Technical Scans

Technical Scans


Technical Scans search our entire database of tens of thousands of ticker symbols and return only those symbols that meet your exact technical criteria. They are also sometimes referred to as “Technical Screens” or “Technical Filters.” At StockCharts, we also sometimes call this feature our “Scan Engine.”

A Technical Scan consists of one or more technical expressions (i.e., signals). These expressions can be joined together with logical “ANDs” and/or “ORs” to form more complex expressions. Ultimately these expressions are tested against every single ticker symbol in our database automatically to find ticker symbols that meet that criteria.

For example, if you are looking for all the symbols in our database that have a current closing price between $5 and $6, you would use our Scanning Workbench to create scan criteria that look like this:

[close > 5] and [close < 6]

You'd then run that scan and our Scan Engine would evaluate that criteria for every ticker symbol in our database. If the symbol had a current “close” value of (for instance) 3.50, it would “fail” the scan and be ignored. If it had a close value of $5.25, it would “pass” the scan and then be added to the results.

Once all of the symbols in our database had been checked, we would show you a list of all the symbols that met your criteria. That list is called a Result Set. Once you have a Result Set you can review it, save it, download it, etc. provides a large collection of Predefined Scans that we run throughout the day. The results from these predefined scans are available for anyone to review for free. A link to our predefined scan results is located on our Free Charts page. More on our Predefined Scans

StockCharts Extra and Pro members can create and run their own custom technical scans with whatever technical criteria they want. We provide two different workbenches for creating custom technical scans - our Standard Scan Workbench and our Advanced Scan Workbench.

In the past, we recommended that people start with the “easier” Standard Scan Workbench and only move to the Advanced Scan Workbench if they really needed to. Because of recent, significant improvements we now strongly recommend that everyone use the Advanced Scan Workbench for everything. The Standard Scan Workbench is still available, but in many cases it is actually more difficult to use and it has some significant limitations.

Detailed Documentation

The following articles contain more details on creating and running Technical Scans:

  • Advanced Scan Workbench - the specifics on using our Advanced Scan Workbench to create, run, and manage technical scans
  • Standard Scan Workbench - while we strongly recommend the Advanced Scan Workbench, the Standard Scan Workbench can still be a good educational resource for users learning how to write scans

Additional Resources



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Basic members create and run their own scans?
A: No, in order to create and run custom scans, you need to be a member of our Extra or PRO service.

Q: What time of day does the Scan Engine start updating?
A: The first update for the scan engine usually begins at 9:31 AM Eastern Time. Throughout the rest of the trading day, the ScanEngine is updated every 1-2 minutes.

Q: How much data is in your Scan Engine?
Our Scan Engine contains 3000 daily data points (roughly 12 years) for each of the 50,000+ different stocks, indices, and mutual funds that we track. Scans that require longer duration indicators will lose accuracy.

Q: What data periods are supported by the Scan Engine?
A: The Scan Engine allows users to create scans based on Daily, Weekly and Monthly bars. It does not support scans based on intraday (1-minute, 5-minute, etc.) bars.

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