To check out all my indicators, visit http://easycators.com/product/key-reversal-time-vertical-lines-indicator/
The JR_Timelines indicator for ThinkOrSwim allows you to highlight specific times during the trading day that may be important, such as key reversal times, or lunch time when the big boys leave the scene and volume decreases, etc.
This script lets you add a vertical line, time level, time zone, or time line to your chart.
ThinkOrSwim is a great platform, but let’s face it: some things are just plain confusing. Luckily, some of us have already been through the trial and error and know how to do a lot of the stuff you want to know how to do. So in this tutorial, I’ll go through a few of those things. In particular, I’m going to teach you how to install ThinkOrSwim indicators and other thinkScripts.
There are actually 2 methods for installing thinkScripts.
We’ll go through each on in it’s turn. I’ve also included a video below that will walk you through each and every method except the first one, since it’s pretty easy.
VIDEO TABLE OF CONTENTS:
0:59 How to Install a SCAN
2:01 How to Load a scan in the main StockHacker scanner window after installing it
2:12 How to Load a scan in a sidebar watchlist widget – refreshes automatically every 3 minutes
2:53 How to Install a COLUMN
3:17 How to Load a column on a sidebar watchlist after installing it
3:54 How to change the timeframe of a column
4:07 How to install an INDICATOR or chart study
4:34 How to load an indicator or study onto a chart after installing it
5:09 How to install a STRATEGY file
5:26 How to load a strategy file onto a chart after installing it
5:43 Summary and recap
If you’ve just purchased an indicator on our site, all your links will in the My Account section under Orders. First, mouse over the “My Account” menu item at the top right of the page, then click “Orders” in the drop-down menu:
On the next page, you’ll see all your orders. Click the one you’re interested in viewing the links for:
When your order details page pops up, you’ll see your import links below, as well as your file downloads should you want them later:
Now that you have your import links, it’s time to go through the actual installation process.
This method is pretty easy and straight-forward. Or so you would think anyway. Each ThinkScript can be shared with its own unique “tos.mx” sharing link. Clicking one of these links will take you to a page on ThinkOrSwim’s website where you can confirm what the script is. The page looks like this:
Then if you approve, you can click the green confirmation button (the one that says “Scan now in thinkorswim”). The file should be automatically imported into your TOS application.
I say should because it doesn’t work on all systems. Specifically those where TOS isn’t installed for all users. For those lucky traders, the green button will ask you to reinstall TOS. But if you don’t want to do that, no problem! You’ll just need to skip to method two below.
If the automatic link method above doesn’t seem to work, don’t fret. Just go into your ThinkOrSwim application, and click the “Setup” menu in the top right corner (gear icon). In the dropdown menu that appears, click “Open shared item”.
Then a box will pop up, and you can simply copy and paste the link into the space that says “Shared item URL”. You have to go through this process one link at a time unfortunately. After you paste in the link, click “Preview”:
The program will load the link into memory and grab the name so you’ll know for sure what you’re importing. If everything looks good, then click “Open”:
A confirmation dialog box will pop up telling you the script has been imported and given a machine-generated name. Click “Rename” to change the name to something that will be easy for you to find in an alphabetical list later:
Remember to give it an easy to remember name, but something unique as well:
Voila! You’re done. The script has been imported and saved under your chosen name. See the end of this post for instructions on how to load and use each of the scripts you’ve just imported.
Now that you’ve figured out how to get the code into ThinkOrSwim, it’s time to actually activate the code and start using it. Here’s a brief rundown of how to find and activate thinkScripts that you’ve recently imported into ThinkOrSwim…
If you were importing a chart study (or indicator), then you just need to go to charts > studies > edit studies, and search for the script name in the list. Then double-click to add it to the chart (or click “Add Selected” below), and then click OK to apply the changes:
Keep in mind if you didn’t give the study a name during the import process, it might be in the alphabetical list under “Fs” for “From Easycators on XYZ Date”, so be sure to check the “Fs” if you don’t see the study/indicator after searching.
If you were importing a strategy file, then you’ll still go to the Charts > Studies > Edit Studies window, but instead of searching in the normal list of studies, you’ll switch to the “Strategies” tab on the top left corner of the Edit Studies window, and then search in that list for the strategy file:
Again, keep in mind if you didn’t give it a name during the import process, it might be in the alphabetical list under “Fs” for “From Easycators on XYZ Date”, so be sure to check the “Fs” if you don’t see the strategy after searching.
