Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to Setup a Volume Profile Chart in TradeStation

I received a few emails asking how to create the Volume Profile chart I posted last night. Volume Distribution (Profile) is a built-in study that comes with TradeStation. Follow the steps below to setup the chart:
  • Open a new chart and set the symbol to @ES.D.
  • Under the Settings tab, set the Interval (time-frame) to Daily.
  • Under the Style tab, set the Bar type to HLC Bar or OHLC Bar.

  • Now, from the top menu, click on Insert, and then click on Activity Bar
  • Select "Volume Distribution" and make sure the "Prompt for Format" check box is checked

  • Under the Inputs tab: set the ApproxNumRows to 100, set CycleColors to False. set the DefaultColor to Red (or whatever color suits you) and set BlockSize to 10

  • Finally, under the Data Settings tab, set the Interval to 1 minutes and Days Back to 60 (or however far back you want to go).

That's it! You should now see the following chart:

Hope this helps. Happy charting!


  1. To continue subject on preparation, it all depends on the method you trade. I do not prepare for the next day trading as I do not trade of the S/R pivots. I do trade 2-5 times daily of the price and volume of present day as long as price and volume converge to give me a long/short signal.

    In fact at this point I beleive S/R have no value as it prevents traders from taking a price pattern trades if they do not occur at or near the daily pivots....just think how many times trades got away from you because they are not at those pivots...but I respect all the ideas that make money...

  2. Yea, the point of the post was that a trader should so some sort of prep work/homework prior to market open.

    Regarding pivots; I don't use floor pivots, but if enough people look at those pivots, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The levels I look at are price and volume created, and from my experience, those levels are significant in the market.

    But like you said, we all have our own methods, and that's what makes a market :)

  3. I had no idea Tradestation could do that, thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi E-Mini Player,
    could you pls tell me if in the volume profile chart I can add also the price action, for example 7500 contracts bar or 5 minutes bar. I would like to have price action and volume profile on the same chart in the same time.

  5. Valter, you can create a Profile chart for any time-frame in Minutes. I don't think a 7500 Contract bar would work since TradeStation uses 1-minute data to display the profile.

  6. How do you interpret these volume distribution, volume profiles? Once I have set them up on the daily chart, how do I trade them during the day?
    Where is the entry / exit point? Do I change time frames when day trading the ES? Thank you.

  7. Hi Trinity,

    I could write a small book in reply to those questions. On the bright side, there are already books written on this topic. I recommend you pick up Mind Over Markets and Markets In Profile; both by Dalton.

  8. Hello,

    Thanks for the advice on this setup. You may already be aware of this, but I didn't realize (and maybe other readers didn't) that the volume bars are composed of the market profile letter and numbering codes that indicate volume movement up and down during the day.

    Until I dropped the number of bar rows down to 10 and zoomed in, the letters were too compressed to see.

    In either case, thank you for this suggestion.

  9. Is it possible to set it up to show volume bars intraday on a 1 minute chart? That could be helpful combined with the DOM, but can't make it work for some reason.

  10. You mean, a Volume Profile on a 1-min chart? TradeStation isn't really good at Volume Profiling. Market Delta is a much better option for Volume/Market Profile, IMO.

  11. Awais,

    Great blog - learned a lot from you through the years. I was wondering if the volume profile can be plotted similar to your setup in TOS? I can only specify 1 time period and see the profile from there - not on a per-day basis. A bit crippling, but the message I want to hear still can be heard. If you know a way, I'd appreciate it.

    Eitherway, thanks for the information you present on your blog!!



  12. Hi Ali, I don't use TOS so I don't know if they have a proper Volume Profiling indicator. I would recommend using Market Delta or Investor R/T for Volume Profile analysis.

  13. Thanks for this. Something somewhat fishy I noticed is the Price Distribution and Volume Distribution both result in the same charts. What do you think of this?
    Have you ever seen them differ?

  14. The Volume Profile in TradeStation is a visual approximation at best. I use Market Delta for Volume Profile analysis.


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