How to use TradingView (2020 Tutorial)

TradingView is one cutting-edge web-based charting platform that is disrupting the trading world with its features. Knowing how to use this platform can give your charts an edge in the market. But before we get into the details, let’s take a sneak peek at how to use TradingView.

To use TradingView:

  • Go to the TradingView website:  www.tradingview.com
  • Create an account
  • Set up and customize your charts

TradingView has tons of tools you can capitalize on to improve your chances of succeeding in the markets. This is great, but it also means you’ll likely spend a lot of time trying to figure out how the platform works. This TradingView tutorial will give you a good grasp of the platform’s various features and help you shorten that learning curve. 

Table of Contents

Setting up a TradingView Account

With TradingView, you not only have access to an excellent charting experience, but you also get to be part of the TradingView community. The charting platform doubles as a social network for traders – you can follow other traders, join discussions, share charts, follow other traders, and get access to community-driven trading content.

The platform has a lot to offer but before you can get started you need to set up an account.

How to create an account in TradingView

Since TradingView is a web-based platform, you don’t have to download any software. To set up an account, you simply go to the platform’s site, www.tradingview.com.

Once on the site, select the “SIGN UP” option.  

This will bring up a sign-up form.

Complete the form and click on “Sign-up”. You will get a prompt to verify your email.

Open the email you used to sign up for your TradingView account and click on the activation link. The link will confirm your account and redirect you to the TradingView website.

This step completes the signing up process and you can start using your account.

Do you have to pay for TradingView?

Signing up for a TradingView account automatically gives you access to the free account. The following are some of the top features you can access with this account:

  • 12 chart types and all indicators
  • Over 50 drawing tools
  • 1 saved chart layout
  • 1 indicator template
  • 1 watchlist
  • 3 indicators per chart
  • Trading strategy backtesting

The free account also comes with the occasional advert. To get rid of the adverts and gain access to a lot more features, you need to upgrade to a paid account. TradingView offers three paid accounts.

  1. Pro account
  2. Pro+ account
  3. Premium account

Before signing up for any of the paid accounts, you can use the free 30-day trial to test out the paid plans features and see what works for you. Once you decide on the account you want to use, you can start setting up and customizing your charts.

How to open a chart in TradingView

To open the charting area in TradingView, click on the “Chart” button at the top of the page.  

A default chart will come up. Here’s a general overview of the charting area.

Area 1: The left toolbar

The left toolbar has 16 functions; you’ll basically get all the drawing tools you need to add to your charts here.

Area 2: The top toolbar

This toolbar houses functions such as chart types, timeframes, alerts, indicators, and layout templates.

Area 3: The main chart area

This main area is where your chart appears and it’s where you apply your tools and indicators.

Area 4: The right toolbar

On this toolbar, you can find the currency pairs or other financial instruments you want to follow. You will also find various tools including watchlists, economic calendars, push alerts, and social tools.

Area 5: The bottom toolbar

This toolbar is where you take notes, test your strategy, run a screener, and code your own indicators. It’s also where you connect your TradingView account to your broker account. This brings us to the next part. 

How to connect your TradingView and broker accounts (Optional)

Unlike other trading platforms, TradingView does not have any trading capabilities. However, you can place trades directly from the charts by connecting your TradingView account to your broker account. 

To do this, you click on the “Order Panel” button on the right toolbar.

A dialogue box will appear. Click on the “Connect” button.

A second dialogue box will appear with a list of brokers.

 

Select your broker from the list and follow the instructions to finish connecting to your broker account.

While this integration is possible, we still recommend Metatrader 4 (MT4) for placing trades and TradingView for charting and analysis purposes only. 

How to Read and Configure TradingView Charts

Customizing TradingView charts is relatively straightforward. Let’s first take a look at some of the common chart options and settings.

How to customize the chart options & settings

By default, the charts in TradingView load as candlestick charts.

To change the chart type

Go to the candle icon on the top toolbar. From the drop-down menu, select the type of chart you want.

To customize charts, you use the “Chart settings” feature which you can access by right-clicking in the main chart area or by clicking the gear icon on the top toolbar.

Clicking “Settings” or the gear icon will open a new window where you can make changes to your chart features. Here are some of the common customizations.

Candle colors

To change the color of the candles, go to settings. Under the “Symbol” tab, change the candle colors.

 

 Once you have made the color changes, click “Ok”.

Chart color and background

To change the chart color, go to settings. Under the “Appearance” tab, choose a color from the icons next to “Vert Grid Lines” and “Horz Grid Lines”.

To change the chart background color, under the “Appearance” tab, choose a color from the icon next to “Background”.

