What Is TradingView?
TradingView is one of today’s leading browser-based charting platforms.
With a wide array of customization options available to users and a smooth charting experience, TradingView is elevating charting industry standards. Brokers will often provide their own charting software that is clunky, difficult to use, and severely limited in its customization options.
TradingView specializes in providing a charting experience that gives traders the ability to personalize their charts. Additionally, TradingView is also a social platform for traders. You have the ability to join discussions, follow traders, and a whole host of other community driven content.
There is a cost to using TradingView but for serious traders looking to improve, this is an investment to seriously consider. I will go through the different payment options available and which ones are best for you a little later in this guide.
What Will You Learn?
In this TradingView Guide, I will teach you:
- How to create an account with TradingView.
- How to navigate TradingView.
- How to personalize and set-up your charts with TradingView.
- How to change time frames and save your chart layouts.
- How to create and save different watch lists.
- Where to find the most popular tools.
- How to connect your broker account with TradingView (if your broker allows this).
How To Create a TradingView Account
To create an account you can simply follow this link and click “join for free” in the top right corner. Follow the instructions and that’s it, you’re done! You have successfully created a free account with TradingView.
The free account gives you access to the following features:
- Access to the charts.
- 3 indicators per chart.
- 1 saved chart layout.
- 1 indicator template.
- 1 enhanced watchlist.
- 1 indicator on indicator.
Unfortunately, using the free account means you will see the occasional advert. They can be annoying but they’re not too intrusive – with a paid account you won’t see any adverts.
You can continue using the free account for this guide, but if you plan on using TradingView as your charting platform you will likely want to upgrade to a paid account.
If you’re not sure about paying for TradingView, I highly recommend utilising the free one month trial. You’ll have access to all the tools and it should give you plenty of time to get a feel for the software.
Just remember – the trial will end after a month and you will then be charged for whatever trial you signed up for. If you want to cancel, go to the billing tab in your profile. Here you’ll see all the subscriptions you have with TradingView and how to cancel them.
Let’s take a look at the different accounts that are available to you.
Overview of Charts
Before we take a look at the charts, here’s a quick tip:
You can undo almost anything you do on your chart by using the ctrl+z / cmd+z shortcut.
You can also use the undo arrow on the top toolbar. So if you change something and you realize you: a) have no idea what you changed, or b) don’t like what you just did, don’t worry, you can instantly undo it!
In the image above I have labeled the main sections of the TradingView charting platform for you. I’ll be going into more detail for each of these sections later on.
- This is the top toolbar where you can find things like time frames, indicators, layouts etc.
- This left side will be your most used section on TradingView. It houses all the tools you can place on your chart.
- This is the main chart area where you’ll be applying all your indicators and tools.
- Here you can find your currency pairs and watch lists, as well as some handy tools such as alerts, an economic calendar, and some social tools.
- The bottom toolbar is mostly used for notes and testing. It is also where you go to connect your broker account with TradingView, enabling you to enter trades straight from TradingView (if your broker allows this).
To make it easier for you, here’s an image with all the buttons numbered:
First things first, you probably want to change the bars on your chart. Click the button I have highlighted as number two in the picture above. Most of you will only use this button once to switch from the default bar graphs to whatever your preference is. I prefer Japanese candlesticks, the second option.
You can find the time frames to the left. I’ve marked these as one in the picture. If you’re using the free version of TradingView, you will not be able to customize these time frames. This will be similar to charting with a broker – frustrating, I know. Luckily, the provided time frames are better than what most brokers offer you.
If you are paying for TradingView, you’re one of the lucky ones! You can click the right-hand arrow to change your time frames.
You’ll notice that when you hover over the different time frames, there’s a star to the right. Clicking the star will highlight it, which means you’ve set that time frame as a favorite. It will be put at the top of your chart, giving you quick and easy access.
This will come in handy when you’re doing your analysis. Being able to go through all the different time frames quickly will help you understand what price is doing in about a quarter of the time.
Here’s a handy little trick for you Pro users, you can simply type a number and this will pop up:
It will default to minutes, but you can change this by typing d for day, w for week, and m for month after you chose the number you want.
For example, if you want to look at the two day time frame, simply type 2d and press enter. This will come in handy when you want to look at a time frame that isn’t one of your favorites and that isn’t included in the list.
The next useful button is the indicator button. I’ve highlighted this button as number three.
