Figure 18: Chart navigation
The most commonly used functions are available on the Shortcuts Bar, including switching the symbol being watched and the time frame. Other functions that can be changed with the click of the mouse along this bar include the ability to change chart styles (candlestick, line OHLC), zoom in/out, drawing tools, add indicators and price overlays.

Features can also be accessed through the Marketscope Main Menu.

Analytical Tools

The chart shows the history of price movement for the symbol being watched. To see the high, open, low or close price on a particular day, simply left click on a price bar to bring up the information.

Indicators and price overlays can be added to the chart quickly and easily by using the Add Indicator and Price Overlay buttons on the Shortcuts Bar.

Figure 19: Add Indicator and Price Overlay buttons (respectively)
Indicators include common studies such as the RSI, MACD or moving averages. Price Overlays allow the trader to overlap the price history of one symbol over another - useful for finding correlations, relative strength or divergences. (For related reading, see Trading the MACD Divergence.)

Some other features are also accessible via the Shortcuts Bar, including being able to place text notes on charts, a ruler function (to measure how big moves are) and trend channel lines - these will be referred to as "drawing tools." To view all indicators, price overlays and drawing tools, click on the Insert menu in the Main Menu for a list of available tools. Select an option to activate the tool.

Figure 20: Insert Menu -use to add analysis
If you select "Add indicator," via the Shortcut Bar button or the Insert menu, you will be presented with a pop-up window. This window will provide you with available technical indicators. When you select an indicator and click "OK" you will be brought to another menu which provides you with options for the indicator - such as number of periods, color and where you wish to place the indicator.

Figure 21: Sample indicator (moving average) properties window
The figure shows the properties window for a Simple Moving Average indicator. The window has three tabs: Parameters, Data Source and Location. The options available within these tabs will vary by indicator; therefore, go through the tabs and see if there is anything you wish to change. (For related reading, see Simple Moving Averages Make Trends Stand Out.)

Change Overall Look

As you get used to Marketscope, you may realize there are things you want to customize or change, such as colors, default settings for drawing tools, or the amount of data shown. Under File on the Main Menu, you can access all the options and customizable features of the charts and Marketscope.

Figure 22: Marketscope customizable options
By clicking "Options..." you will receive a pop-up where you can change the settings as you see fit.

Templates and Layouts

As you add indicators and make customizations to your charts, you will want to save those features so that you don't have to reload or make those changes every time. This is accomplished through templates and layouts.

Templates and layouts are both accessible through the File menu.

Figure 23: Templates
The layout options are just below Templates.

Templates allow you to save the set-up of a chart you have been working on. Let's say you have added an RSI indicator, a moving average and have also changed the colors of the chart you are viewing. If you like what you have done you can save it as a template by going File, Templates, Save Template. You will then be asked to name your template - use something descriptive, since eventually you may have many templates.

Templates allow you to quickly apply your work to multiple charts. If you open a new chart, you can go File, Templates, and Apply Template. This will allow you to choose from available templates and instantly apply your saved template to a new chart. This can save a lot of time, especially if you want to have multiple charts open.

If the template allows you to save your setting for a particular chart set-up, layouts allow you to save all the charts you have open with your own (or the same) template. After you have created templates, applied them to multiple charts and have all the chart windows open that you desire, you can save this work environment by going File, Layouts, and Save Layout. Again, give your layout a descriptive name as you may eventually have multiple layouts.

To recall a layout go to File, Layouts, Open Layout. You will then be asked to choose from your currently available layouts.

Figure 24: Open Layout
After saving a Layout, you can also go back to the main trading platform and save this as a Profile. Saving the Profile will keep your current settings and set-up in tact so it looks the same each time you log in. To save a Profile go to the View menu (main platform), Profiles, Save Profile. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Trade Management

  1. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Introduction
  2. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Services Offered
  3. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Opening A Demo Account
  4. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Basic Navigation
  5. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Charting Software
  6. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Trade Management
  7. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Advanced Features And Resources
  8. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Conclusion
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