 Click “Ok” to save the changes.

Time zones

To change the time zones, go to settings. Under the “Symbol” tab, scroll to the bottom and change the time zone depending on your location.

Click “Ok” to save the changes.

Trading options

To change the trading options, go to settings. Under the “Trading” tab, select the trading information you want to be displayed on the chart.

Click “Ok” to save your changes.

Change cursor type

To change the cursor type, you simply click the cursor icon at the top of the left toolbar and select the cursor type you want. You get three cursor options: a cross, a dot, or an arrow.

Once you know the chart options and settings, you can move on to reading and organizing the charts.

How to read the current market price

You can read the current market price using one of the following ways.

The most straightforward way is to use the chart. The current market price will be highlighted on the chart price axis. 

Alternatively, you can use the Watchlist window which is found on the right toolbar and shows the latest market prices.

If the watchlist window is hidden you can make it visible by clicking on the watchlist button at the top of the right toolbar.

How to customize the chart time frame & zoom-in on a chart

To change a chart’s time frame, click on the time interval button on the top toolbar.

From the drop-down list, select the time frame you wish to view.

If the time frame you want is unavailable, scroll down to the bottom of the list and type the number representing your preferred time frame.

Select a time interval and click “Add”. The new time frame will now appear on the list.

To zoom in and out on a chart, hover your cursor at the bottom of a chart. Five Icons will appear.

Click on the + icon to zoom in on the chart and the  ̶   icon to zoom out.

Alternatively, you can use the zoom tool on the left toolbar.

Click on the “Zoom In” icon then highlight the area you want to zoom in on.

To return to the normal view, click on the zoom-out icon.

How to scroll back on the chart

To scroll back on a chart, hover at the bottom of the chart and select the “Scroll to the Left” option.

You can also simply left-click on the chart and drag back.

Note: If you have “Auto (Fits Data To Screen)” enabled, your chart scale will change as you scroll back to fit all the price data on the screen. This can make scrolling back a bit cumbersome. To turn the feature off, right-click on the chart’s price scale and disable.

How to sync your charts when scrolling and viewing different time frames

If you have multiple charts showing the same market, you can sync them so that as you scroll back on one chart, the other chart also scrolls back to the same position.

To do this, click on the chart layout button found on the top toolbar.

Under “Sync On All Charts”, click on “Time”.

How to set up chart layouts/chart templates

Chart layouts in TradingView are similar to MT4 chart templates. The layouts allow you to preserve chart settings and features that you have customized according to your preferences. This means that you don’t have to keep on adding or deleting the features you want as you change markets.

To save a chart layout, go to the menu button at the top of the left toolbar. Click on “Rename”.

A dialogue box will appear.

Enter a name for your chart layout and click “Save”.

Once you have the layout, the platform will start saving it automatically every minute to keep up with any changes.

To create a new layout, click on the down arrow next to the layout button.

Select the “New Chart Layout” option and create a new one.

Alternatively, you can click on the menu button at the top of the left toolbar.

Hover your mouse on the current layout, you will get a secondary menu with the option to create a new layout.

Note: the free plan has a one-chart layout limit. You need to upgrade your account to save multiple layouts.

To delete a chart layout, click on the down arrow next to the layouts button and select the “Load Chart Layout” option.

 A list of your chart layouts will appear.

Click on the “X icon on the right of the chart you want to delete.

Select “Yes” to confirm the deletion.

How to view different markets in TradingView

To find and view different markets you can use one of two options.

The first option is to click on the market box found on the top toolbar.

 You can also start typing in the main chart area. This will prompt the market search box to appear.

How to arrange charts over multiple screens

Since TradingView is web-based, you can arrange your charts over multiple screens by opening the platform on different tabs and dragging each tab to your desired screen.

However, keep in mind that the number of charts you can view per browser depends on the TradingView account you’re using.

How to use Charting Tools and Studies on TradingView

TradingView offers a variety of charting tools and studies. You can access many of these tools on the left-hand menu.

The lock chart feature

You can protect your on-chart drawings from accidental modification or deletion using the lock chart feature. To lock the drawings you click on the padlock icon found on the left toolbar.

To unlock the drawings, click on the padlock again.

How to make drawings hidden

If you want to show a plain chart without removing all the on-chart drawings and studies you have added to a chart, you can use the hide feature.

To activate this feature, click on the eye icon on the left toolbar.

To disable the hide function, click on the eye icon again.

How to stay in drawing mode

When you’re adding several drawings to a chart at once, you can avoid clicking on a drawing tool every time you want to plot a drawing by staying in drawing mode.