If the link you just imported was a scan, a window will pop up with the scanner rules ready-to-go. Just click scan and watch it work. You might have to resize and expand the window to see the results. Or you can close that popup and load the scan in your main window as well. You can access your scans at any time from the dark gray menu on the top right:
Keep in mind if you didn’t give the Scan a name during the import process, it might be in the alphabetical list under “Fs” for “From Easycators on XYZ Date”, so be sure to check the “Fs” if you don’t see the scan after searching.
If you just imported a column thinkScript, there are a couple of ways to activate and use it. You can use columns in the MarketWatch Quotes tab, or in the StockHacker or OptionsHacker scan tabs, or on a sidebar watchlist on the left hand side of the window. In either case, you’ll first right-click anywhere on the column headers and select “Customize…”
A window pops open with a list of columns you can add. Just find the column name in the alphabetical list, and double-click to add it to the right hand side. Then click OK:
The column will now appear on your quote screen (whichever column header you had originally right-clicked on):
Keep in mind if you didn’t give the Column a name during the import process, it might be in the alphabetical list under “Fs” for “From Easycators on XYZ Date”, so be sure to check the “Fs” if you don’t see the column after searching.
That should just about do it. Now you should have all your scans, strategies, columns, and studies/indicators imported and installed. Not only that, but if you went through the second part of the tutorial, you should have the thinkScripts added to your screens and ready to roll.
If you find you’re still unsure of how to do something, check out my video. I walk through almost all of these methods on the screen for you, and it should help you figure out anything you missed:
If you have any questions or issues, please post a comment below!
I’ve just uploaded a video on how to sign up for ThinkOrSwim Paper Money, and how to download, install, and login to the platform. The video also highlights some of the differences between the live trading and papermoney trading platforms, and how to make sure you’re logged into the paper trading side instead of the live trading side. Here’s the video:
Step 1: Download ThinkOrSwim
The first thing you can do is go ahead and visit our download page and get ahold of the latest version of the thinkDesktop trading platform:
Make sure you note where you choose to download the installer file to so you can find it and launch it later.
Now, it will take anywhere from several seconds to several minutes to download, depending on your connection speed, so while that’s downloading, it’s an ideal time to go ahead and move on to step 2.
Step 2: Sign Up for paperMoney® Demo Trading
One thing to note here is that, if you already have an account with ThinkOrSwim or TD Ameritrade, then you already have access to paper trading and you don’t actually need to do anything else except download and install the TOS platform (if you don’t already have it). A lot of traders are used to dealing more with TD Ameritrade and are unfamiliar with the thinkDesktop platform itself, so some people aren’t aware you have to actually download the software in order to use PaperMoney. So yeah, do that first.
If you don’t have an account with TDA though, you’ll need to request on of their FREE 60-day trials to Thinkorswim Paper Money. And you can do that here:
This is pretty self explanatory — they walk you through it very well. Just make sure you know where you downloaded the install file, and then double click to open and run it. Make sure you click yes or allow to any permissions requests.
Another note here is that, if it makes sense in your situation, I would be sure to install the program for “all users” if it asks you to choose during the installation process. This makes it so that you can more easily use sharing features within the program, such as importing custom indicators, chart studies, scans, and so forth.
Step 4: ThinkOrSwim Login
At the end of the installation, you can choose to have the program automatically launch, and also add an icon to your desktop. If you did one of those, just finish the installation and it will launch the program for you, or you can double-click the new icon on you desktop. Otherwise, fish through your applications / programs folders until you find the thinkorswim application, and launch it. I have a Mac and keep my icon anchored to the dashboard for easy access, and Windows users can equally pin the application to their taskbar or Windows Start menu.
When the TOS window opens up, just type in the credentials provided to you by TD Ameritrade / thinkorswim. The login for TDA and thinkorswim are both the same, and the same credentials work for real money as for paperMoney.
One thing to note though: there’s a toggle switch to go between real money live trading (green colored) and paper money demo trading (tan/brown/gold colored). Make sure that toggle switch is set right before you start. Then click login!
Step 5: Demo Trading
Demo trading in ThinkOrSwim paperMoney is pretty much the same as live trading in almost every way: you can analyze charts with an impressive collection of indicators and strategies, and use the scan tab to find great setups. You can save custom watchlists and customize the platform in much the same way you can on the live trading side. The biggest difference with paperMoney is that the data feed for TOS in the paperMoney platform is delayed by 20 minutes, whereas the normal platform is real time.
Hopefully this guide will get you setup and running with your new paperMoney demo account on ThinkOrSwim. In the future I’ll hopefully be doing more guides on how to actually execute orders and so forth. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions!
Josiah is an oil trader, ThinkScript programmer, real estate investor, and budding mountaineer. He's also rumored to be an in-shower opera singer. Josiah started Easycators in 2014 and lives with his family near Nashville, TN. Twitter | YouTube
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