The toolbar in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor contains several frequently-used items. What do these buttons and menus do?

The PowerLanguage .NET Editor’s toolbar

The PowerLanguage .NET Editor is an important component of the MultiCharts .NET platform since it’s used to create and edit indicators, strategies, and functions (MultiCharts, 2014). Other things we can do with the editor are importing, exporting, and removing scripts, while the keyboard shortcuts allow us to do these operations efficiently.

For convenience, the often-used features are included in a horizontal row of icons and menus that together make up the toolbar. After we’ve launched the PowerLanguage .NET Editor, we can see the toolbar at the top of the screen:

Toolbar of the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

Some toolbar buttons may be greyed out depending on which part of the PowerLanguage .NET Editor is active. For example, most buttons aren’t available when a mouse click has selected the Output window.

While we can move the windows in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor, we cannot move or customise the toolbar: it’s always located in the top of the screen. What we can do is turning it on or off through the ‘View’ menu:

Enabling or disabling the Toolbar with the View menu

Now, let’s take a look at the contents of the toolbar itself.

Using the toolbar to create, open, and save trading scripts

The toolbar’s first button is New Study ( ) and this button creates a new study. Study is a collective term that MultiCharts .NET uses for trading scripts, which include indicators, strategies, and functions (MultiCharts Wiki, 2013).

Which type of study is made after clicking on the ‘New Study’ button depends on what kind of script we previously made. For instance, if we created a signal (a trading strategy) earlier then clicking on this button brings up the ‘New Signal Name’ window:

New Signal window in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

If we click on the small, downward pointing arrow a menu appears where we can explicitly choose the type of script we want to make:

Creating a new MultiCharts .NET scripts in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

See creating an indicator, programming a trading strategy, and making a function to learn more about creating MultiCharts .NET scripts.

We open scripts with the Open button ( ; Ctrl + O). This brings up the ‘Open Study’ window, in which we can filter and search for a specific script:

Open Study window in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

The Save button ( ; Ctrl + S) saves the script that’s currently being worked on. This button is greyed out when the script is already saved while working in the code editor. In that case the ‘SAVED’ text also appears in the bottom-right of the PowerLanguage .NET Editor:

SAVED message in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor status bar

An unsaved script, on the other hand, doesn’t have such a text in the status bar:

Status bar example of an unsaved MultiCharts .NET script

Editing code with the PowerLanguage .NET Editor toolbar

The Cut ( ; Ctrl + X), Copy ( ; Ctrl + C), and Paste ( ; Ctrl + V) buttons manipulate the programming code in the same way as they change text in text editors. With the Delete ( ; Del) button we can remove the selected code altogether.

The helpful Undo ( ; Ctrl + Z) and Redo ( ; Ctrl + Y) buttons can correct recent code editing actions or reapply them again.

We can search through the code with the Find button ( ; Ctrl + F), which brings up the ‘Find/Replace’ window for locating or replacing text in the editor:

Find/Replace window in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

Compiling scripts in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

The next part of the toolbar is a pull-down menu that lets us choose between the ‘Debug’ and ‘Release’ compilation modes:

Script compilation options in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

Debug mode is used for developing and debugging scripts while release is used for the final assembly (meaning, the version we’re going to deploy in a production environment) (MultiCharts, 2014).

There are two toolbar buttons for compiling, which is the process of turning source code into computer-readable code (Liberty & MacDonald, 2009). The Compile changed studies button ( ; F7) only compiles the changed scripts, while the Force recompile all studies button ( ; Ctrl + F7) recompiles all MultiCharts .NET scripts. See compiling scripts in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor to learn more.

Launching Visual Studio from the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

The last two buttons of the toolbar can open Visual Studio directly from within the PowerLanguage .NET Editor. The first, Launch VS 2010 ( ) launches Visual Studio with the PLStudies2010.sln file while the Launch VS 2010 Express button ( ) launches the PLStudies2010_Express.sln file in Visual Studio.

Although these buttons explicitly refer to the 2010 edition, they open the .sln (Visual Studio Solution) files with the most-recent, compatible Visual Studio version that’s installed on the computer.

When Visual Studio isn’t installed or cannot be located, clicking on the buttons generates the ‘can’t launch MS VS 2010 (Express)’-error:

Issue with launching Visual Studio from the PowerLanguage .NET Editor

For more on the PowerLanguage .NET Editor, see exploring the editor’s menu items, opening scripts in the editor, and rearranging the editor’s windows. There’s also a list of PowerLanguage .NET Editor shortcuts to work efficiently with the editor.

Summary

The toolbar in the PowerLanguage .NET Editor provides quick access to often-used features. Its context-dependent buttons include the ‘New Study’ button to create a new script, the ‘Open’ button to navigate to another script, and the ‘Save’ and compile buttons that make the script ready to use in the MultiCharts .NET program. We enable or disable the toolbar through the ‘View’ menu.


References

Liberty, J. & MacDonald, B. (2009). Learning C# 3.0: Master the Fundamentals of C# 3.0. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.

MultiCharts (2014). MultiCharts .NET Programming Guide (version 1.1). Retrieved from http://www.multicharts.com/downloads/MultiCharts.NET-ProgrammingGuide-v1.1.pdf

MultiCharts Wiki (2013, May 6). Using Studies (PowerLanguage Editor). Retrieved on July 16, 2015, from https://www.multicharts.com/trading-software/index.php/Using_Studies_%28PowerLanguage_Editor%29