For instance, if you want to plot several vertical lines on a chart, you can stay in drawing mode and keep the vertical line selected until you have finished drawing all the lines instead of clicking the vertical line tool each time you want to plot a new line.

To stay in drawing mode, click on the “Stay in Drawing Mode” icon on the left toolbar.

To turn off the feature, click on the icon again.

Magnet mode for drawings

Using magnet mode will make your cursor snap to key price points. This simplifies plotting drawings where you want to use specific points, for example, when you are drawing Fibonacci retracement and extension levels or plotting horizontal support or resistance levels. 

The magnet feature can be classified as either strong or weak. With the strong magnet setting, the cursor will always snap to the closest key point regardless of where the cursor is initially. With a weak setting, the cursor will snap to a key point only if it’s close to the point.

To turn on magnet mode, click on the magnet icon on the left toolbar.

To disable the feature, simply click on the magnet icon again.

How to plot potential trades

The long and short position tools available on the left toolbar allow you to plot potential trades. This way you can see the details of the trade such as the risk/reward ratio.

To plot the potential trades, click on the “Prediction and Measurement Tools” icon.  

Depending on the trade you want to plot, choose “Long Position” or “Short Position”.

How to undo a drawing

You’re likely to make a mistake when plotting a drawing or study on your charts. You can also modify or delete something by mistake. Instead of restarting, you can use the undo button on the top toolbar to undo your last action.

To redo an action you just undid, you use the redo button found next to the undo button.

How to activate drawing visibility

A chart can become quite messy if you have several drawings and studies from several different timeframes. You can declutter the chart by adjusting the visibility of your drawing tools so that they are only visible on specific timeframes.

To change the visibility, right-click a drawing or study and select “Settings”. In this example, the drawing is a horizontal line.

Under settings, click the visibility tab and specify the timeframes you want the drawing to be visible on. Click “Ok” to save the settings.

How to use the ruler tool

The ruler tool allows you to measure the number of pips and days a certain area on a chart covered.

To use the tool, click the ruler icon on the left toolbar.

 

Select where you want to start measuring and drag to where you want to finish measuring then click again. This will create a box connecting the starting and finishing points and a dialogue box with information.

  • The number on the top-left is the pips between the two points.
  • The number in brackets is the percentage of the overall market that the measured distance represents.
  • The number on the top-right is the number of ticks between the two points.
  • The number on the bottom-left is the number of candles between the two points.
  • The last number is the length of time between the two points.

If after trying out all these charting tools you want to start with a clean slate, you can easily delete everything. Just right-click on the main chart area and select “Remove All Drawing Tools”. You can also click on the trash icon on the left toolbar to delete everything.

How to use indicators in TradingView

In addition to using a lot of drawing tools in TradingView, you’ll also likely use indicators a lot. Here’s how to set them up.

How to add indicators to a chart

To add indicators to your charts, click on the indicators button on the top toolbar.

This will open a dialogue box with a huge list of indicators.

The list shows different categories of indicators.

  • The Built-ins category comprises over 100 indicators that come as a standard on the platform.
  • The new Candlestick Patterns indicators search for candlestick patterns on a chart.
  • The Public Library houses indicators created by TradingView users, sorted by popularity.
  • My Scripts show the indicator scripts you have created using the Pine Editor.
  • The Volume profile indicator shows the most-traded prices for a particular period.

How to adjust indicator settings

To adjust indicator settings, click on the gear wheel icon next to the indicator title.

For example, let’s say you are using the Auto Fib retracement indicator. To adjust it you click on the gear wheel icon and make the adjustments under the “Inputs” tab.

Click “Ok” to save the changes.

This wraps up how to set up charts and how to use several charting tools and indicators in TradingView.

It might take some time before you remember where every tool or indicator is. You can use the “Favorite” feature to make your top tools and indicators easily accessible.

To favorite a drawing tool or indicator, click the star icon next to the tool or indicator.

To see all your favorite drawing tools, scroll down to the end of the left toolbar and click on the star icon to show the favorites toolbar.

To see all your favorite indicators, click on the down arrow next to the indicator icon on the top toolbar.

How to place Orders in TradingView

As mentioned earlier, you can only place orders on TradingView if you have an account with a compatible broker. Once you have connected your TradingView and broker accounts, you can open your positions straight from the charts.

How to place an order within TradingView

There are several ways to enter a trade within TradingView.

You can open a chart of the market you want to trade. Right-click on the chart, click on “Trade” then select “Create New Order”.

This will open the trade order panel.

Choose the market order you want to use (if you choose a limit or stop order, enter the price at which you want the broker to execute the order), set the position size, and open your position by clicking on either the “Buy” or “Sell” buttons.

