Setting up Chart Time Frame

In general, setting up a time frame for your chart involves two steps: defining a time interval (the time range for which the entire chart is plotted) and specifying an aggregation period (the period for which price data is accumulated for one bar, candle, line segment, etc.). This aggregation period can be expressed in time units, ticks, or price range accumulation. The Charts interface provides you with several standard time frames; however, you are free to create your own.

To set up a time frame:

1. Access the configuration window using one of the following options:

  • Click the Time Frame button (by default, ).
  • Click the  Style button and select Time Frame Setup.
  • Press Ctrl + T on your keyboard.

Note that the icon on the Time Frame and Time Frame Setup buttons changes based on the selected time frame. This enables you to identify chart configurations more easily.

2. Click the Time frame tab and select the Aggregation type you want to use: Time, Tick, or Range.

3. If you’ve selected Time aggregation, specify the type of time aggregation from the following options: 

  • Intraday. Each bar is completed in 24 hours or less.
  • Daily. Each bar takes at least 1 day to be completed.
  • Custom. Specify both intraday and daily periods.

Note on using 24-hour candles: A candle with an aggregation of 24 hours is an intraday candle that spans the entire day (from Midnight to Midnight CT) regardless of instrument-specific rollover time. While a forex daily candle contains quotes from 4PM CT to 4PM CT of the next trading day, a 24-hour candle opens at Midnight CT and closes at Midnight CT of the next trading day. For equities, unlike the standard daily 1-Day aggregation, the 24-hour aggregation allows you to use the Extended-Hours Trading feature as the candle's span includes trading data outside market hours.

4. Specify the desirable Time interval using the dropdown menu. For intraday aggregations, it cannot be more than 360 days; for tick aggregations, not more than 5 days.

The following options are also available:

  • WTD (week to date). Loads available price data for the current week up to the current day.
  • YTD (year to date). Loads available price data for the current year up to the current day.
  • Max available. Loads all available price data (some symbols can even be charted all the way back to 1902).

5. If you’ve selected Custom time aggregation:

  • Use From-To to display all available chart data for a specified time period in the past (if there is available price data). Note that when using the current day as the end of the period, the chart will stop updating at midnight CST (Central Standard Time).
  • Use Up to today to display all available chart data for the specified number of years, months, or days up to the current day. Note that when the current day ends, the chart will keep updating, and the left-hand chart limit will be pushed forward one day.

6. Specify an Aggregation period using one of the options below:

  • Choose a value from the menu. The Opt Exp option uses the period between two consecutive expiration Fridays to aggregate data for one bar.
  • Type in a value in the menu. For time aggregations, use the format hh:mm.
  • Drag the slider to the desired time, ticks, or range units. 

7. Click the  icon in the bottom-left corner of the window to add your Time frame configuration to your Favorites list. To access this list, click the Time frame button (see step 1). Customize your favorite time frames by clicking Customize list.

8. Click OK from the Time frame tab (or select a saved time frame from your Favorites list); the chart will be updated accordingly.

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