Beginner's Guide To NinjaTrader: NinjaTrader Control Center
The Control Center provides a centralized view of order, strategy, execution, position, account, account performance and account log information. In addition, the Control Center provides access to all of the various NinjaTrader function windows, and enables/disables global application features and commands. The Control Center is broken down into three sections: the Menu System, the Information Tabs, and the Status Bar. Traders can click on each menu, submenu and tab to become familiar with the type of information that appears in each.
The menu system, located at the top left corner of the Control Center, contains the File, Tools, and Help menus. By clicking on any of these headers, a menu appears with options for different actions, shown in Figure 3. Many of the menu options have additional sub-menu items.
|Figure 3: NinjaTrader's Menu System|
From the File menu, for example, traders can perform such tasks as opening new charts, saving workspaces, and connecting to data providers. The Tools menu offers options including opening the Instrument Manager or a NinjaScript window. Finally, the Help menu connects traders to the NinjaTrader Help Guide, Support Center, social media, and allows traders to view information such as the user's License Key, Machine ID, and the version of NinjaTrader being used. (For additional reading, see Introduction To Trading: Scalpers.)
Located just below the menu system in the Control Center, the Information Tabs, shown in Figure 4, include the following topics:
- Orders Tab - includes three sections: order grid, order entry, and market display.
- Strategies Tab - displays active and stopped strategies, and strategy performance information.
- Executions Tab - displays all trade executions in a data grid.
- Positions Tab - displays current open positions in a data grid.
- Accounts Tab - displays current account information in a data grid; displayed values are dependent upon the user's connectivity provider.
- Account Performance Tab - for generating customized performance reports.
- Log Tab - displays historical application and trading events for the current day in a data grid.
|Figure 4: NinjaTrader's Information Tabs|
The Status Bar, located at the bottom of the Control Center window, provides current connection status and progress information. The left side of the Status Bar provides the current connection status. The right side indicates the progress for many actions such as downloading historical data or backtesting (see Figure 5).
|Figure 5: NinjaTrader's Status Bar|
Connecting to a Market Data Provider
NinjaTrader is not a market data provider. In order to begin receiving end-of-day or real-time market data, users will need to connect to one of the numerous market data providers from within the Control Center window. Currently, NinjaTrader users may select from a number of market data providers, including:·
- Google Finance
- IQFeed from Telvent DTN
- Metastock Import
- Kinetick (NinjaTrader's preferred data provider)
- Yahoo Finance
To create a connection, click the Tools menu followed by the Account Connections … menu item. The Account Connection Set Up window will appear:
|Figure 6: The Account Connection Set Up window|
Highlight the desired connection and click "Add…" A new account connection wizard window will appear. Click "Next" and create a connection name (whatever you would like to call the connection). Check the box next to "Connect on Startup" to have NinjaTrader to automatically connect to the selected data provider; otherwise, leave the box blank. The Connections Options window is shown in Figure 7.
|Figure 7: The Connections Options window|
Enter the appropriate Login and Password, and complete any provider-specific fields in order to establish a connection. The NinjaTrader User Guide section entitled "Connection Guide" provides detailed information regarding each connectivity provider. Continue following the wizard's directions until the "You have successfully set up your new account connection" window appears. Click "Finish," and access the new connection in the Control Center by clicking "File" > "Connect" and then the appropriate connection. NinjaTrader is now ready to receive historical and/or real-time data, depending on the data market provider selected. (For more, see Introduction To Momentum Trading.)
Before opening a new price chart, traders can select the desired trading symbols from within the Instrument Manager. Click on "Tools" > "Instrument Manager" to open the window (see Figure 8). The drop-down menu on the left side of the Instrument Manager window allows traders to select from several different instrument lists (including Dow 30 and Nasdaq 100). Traders can also add instruments by keeping "Default" selected from the drop-down menu, and populating a new Instrument List. To add an instrument, select the type of instrument from the drop-down menu, enter the name and/or description and click "Search." The appropriate symbol should appear in the instrument grid. Highlight the desired symbol and click on the left arrow below the instrument grid to add that symbol to the Instrument List.
|Figure 8: The Instrument Manager window|
Continue this process to add as many symbols as desired to the Instrument List. When finished, click "OK" and the window will close.
Alternatively, traders can click "File" > "New" > "Chart." The Data Series window appears (see Figure 9). In the top left corner, click on the Instrument Lookup icon , select the Type, and fill in the Name and/or Description and click "Search." Double-click on the desired instrument and the symbol will appear in the box at the top of the Data Series window. Click on "New" and the symbol will appear in the bottom window. If additional symbols are desired on one chart, add them now before clicking "OK." The chart with any corresponding trading symbols will appear. (For related reading, see Basics Of Technical Analysis: Introduction.)
|Figure 9: The Data Series window|
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