Alternatively, you can click on the order panel on the right toolbar.

 

This will bring up a trade entry dialogue box where you can add your trade details and enter the trade.

How to access your open and pending positions

To view your open or pending orders, click the “Orders” sub-tab under the broker tab. Any open or pending positions will be listed here.

How to add stop-loss and take-profit levels within TradingView

You can add stop-loss and take profit levels to a new position when you are opening the position.

Follow the instructions for opening a trade but before you enter the trade, specify your stop-loss and take profit-levels.

To add a stop-loss or take-profit order to an existing trade or to modify existing orders:

Under the “Positions” sub-tab, right-click on the order you want to add the order to.

Select “Protect Position”. The order window will appear

Set your stop-loss and take-profit level and click on “Modify”.

How to close out a position

To manually close a trade, go to the “Positions” sub-tab under the broker tab.

Click on the “X” symbol on the right of the position you want to close.

This will bring up a dialogue box to confirm that you want to close the trade.

Click “Close position”. 

You can also right-click on the position you want to close under the “Positions” sub-tab and select “Close Position”.

How to view your trading history

To view past trades, go to the broker tab and look for the history tab. The name of the history tab will vary by broker but it will be something like “Account Summary” or “Transaction History”.

Additional TradingView Tips

Here are some more tips you can use to improve your charting experience in TradingView.

How to set market price alerts

To add price alerts, click the alert button on the top toolbar.

You can also right-click a chart and select the “Add Alert” option.

 This will bring up an alert configuration dialogue box.

In the dialogue box, you have to specify:

  • The data you want to receive an alert on.
  • The action you want to be alerted on
  •  Whether the alert is one-time or recurring
  • The alert’s expiration date
  • How you want to be alerted

Once you have set all the parameters, click “Create”. 

To see all your active alerts, click on the alerts icon on the right toolbar.

 

You can edit active alerts by double-clicking on the alert or clicking on the gear icon.

You can also pause and edit an alert or delete it completely by clicking the “Stop” and “Delete” icons respectively.  

How to add text notes to a chart

To add notes directly to a chart, click on the text tool on the left toolbar.

On the chart, click where you want to add the text note. This will bring up a dialogue box. Type the text you want to appear on the chart and customize the styling.

How to add general notes within TradingView

The general notes feature essentially acts as your trading notebook. To add a general note, select Alt + N right-click on the chart and select “Add Text Note…”

This will launch a new note.  

How to use the bar replay feature

The Bar Replay feature allows you to replay a sequence of candles to simulate past price movements. Watching the historical movement of prices can help you test out your trading strategies.

To use the feature, click on the “Jump to” icon on the top toolbar.

This opens a small toolbar with controls.

Select “Jump To” to pick a point you want the replay to start from.

A vertical red line will appear to show where the replay will begin. 

Click on that line and the other controls will become usable.

Start the replay by clicking the play button. You can adjust the replay speed with the speed slider. To close the replay mode, click the “X” button.

Note: Changing the timeframe while in replay mode will take you back to the live price action.

Related Questions

The following are some questions related to using TradingView

TradingView vs MetaTrader 4: Which one is better?

TradingView offers many tools that will help you make more accurate analyses. However, with no direct connection to the markets, you won’t be able to place your trades on the platform if your broker is not supported. TradingView can also be relatively expensive for new traders.  

MT4, on the other hand, is the most popular trading platform in the world. It also has many tools and features and it’s directly connected to the markets as long as you have a registered broker. Nonetheless, MT4 does not offer as many designs and charting tools as TradingView, plus it’s not as modern.

Overall, both platforms can help you succeed in the markets, neither is better than the other. Your choice of platform comes down to your preferences and trading needs. Many traders use both platforms – leveraging the excellent TradingView charting features and executing their trades on MT4.

Learn more about using MT4 in this tutorial.

Is there a TradingView app?

TradingView has a mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS tablets and phones.

Is TradingView in real-time?

TradingView provides access to real-time charts and data. Data from the free plan updates once a second while paid plans get faster updates when trades are happening. Also, the paid plans offer the ability to buy extra real-time data from over 50 exchanges around the world.

Final Word

TradingView is a great platform that offers ease of use, lots of flexibility and customization options, and a community to support you in your trading journey. We hope that this TradingView tutorial will help you level up your knowledge of the platform and improve your trading.

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Team ForexBoat

Our goal is to share this passion with others and guide newbies to avoid costly mistakes. Today we want to share all our knowledge and insights, so you can take your trading skills to the next level.

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