This contains a list of all the indicators used in trading. It’s huge! There’s a built-in list to the right. If you want to look for a specific indicator, you can!
Simply type the name of the indicator and all the indicators with that name will pop up. Feel free to mess around and add a few indicators to your chart. You can easily undo any of this with the ctrl-z (cmd+z on mac) shortcut!
To the right of the indicator button you’ll find the templates button (Number 4) and the alert button (Number 5).
The alert button is one of those buttons I think you might use.
The name kind of gives it away: this is the button you click to create an alert. It is easier, however, to right-click on the main chart window at the price level you want the alert.
If you’d rather use the button, you will have to enter the required information yourself. Right-clicking will save you some time and effort, but ultimately it is up to you which one you prefer!
Finally, we have the top right of the toolbar. The first button that looks like a square is actually the layout for your main window.
This function is only available to paying members, but don’t worry! This is more of a quality of life function than a necessity.
When you click this button, you will see that you can divide the window into different sections. This will allow you to compare different currency pairs. Pro users can compare two pairs, Pro+ users can compare four pairs, and Premium users can compare eight pairs.
The next button on the list is arguably the most useful button.
See the little cloud with Unnamed next to it? Can you guess what this means? If you guessed this is some kind of cloud-saving feature, you are correct!
This button allows you to save your chart layouts. With layouts, TradingView doesn’t just mean the pair layouts. Any customization you have done to your chart can be saved with this feature.
Indicators, drawing tools, favorites – you name it. Your charts actually save automatically, even when you close your browser.
This button allows you to have multiple layouts for different purposes. For example, you might want different layouts for trading regular currencies and cryptocurrencies.
Again, the amount of layouts you can save depends on your payment plan. You can check how many you can save right here.
If you click on Load Chart Layout in the drop down menu, you will see all the layouts you can easily switch between. It’s always a good idea to save at least one layout, just in case anything strange happens to your charts. I haven’t experienced anything like that just yet, but better safe than sorry!
The last two buttons are your standard Properties and Full screen buttons.
Properties opens up a window with all sorts of customization options, and the full screen button will put your chart into full screen. To get out of full screen simply press escape.
Throughout 2020, TradingView regularly improved and updated their platform even more than 2019 which is great news for those of us using their service – hopefully it continues in 2021! One of those updates was to the Replay feature.
The replay feature, highlighted in the image above, allows you to essentially backtest on TradingView! This feature was available when I first wrote this guide, but since then there have been some great improvements. To the extent that I think it is now worth including it in my guide.
Backtesting is hugely important if you want to test out a strategy, or tweaks you have made to a strategy without having to wait for months or years’ worth of results. You simply click the button and a vertical, red line will appear. Click on the chart where you want to replay price from! A big improvement TradingView has now incorporated is that you can switch between time frames and still remain in the replay function (this was not possible before).
This replay feature is fast becoming a viable option for backtesting, meaning you don’t need to spend more money on loads of different platforms.
You made it, we’ve gone through the top toolbar! Are you ready for the next one? Keep on reading to see what the right toolbar has to offer!
You will be using the right hand side of TradingView quite often.
Before we get into it, you can resize the Details and Headlinesboxes to your preference. If you don’t want to see these boxes at all, you can drag them down to the bottom and they won’t show you any information.
As you might have guessed, the details box contains some information about the pair you are looking at. The headlines box will show you news related to the pair. Keep in mind that this is not the most reliable or quickest way to find out about news.
Above these two boxes you will find the watch list. This is where you will manage the pairs you want to trade or keep an eye on.
The watch list can be customized in a couple of ways.
You can click and drag to rearrange the pairs, resize the width, as well as remove and add any pairs you want. You can remove pairs by hovering over them and clicking on the x that appears on the right.
To add a pair, start typing in the Add Symbol box to the top right. If you type in BTC, a long list of available Bitcoin pairs will pop up. Too long, really!
You can make this list shorter by choosing the right market. The Forex tab is going to have all the regular pairs you are looking for. There is also a cryptocurrencies tab, a stocks tab, futures, and more. Pretty easy!
Another thing to be aware of when choosing your pairs is who the provider of the data is. If you look at the image below, you can see I am trying to add BTCUSD to my watch list.
To the far right of all these options there are different company names: Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Coinbase, etc. This tells you who is providing the date for the charts.
