Chip Anderson

28 Things to Remember About Creating and Saving Charts and ChartStyles


Recently, one of our support engineers was working with a user that had become confused about how our system of SharpCharts, ChartLists and ChartStyles worked.  They had watched all of the videos, but something hadn't clicked for some reason.  To help determine where the confusion was coming from, Cole sent the user a long list of simple "rules" to remember about how those parts of our website work.  I thought I'd share that list with everyone.  It starts off with some really basic stuff just to make sure of the terminology, but hang in there, somewhere in this list could be the "key" you need to make everything fall into place.

(Note, the list was written for a Basic member so there isn't a lot of discussion about using different ChartLists.  Maybe we'll do an "Extra" version of this list at some point in the future if people respond positively.)

1.) We have two main charting tools - SharpCharts and P&F Charts.
2.) SharpCharts are what we call our main bar/candlestick charts.
3.) P&F Charts are the charts with Xs and Os on them.
4.) You create and modify a SharpChart using the settings on the page we call the "SharpCharts Workbench"
5.) We have a completely different workbench page for creating P&F charts (which aren't covered in this list)
6.) There are several ways to create a SharpChart from scratch:
     a.) Type a ticker symbol into the "Create a Chart" box at the top of any page and click "Go"
     b.) Click on the "SharpCharts Workbench" link on the "Members" page 
     c.) Click on any of the big symbols in the middle of our homepage, etc.
7.) When a brand new SharpChart is created, we use a collection of settings called the "Default ChartStyle" to create the chart. You can change your "Default ChartStyle" to have any settings that you like, but again, remember that those settings are only used when a brand new chart is created.  (More on this below.)
8.) After changing the settings for a SharpChart, click the "Update" button to refresh the workbench with your new settings.
9.) A SharpChart consists of a ticker symbol plus all the other settings you see on the workbench. When a SharpCharts is saved into your account, _both_ the ticker symbol and all the other settings are saved together (along with any annotations that you have added). 
10.) To save a new SharpChart into your account, click on the "Save As" link located above the right corner of the chart.
11.) You can save up to 500 SharpCharts in your Basic account. (You can upgrade to Extra if you want to save more or if you want to save your charts into different groups.)
12.) There are several different ways to view your saved SharpCharts. Here are the two main ways:
     a.) Click on the "Your Saved Charts" link on the "Members" page to see your charts in a special "10-per-page" view. Note that "10-per-page" view is different from the SharpCharts Workbench. You cannot modify your charts in 10-per-page view. If you click on any of the charts while looking at them in 10-per-page view, you will then see that chart by itself on the SharpCharts workbench and you can then modify it.
     b.) Go to the SharpCharts Workbench and then select your saved chart from the dropdown located above the chart.
13.) Saved charts are always shown in alphabetic order. To rearrange them, change their name (see below). We suggest using a 4-digit number in front of each chart's name.
14.) To change a chart's name from the SharpCharts Workbench, click on the "Save As..." link and change the name before clicking the "Save" button.
15.) To change a chart's name from 10-per-page view, click on the chart's current name and then it will become editable.
16.) If you modify the settings for a SharpChart that you have previously saved, you can click on the "Save" link to overwrite the old version of your chart with the new settings.
17.) When you are on the SharpCharts Workbench, you can use the "View All" link above the chart to switch back to 10-per-page mode.
18.) All of the settings on the workbench _except_ the main ticker symbol box can be saved separately as a "chart template" that we call a "ChartStyle."
19.) ChartStyles are used for creating new charts from a ticker symbol. The settings from the ChartStyle are combined with the ticker symbol from the existing chart to create a brand new, independent chart. If you want to keep that new chart, you'd need to save it into your account using the "Save As" link.
20.) There is no continuing link between a ChartStyle and any charts that have been created from it. If the ChartStyle is changed later, the saved charts are unaffected.
21.) In general, you should not have a lot of ChartStyles saved into your account. You should create ChartStyles for any specific type of chart that you find yourself creating again and again.
22.) To create a ChartStyle, create a chart with the setting you use frequently, then click on the "+" symbol on the left side of the chart. Give your style a name and press "Add New".
23.) The thin grey boxes located the left of your chart on the SharpCharts Workbench are called "StyleButtons." They allow you to apply a ChartStyle to a ticker symbol with one click.
24.) When you create a new ChartStyle, it is automatically assigned to a new StyleButton.
25.) There are two ways to apply a ChartStyle to a ticker symbol:
     a.) Select the style from the "ChartStyles" dropdown below the chart.
     b.) Click on the StyleButton for that style. Note: Clicking on a StyleButton immediately replaces your current chart settings with the settings for the ChartStyle.
26.) Applying a ChartStyle creates a _new_ chart that is unrelated to any other chart in your account. If you want to keep the new chart, you need to save it by clicking on the "Save As..." link.
27.) To change the "Default" ChartStyle for your account (i.e., the style that is used to create a chart from just a ticker symbol), create a chart that looks like what you always want to see, then click the "Set as Default" link located below the chart.
28.) To change your StyleButtons, click on the ">" symbol located to the left of your chart. Click and drag the "horizontal bars" icon up or down to rearrange the order of your ChartStyles. Styles positioned above the "Buttons" line will have corresponding StyleButtons.

Was there anything in that list that was an "A-ha!" moment for you?  (#19 and #20 are common sources of confusion.)  If so, please let us know in the comments.

- Chip  (& Cole)

Chip Anderson
About the author: is the founder and president of He founded the company after working as a Windows developer and corporate consultant at Microsoft from 1987 to 1997. In this blog, Chip shares his tips and tricks on how to maximize the tools and resources available at, and provides updates about new features or additions to the site. Learn More
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Very helpful list. I'm still a little confused about #19 and #20, but I'll start working with Cole's list and what I'm trying to do and go step by step with the list and my own chartstyles and templates and chartlists. Please do create another list of "28 things to remember about creating and saving charts and chartstyles" and write about how to work with the ChartLists created by Gatis and Art and John to filter and edit those so you can look at a limited number of the Pro's charts from their ChartLists in your own chart lists, but, at the same time, not alter the Pro's ChartLists. I would like to pick and choose and few of their charts to look at in my own lists, and be able to copy those---without altering the master ChartLists "lists"---and place a limited number of their charts in my own lists. I'm still also a little confused about the organization and ability to use their charts and my own chart styles in a simple, easy, and repeatable manner. Chip and Cole, thanks for the list of things to remember. Now please do a list of things to remember for integrating your own charts and the ChartLists from the Pros---in a way that will be simple and allow a user to quickly look at a few of their own charts, a few of Gatis' and few of Art's and a few of John's. Quick and easy is good. The features you are creating are all good, but are becoming a little overwhelming, especially for users who also use other charting packages and also broker's charting capabilities. Thank you.
I'd like to see this for extra members!
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