When adding pairs to your TradingView watch list it is always best to find your broker’s data. Unfortunately, not all broker’s data is available.
If you can’t find your broker in the list I recommend you stick with the same broker for all your pairs. You could always go for a popular broker or do a quick google to see who provides the most accurate data, but you want to be consistent in your choice.
The right toolbar also has an option to save watch lists. If you click on the small button to the right of the Add Symbol box, you will find options to create, save, and load a watch list.
This menu also has your saved watchlists at the bottom for quick and easy switching.
The watch list section is one of those tools Tradingview provides that you will not find with your broker. These tools allow you to organize your charting in a way that improves your efficiency and the quality of your analysis. This is why you need to use a charting platform that is separate from your broker.
There is a new feature that has arrived on TradingView in the latter stage of 2018: customizable flags!
This is a fantastic quality of life improvement that really shows how small additions to your chart can amplify your trading experience. There are 5 colored flags now available to help you further organize your pairs.
When you hover over a pair, you will see a grey flag on the left side. Simply click that and your screen will look something like this…
Now you can flag any pair with any color, but what’s the point in flagging them if you don’t know what each color represents?
Well, you can actually customize these flags and give them names. To do that, you need to go to the menu in the top right and you will see the flags that are currently on your list.
You then select the color from this menu and it will show you all the pairs you flagged with it. To rename it, simply click the menu button once more and choose Rename List…
I use these every single time I trade.
You can utilize these flags on pairs you are watching and trading. You could have one color for large time frame trades, another for short time frame trades, a color for specific setups – the list goes on and on. You can organize these flags in anyway you want!
The next buttons we are going to take a look at are the three buttons to the right of the watch list.
The top button is simply your watch list button. The button underneath it is a list of the current alerts you have set.
You can also set alerts from this section, but as mentioned before, it is easier to use the right-click menu.
The second to last button I want to discuss is the calendar one. You can find it three buttons below the alert button.
This is an economic calendar that lists upcoming events. It’s pretty useful, even though there are better economic calendars out there. It provides a great snapshot of the day’s events which are essential for day trading.
The very last button for this right hand side is the help button. If you ever want to contact support or you want to check the shortcuts, this is where you go.
With that, we are done looking at the right hand side! Next up I’ll go through the left toolbar which is going to be very important for your charting.
As mentioned before, the left hand side is going to be important. Here you’ll find all of the drawing tools. There’s quite a few buttons here and you will be using a lot of them!
All the tools can be added to your favorites toolbar. Simply hover over the tool you want to add and click on the star. If you don’t have the favorite toolbar up you can find it in the right-click menu. Go down to Drawing Tools and click Favorite Drawings Toolbar.
The very first button is your profile button. Here is where you go to change your profile settings. You probably won’t use this very much, but it is useful to know where it is.
Below the profile button is the crosshair button. This allows you to change your mouse cursor to a dot, an arrow, or a crosshair – whichever one you like the best.
Next, below the crosshair button, is where you’ll find all the Linetools. Things like trend lines, vertical lines, as well as the horizontal lines and parallel channels.
The horizontal line does exactly what the name suggests – it places a horizontal line on your chart. The Parallel Channel and the Flat Top/Bottom tools allow you to place a highlighted channel on your chart.
If you need to place more than one, remember you can use the ctrl-c ctrl-v shortcut. This will save you quite some time when putting down trend lines and support/resistance areas.
The next few buttons are all buttons that place indicators on your chart or that allow you to draw on your chart and place shapes. The button with the pitchfork, for instance, has a bunch of different Fibonacci tools for you to explore. Feel free to have a look through each of these! You will gain familiarity by exploring the software.
The next tools I want to talk about are my personal favorite on TradingView. I’ve highlighted the button in the image below so it’s easy for you to find:
This button gives you access to the Long Position and Short Position. These tools are amazing.
It lets you place your stop loss, entry and take profit on to your chart with an awesome visual aid. On top of that, it will tell you the amount of pips your stop loss and your take profit cover, as well as your risk-to-reward ratio (RR).
With this tool, you don’t need to waste time on calculating your RR – it is right there in front of you. Isn’t that great?
Once you’ve placed it down, you can double click on it to open up a window with all the information regarding the trade.
This tool will save you so much time, and as a trader you know that time equals money. As far as I am aware, TradingView is the only charting platform that provides this tool. Brokers will certainly not offer this! If you know of any other charting platform that has this tool, let me know. I’d be very interested in checking out that platform because, quite frankly, this tool is an absolute time saver!
The ruler button is also a handy little tool. It allows you to measure the amount of pips and days a certain area covered. The shortcut for this tool is very easy to remember: simply hold down the left shift on your keyboard, then click and drag your mouse.
All the way at the bottom of the left toolbar is the remove button. It looks like a bin so it’s very easy to remember what this one does. It has the option to remove all drawing tools, remove all indicators, or remove both.
This wraps up the essential buttons on the left toolbar. There are many buttons I didn’t cover but these are the ones you need to know about.
It might take awhile before you remember where every button is and what it does. It helps to favorite the important ones, and you can always right-click to find some of the same functions. I will be going into more detail on some of these buttons in a more advanced guide in the future.
The bottom toolbar gives you access to a lot of different information and data. Don’t worry, you can resize this area as well if you don’t really care about this information. However, there are some useful things on this toolbar.
The first is the time zone which you can find on the right side, above the small camera icon.
You can change the time zone to whatever you need it to be. It will automatically be set to wherever in the world you are. This is great for when you are travelling or if you have an account that is shared between multiple users and computers.
Next to this you have ext, %, log, and auto. These are your axis options.
I mentioned earlier that for crypto trading you will want to use the log scale. This is where you can find the button for it, but as I mentioned earlier you can also find it in the right-click menu.
The camera icon I mentioned before allows you to take a screenshot of your main window. It’s useful for logging your trades, data, or to show others your chart. It will generate an image URL for you right away, and it will also give you the option to save the image or tweet it.
The Publish Idea button is for TradingView’s social aspect, something I will be covering in a different article.
Over on the left side we have a Go to… button. This button is just a really quick way for you to jump to a certain date and/or time. Next to this button there are a few different lengths of time. This is a fast way for you to look at a pair for that specific time span.
If you click on All, for example, it will show you the movement of price for the entire time that pair has been tradeable. Depending on which time span you chose, the time frame will also change. This will be handy for those of you who like to trade on bigger time frames, as it will allow you to check what price has done over a certain amount of time.
The last two essential things you need to know about are the Text Notes and Trading Panel. You can find these underneath the buttons we just saw.
Text notes allow you to take some notes for pairs, as you probably already guessed.
The trading panel is a bit more interesting. You can select Paper Trading which is basically a demo account within TradingView! If you’ve selected this but want to connect your broker’s account, you will need to click on the cogwheel to the right and choose Select Another Broker.
If you’re lucky, your broker may allow you to take trades on TradingView without having to log in to your broker’s platform.
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many brokers who are partnered with TradingView but the number has been increasing over recent months. To link your accounts, simply click the broker you are with and provide the information TradingView requires.
You might have to check your broker’s help section to find exactly what you need. For some, you simply need your login details, whereas for others you might need something called an API key.
Paper trading (demo trading) on TradingView is also becoming more popular so definitely check out what they have to offer there. If there is enough interest I will consider a separate guide for this.
Recap & Future Guides
TradingView is a great charting platform. While I didn’t cover everything TradingView offers in this guide, you should now be able to use TradingView for your every day charting needs!
There is quite a lot to remember in this guide and with TradingView in general.
Here’s a quick list of things that are handy to remember:
- Messed up and your chart looks all weird? Use ctrl+z or cmd+z to undo!
- Want everything gone from your charts? Use the bin button!
- You can easily zoom in and zoom out, by simply scrolling up or down.
- You can save your chart layouts by clicking on the cloud button!
- Make sure to star your favorite tools and time frames.
- Switch to ‘Log Scale’ for crypto trading!
- Use the ‘Long Position’ and ‘Short Position’ tools to save yourself precious time.
- Add alerts quickly by right-clicking at your cursor position!
So that concludes my beginner’s guide to TradingView for 2021! I know there is a lot in this guide but this should really help you get comfortable with the platform much quicker. As you use the platform you will find that there is not much to it once you get into the swing of it.
Let me know down in the comments what you would like to see from future guides. I intend to write a few more so any input would be valued!
I was not paid by TradingView to write this post. I just think TradingView is great and want to share my knowledge of it with other traders. All TradingView links in this article are affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you decide to sign up to TradingView through one of our links. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything extra. This small commission will help me create more content!